Today's Media Trends is 1,899 words, a 7-minute read. Sign up here.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Over the past five years, Americans have become increasingly polarized in their media consumption diets based on their political affiliation, according to new data from Pew Research Center.
The big picture: It's not just news that polarizes us — it's our culture, too. Other studies out over the past year that suggest that the trend extends beyond news and information to entertainment and leisure.
Driving the news: Republicans tend to trust Fox News more than any other news source, while Democrats tend to trust a variety of news sources about equally. Their top choice is CNN, closely followed by NBC News, ABC News, CBS News and PBS, Pew finds.
Between the lines: A 2019 media impact study from the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that even the entertainment diets are becoming increasingly divided between Democrats and Republicans.
Be smart: The types of media people use also play a role in polarization.
The bottom line: Republicans tend to be pickier about their media diets, trust fewer news outlets and tend to enjoy fewer entertainment shows and genres.
Facebook on Tuesday will announce a new round of investment worth $700,000 in various news organizations across the country, executives tell Axios. Many of the new commitments focus on newsrooms that cover diversity.
Why it matters: The investment is part of a greater than $300 million commitment from Facebook to invest in the news, especially local news.
Driving the news: Tuesday's announcement will include the recipients of 30 new grants as a part of the "Facebook Journalism Project Community Network," a network of news outlets that are receiving grants from Facebook. Facebook is partnering with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism to distribute the grants.
Facebook will also announce other updates surrounding the Facebook Journalism Project, led by veteran news anchor Campbell Brown. Most updates include a global expansion of its efforts to bolster local journalism.
Flipboard on Tuesday will announce a new "Local initiative" to gather regional sources and national stories of local interest to users in 23 North American metropolitan areas, including Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, Toronto and Dallas.
Why it matters: Like other tech platforms, Flipboard is investing in local coverage because of audience demand.
Details: Flipboard curators will leverage editorial judgement on top of machine learning to pull in news from each of its local collections from an array of local news sources, including newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, college news sites and blogs.
While some of the lower-spending 2020 Democrats are investing most of their dollars in digital ads, the biggest spenders — Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer — are overwhelmingly spending more on television ads as a percentage of their budgets.
Why it matters: Their ad spend stands in stark contrast to that of the Trump campaign, which is investing much more heavily in digital advertising, especially on Facebook.
Be smart: 2020 was supposed to be the year that digital got closer to overtaking television as a percentage of presidential campaign spend, and if it weren't for the two billionaires on the left entering the race, it very well may have been.
Yes, but: Democrats have pledged to pour many millions more into digital through third-party groups like Priorities USA and ACRONYM.
Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty Images for AWXI
Former Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile will finally launch his new venture-backed news upstart on Tuesday called Scroll.
How it works: Scroll asks users to pay a $5 monthly fee for access to websites they already use but scrubbed of all ads. The business model hinges on the idea that with that user revenue, Scroll can send publishers that it partners with more money per user than they would make per user while serving them ads.
Why it matters: Haile says that on average, it makes $46 for every 1000 impressions served to a user across its network right now. That's significantly higher than what most publishers charge for ads today.
Details: According to Haile, more than 300 sites are on board, including USA Today, Buzzfeed, Business Insider, The Atlantic, Slate, Salon, Vox, The Verge, Gizmodo and metro sites like the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Be smart: Haile designed Scroll so that it doesn't step on publishers' existing businesses, incentivizing them to participate.
Our thought bubble: Scroll is unique and solves a problem for publishers that hasn't been cracked yet.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Misinformation about the coronavirus is testing governments, tech platforms and health officials — as well as a nervous public — in both the U.S. and China.
Why it matters: The new cycle of misinformation around the deadly disease is testing Big Tech platforms' ability to police rule-breaking content and China's ability to control domestic criticism, Axios' Ina Fried and I reported.
Tech platforms — including Facebook, Twitter and Google — are scrambling to stop the spread of misinformation about the virus, much of which violates their own content rules.
The Chinese government is facing challenges controlling its narrative.
Yes, but: China is spreading some misinformation of its own in response.
The big picture: Health care has long been a target of misinformation, because it plays into existing fears. This is especially true for disease outbreaks, which can spread faster than the news cycle is equipped to handle.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
SuperAwesome, a platform used to power kid-safe technology, has raised $17 million in a strategic financing round led by M12, Microsoft’s venture fund.
Why it matters: It represents a growing investment in kid-safe content and kids privacy compliant technology.
Be smart: The raise is more of a strategic strengthening of ties between SuperAwesome and Microsoft than it is a financial lifeline.
Investments in kid-safe content and tech are growing. On Monday, Encantos, a children's entertainment brand, closed a $2 million seed round led by Kapor Capital with participation from Boston Meridian Partners, Chingona Ventures, Human Ventures, and MathCapital.
The big picture: Countries around the world are doubling down on digital privacy and safety for children, which is a huge part of what's making investments in kid-friendly and kid privacy-safe content and tech attractive to big companies.
Online interest in the first three days of the Senate impeachment trial was barely half as strong as the first three days of House impeachment hearings, according to NewsWhip data provided exclusively to Axios' Neal Rothschild.
Why it matters: By blocking Democratic attempts to subpoena new documents, the Republican-controlled Senate made sure no dramatic new information surfaced during the first few days of the trial — and made it easier for Americans to tune out.