PHILADELPHIA—Saying that the trend signals a major shift in the media landscape, a report issued Thursday by the University of Pennsylvania revealed that a growing number of Americans are turning to louder sources for their news. “Over the past 10 years, media-consumption habits have changed markedly as more people eschew traditional news outlets in favor of sources that report the latest stories at a far higher volume,” said the study’s lead author Emily Harding, noting that audiences for television and radio programs that deliver news in a reasonable, non-damaging tone of voice have fallen by nearly 40 percent since last decade. “Respondents were shown one well-reported clip of environmentally sustainable practices on a large dairy farm, followed by a second, poorly-reported but eardrum-shattering clip about how factory farms have ripped open the ozone and will lead to our impending doom. Given the thunderous din of the latter, it wasn’t surprising which one they trusted more. It seems, for a steadily growing segment of the population, that heavily blaring, borderline deafening media outlets are their only source of news.” Harding added that if current trends continue, the U.S. news cycle is likely to reach tornado siren levels exceeding 125 decibels by 2020.
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