Survey Says: Fox News Viewers Least Informed

Survey Says: Fox News Viewers Least Informed



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Posted on May 23, 2012


Call it another Fox News fail. People who are not exposed to any news know more about domestic and international affairs than those who get their information from Fox News, according to a phone poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University. In general, cable news viewers, including those who watched MSNBC and CNN, could correctly answer fewer questions about domestic and international events than those who got their news elsewhere—including Comedy Central.

Overall, the survey found that Fox was the least informative news outlet, while NPR and Sunday morning political talk shows were the most.


NPR and Sunday morning political talk shows are the most informative news outlets, while exposure to partisan sources, such as Fox News and MSNBC, has a negative impact on people’s current events knowledge

People who watch MSNBC and CNN exclusively can answer more questions about domestic events than people who watch no news at all. People who only watch Fox did much worse. NPR listeners answered more questions correctly than people in any other category.

The survey of 1185 random people conducted by landline and cell phone in early February follows a similar poll FDU conducted last November, which surveyed only New Jersey residents and returned similar results.

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According to the survey: “Media sources have a significant impact on the number of questions that people were able to answer correctly. The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly—a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly; viewers of Sunday morning talk shows fare similarly well. And people watching only ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart could answer about 1.42 questions correctly.” 

So there you have it. Yet another survey showing Stewart’s viewers are more informed than those who watch Fox News. —TEB

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