A recent study from the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University has concluded that small news organizations can have a noticeable influence on the issues of today. If as few as three news outlets with a median viewership of 50,000 report on a particular topic, social media mentions will increase 63% throughout a week. That increase in traffic can result in people's opinions being changed by 2.3% in the direction the story leans. This holds true regardless of political party, gender, or location.
The study was sponsored by Voqal, a staunch proponent of a free media. Voqal president John Schwartz was excited that Harvard professor Gary King was able to clearly demonstrate the clout of competent, quality journalism is significant in creating an informed, engaged public. Schwartz encouraged philanthropists to notice this impact.
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iPass, a telecommunications provider, will give free internet access to 100 non-government organizations (NGOs) for a year as they work in dangerous countries to help its poor and underserved populations.