"Truth Decay" is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in U.S. public life. As part of this phenomenon, Americans are losing faith in once-trusted sources of information, including the news. What could media organizations do to address this?
As social media has increasingly become the main outlet for people to acquire news and opinion, there are concerns about the effect of algorithm-driven services on the spread of misleading information. But the issue doesn't merely lie with how social platforms use algorithms to deliver content.
Humans carry flaws in deciding what is or is not real. The internet and other technologies have made it easier to weaponize and exploit these flaws. And artificial intelligence will likely be used to exploit these weaknesses at an unprecedented scale, speed, and level of effectiveness.
One-third of Americans rely on news platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly social media and peers. The other two-thirds of the public consider their primary news sources trustworthy, mainly print news and broadcast television.
Where do Americans get their news? What news sources do they view as reliable? And how are choices about news consumption linked to demographics or political affiliation? Results from a national survey provide insights into these questions and more.
The RAND Institute for Civil Justice (ICJ) has supplied government and private decisionmakers and the public with the results of objective, empirically based, analytic research. In this era of Truth Decay, the diminishing role of facts and analysis in public life, the ICJ's mission and research have never been more important.
For busy staff, August's respite from back-to-back meetings, hearing preparation, and late votes is hard-earned. The summer recess also provides an opportunity to get ahead of issues that will resurface in the fall. To that end, we have compiled recent RAND research on topics likely to top the congressional agenda come September.
Arthur Brooks spoke at a RAND event to discuss his new book, Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt. He stressed that we don't have to disagree less but that we have to disagree better.
This issue spotlights a strategy to reduce roadway deaths to zero; a school principal initiative that yielded positive results for schools and students; and a data-driven effort to enhance equity in a major U.S. city.
Senior political scientist Jennifer Kavanagh helps lead RAND's work on Truth Decay, the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. In this interview, she discusses her latest research on how news presentation has changed over time and across platforms.
Technology has transformed how people get information. But it has also affected the way that information is produced, shared, and disseminated. How much has the presentation of news actually changed over the last three decades?