Jan 27, 2016 1:55 pm

Crowdfunding enables diverse new frontier for journalism projects

In the digital age, new tools and pathways that attract the public’s eye – from YouTube to Twitter – can quickly be noticed by journalists and news organizations as important parts of the news landscape. A new study by Pew Research Center examines one of these emerging tools: crowdfunded journalism, in which projects can be proposed and funded through online appeals to the public. The report examined the 658 journalism projects funded through Kickstarter, one of the largest single platforms for crowdfunding journalism, from April 28, 2009 (the day it launched) through Sept. 15, 2015.

The public supports a wide range of crowdfunded journalism projectsThough the revenue involved and amount of content produced are nowhere near what comes through the more mainstream media, crowdfunding can help bring to reality work that might otherwise not see the light of day. One striking characteristic of these projects is the wide range of initiatives that have received funding, which we explore here.

Many serious journalism projects received crowdfunding, but the form allows for projects about less weighty matters as well. For instance, in early 2015, Kickstarter contributors kicked in $3,605 to help crime reporter Scott Thomas Anderson in his effort to turn material gathered during 16 months of work embedded with law enforcement agencies into a book about the intersection of prison culture, crime and the underfunding of mental health care.

Later in the year, backers pledged $4,676 in support for the production of a documentary to tell the stories of refugees at the Serbian-Hungarian border. At the same time, supporters pledged $10,032 for a story about the 2014 World Laser Tag Championships. And fans of Godzilla helped the host of a podcast about the movie monster raise over $19,000 – more than double his original goal – to travel to Japan’s Big Godzilla Special Effects Exhibition and produce a feature-length documentary. Read More

Topics: Media Revenue Models, News Media Sectors, Newsroom Investment and Resources

Jan 27, 2016 12:00 pm

The demographic trends shaping American politics in 2016 and beyond

“The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown,” by Paul Taylor and Pew Research Center, is being released this week in a paperback edition that includes nearly 100 pages of new text, charts and updates to the original 2014 hardcover edition. Here, Paul Taylor shares eight takeaways from the book’s all-new opening chapter, “Political Tribes.”

1The Rising Partisan Gap in Presidential ApprovalIn an era of head-snapping racial, social, cultural, economic, religious, gender, generational and technological change, Americans are increasingly sorted into think-alike communities that reflect not only their politics but their demographics. The result has been a rise in identity-based animus of one party toward the other that extends far beyond the issues. These days Democrats and Republicans no longer stop at disagreeing with each other’s ideas. Many in each party now deny the other’s facts, disapprove of each other’s lifestyles, avoid each other’s neighborhoods, impugn each other’s motives, doubt each other’s patriotism, can’t stomach each other’s news sources, and bring different value systems to such core social institutions as religion, marriage and parenthood. It’s as if they belong not to rival parties but alien tribes.

And their candidates in 2016 might seem to be running for president of different countries. As the chart above illustrates, the partisan gap in how Americans evaluate their presidents is wider now than at any time in the modern era. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Demographics, News Sources, Political Attitudes and Values, Political Polarization, Population Projections, U.S. Political Parties

Jan 27, 2016 10:04 am

5 key findings about faith and politics in the 2016 presidential race

The U.S. Constitution and other laws have attempted to draw lines separating certain official government functions from the nation’s religious life. But these same laws have largely steered clear of regulating religion in the political sphere. And indeed, religion has long been entangled in the nation’s politics and its political campaigns.

This election season comes at a time when there is evidence that the country is becoming less religious. At the same time, roughly three-quarters of Americans (77%) still identify with a religious group, and a growing number of people in both parties want their political leaders to publicly discuss their faith.

As the 2016 presidential contest continues to heat up, with the Iowa caucus just days away, the Pew Research Center has once again released a new survey attempting to gauge the current state of the relationship between faith and politics.

Here are key findings from the new report.

1Many Republicans say Trump would be good or great president despite not being religiousRoughly two-thirds of Republicans – as opposed to about four-in-ten Democrats – say it is important for a president to share their religious beliefs. However, Donald Trump — a candidate many Republicans view as a potentially good or great president —is seen by many in the GOP as not being a very religious person compared with other leading candidates. Just 44% of Republicans and those who lean Republican say Trump is “somewhat” or “very” religious.

