Posted 5 years ago on Nov. 21, 2011, 5:31 p.m. EST by puff6962
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A poll by Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey showed that of all the news channels out there, Fox News viewers are the least informed.
People were asked questions about news habits and current events in a statewide poll of 600 New Jersey residents recently. Results showed that viewers of Sunday morning news shows were the most informed about current events, while Fox News viewers were the least informed. In fact, FDU poll results showed they were even less informed than those who they don’t watch any news at all.
Readers of The New York Times, USA Today and listeners to National Public Radio were better informed about international events than other media outlets.
In one major example, New Jersey poll participants were questioned about the outcome of the so-called Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa earlier in the year. A total of 53% of respondents know that Egyptians were successful in overthrowing dictator Hosni Mubarak. Also, 48% know that the Syrian uprising has thus far been unsuccessful in Assad. But on balance, Fox News viewers were 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watched no news at all. Fox News viewers were also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news at all, suggesting a daily dose of soundbytes from CNN at the gym, and headlines from Google News were enough to surpass what average Fox viewers polled knew about current events.
Fox News is the leading cable news channel.
“Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News,” said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll. “Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”
The kicker is that MSNBC didn’t do all that much better. In one question, some 11% of MSNBC viewers actually believed that Occupy Wall Street protesters were Republicans compared to just 3% of Fox viewers.
“Ideological media does a very poor job overall,” Cassino told Forbes. “They don’t challenge people’s assumptions. In traditional news, you will find that more often than not, there actually is a correct answer and there is no gray area. People who tune into ideological media are motivated to hear their side of the debate and so you can have someone who watches MSNBC be so used to hearing about protests coming from the right that they automatically believe that Occupy is mostly a Republican protest.”
Occupy Wall Street leaders are not in support of any political party.
On international news, Fox viewers were by far the least likely to know that the Egyptian protests led to the resignation of Hosni Mubarek, followed by MSNBC in a distant second for least informed.