2At least six-in-ten Americans and seven-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners view Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as being at least somewhat religious. This level of religiosity is more in line with the GOP electorate; more than eight-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners say that religion is at least somewhat important in their lives, including 61% who say it is very important. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Religion and Government, Religion and Society, Religion and U.S. Politics, Religious Beliefs and Practices, U.S. Political Figures

Jan 21, 2016 11:59 am

Americans may be getting less religious, but feelings of spirituality are on the rise

Growing share of people regularly feel spiritual peace, sense of wonderThe phrase “spiritual but not religious” has become widely used in recent years by some Americans who are trying to describe their religious identity. While Pew Research Center does not categorize survey respondents in such a way, our surveys do find that the U.S. public overall appears to be growing a bit less religious – but also somewhat more spiritual.

Americans have become less religious in recent years by standard measures such as how important they say religion is to them and their frequency of religious service attendance and prayer. But, at the same time, the share of people across a wide variety of religious identities who say they often feel a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being as well as a deep sense of wonder about the universe has risen. Read More

Topics: Religious Beliefs and Practices, Religiously Unaffiliated

Jan 21, 2016 10:00 am

Refugee crises, climate change are top risks in next 10 years, experts say

Large-scale refugee flows and lack of progress in slowing global warming are the top risks that the world faces in the coming decade, according to a survey by the World Economic Forum of executives and experts from the fields of business, academia, civil society, government and international organizations.

The more than 700 respondents to the survey named “large-scale involuntary migration” as the most likely global risk over the next 10 years, while pointing to “failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation” as the risk that could have the greatest impact on the world.

Top global risks

The poll was conducted in the fall of 2015, and the experts might have been responding, in part, to current events at the time. The refugee crisis spawned by the ongoing conflict in Syria has been a consistent thread in many news stories, from terrorist attacks in Paris and Turkey, to anti-refugee sentiments in Eastern Europe, to sexual assaults in Germany. Recently, much of the world was also focused on climate change, as 195 nations met in December at the United Nations’ Paris conference to agree on a plan that would keep the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius.

Read More

Topics: Economic Recession, Energy and Environment, International Governments and Institutions, International Organizations, International Threats and Allies, Migration, Terrorism, World Economies

Jan 20, 2016 7:00 am

The state of privacy in America: What we learned

After the June 2013 leaks by government contractor Edward Snowden about National Security Agency surveillance of Americans’ online and phone communications, Pew Research Center began an in-depth exploration of people’s views and behaviors related to privacy. Our recent report about how Americans think about privacy and sharing personal information was a capstone of this two-and-a-half-year effort that examined how people viewed not only government surveillance but also commercial transactions involving the capture of personal information.

Here are some of the key findings that emerged from this work:

1Personal information onlineFully 91% of adults agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected and used by companies. Half of internet users said they worry about the amount of information available about them online, and most said they knew about key pieces of their personal information that could be found on the internet. Only 9% say they feel they have “a lot” of control over how much information is collected about them and how it is used. Indeed, experts we canvassed about the future of privacy argued that privacy was no longer a “condition” of American life. Rather, they asserted that it was becoming a commodity to be purchased. Read More

Topics: National Security, Online Privacy and Safety

Jan 19, 2016 11:15 am

Key facts about immigrants eligible for deportation relief under Obama’s expanded executive actions

Who would benefit from Obama’s executive actions on deportation relief?The U.S. Supreme Court is expected in April to hear a lawsuit by Texas and 25 other states that seeks to block presidential executive actions offering deportation relief and work permits to unauthorized immigrants.

The executive actions build on 2012’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which granted relief to young adults who came to the U.S. as children. This program has resulted in nearly 700,000 people receiving relief, though advocates said the action did not go far enough.

The expanded programs, which include Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and an expanded DACA, were announced in November 2014 and are on hold due to the lawsuit. They could make an additional 3.9 million unauthorized immigrants eligible for deportation relief and work permits, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2012 data.

Here are key facts about those who could be newly eligible under Obama’s 2014 executive actions:

1The largest group who could be eligible for relief are the estimated 3.5 million unauthorized immigrant parents to whom DAPA would apply. Immigrants in this category have lived in the U.S. since Jan. 1, 2010, and have children who either were born in the U.S. or are legal permanent residents. Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Barack Obama, Immigration, Unauthorized Immigration

Jan 18, 2016 7:00 am

5 facts about race in America

Ever since it was first observed as a national holiday in 1986, Martin Luther King Jr. Day has been a time for reflection on the state of race relations in the U.S. and how much progress has been made – or not – in achieving racial equality.

Pew Research Center has tracked this subject over time. Here are five of our key findings:

1About six-in-ten Americans say the country needs to continue making changes to assure that blacks have equal rights with whites, according to our July 2015 poll. This marks a substantial increase from 2014, when public opinion was much more closely divided. Underlying that majority is a significant racial divide: 86% of blacks say more needs to be done to achieve racial equality, compared with 53% of whites. However, the share of whites who see the need for change significantly increased from 39% a year earlier.

A majority of Americans says the nation needs to make changes to give blacks equal rights.

Growing share of Americans view racism as a "big problem."2A growing share of Americans say that racism in society is a big problem. Half of Americans now say this, up from 33% five years earlier, reflecting an increase across all demographic groups. Nearly three-quarters of blacks characterized racism as a big problem, as did 58% of Hispanics. Although whites were far less likely to say racism is a big problem (44%), the share of whites expressing this view has risen 17 percentage points since 2010. There is a partisan divide too: 61% of Democrats say racism is a big problem, compared with 41% of Republicans – though the share of Republicans saying racism is a big problem has doubled since 2010, when it was just 17%.  Read More

Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Income Inequality, Race and Ethnicity

Jan 14, 2016 11:55 am

Wikipedia at 15: Millions of readers in scores of languages

English version of Wikipedia gets more than six times as many page views as next largest language versionWikipedia turns 15 on Friday. A key element in its creators’ vision of a user-generated online encyclopedia was to make it a repository of information serving audiences in multiple languages. The first non-English versions launched shortly after the Wikipedia’s founding in 2001, with offerings in six languages – German, Catalan, Swedish, French, Spanish and Russian. Today, the site is available in 280 languages. A new Pew Research Center analysis of the most visited pages in each of Wikipedia’s top 10 languages provides a window on how people in different societies and cultures use the international reference tool.

Wikipedia averages more than 18 billion page views per month, making it one of the most visited websites in the world, according to Alexa.com, a Web tracking company owned by Amazon. The site adds more than 20,000 new articles each month and has 27 million registered users, according to data reported by Wikipedia.

To compare different language versions of Wikipedia, Pew Research Center drew on data from stats.wikimedia.org – Wikimedia is the foundation that runs Wikipedia – for the number of overall page views. For the data regarding the top pages by language, we compiled and analyzed hourly raw page count files posted by Wikimedia. Additional analysis was performed using data compiled by Wikitrends, an independent site run by Johan Gunnarsson and based on data from Wikipedia. Read More

Topics: Information Seeking, Language

Jan 14, 2016 10:04 am

Dangers that teens and kids face: A look at the data

American parents' concerns for their childrenWorrying about your kids is one of the defining traits of being a parent. But the nature of that worrying varies considerably across demographic groups, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.

Low-income parents, for instance, are more concerned about teen pregnancy and their kids getting in trouble with the law than are higher-income parents. Black parents are more likely than white parents to worry about their children being shot, while white parents are more likely than black parents to worry that their children will struggle with anxiety or depression. Hispanic parents worry more than black or white parents about all eight measures we asked about, from being bullied to having problems with drugs or alcohol (a trend driven primarily by foreign-born Hispanics, who tend to have lower incomes and less education).

To examine the actual incidence of the areas of concern discussed in the Center’s report, we analyzed national statistics from a variety of sources on getting shot, getting in trouble with the law, teen pregnancy, kidnappings, drug and alcohol use, anxiety/depression, getting beat up and being bullied. Here’s what we found: Read More

Topics: Parenthood, Teens and Youth