Know what you get if watching Fox News

info@islandpacket.comAugust 19, 2013 

Hopefully, we can all agree to put behind us the question of what TV news channel a business has on in its waiting room and move on to more consequential topics.

However, in the interest of accuracy and to those viewers of Fox News who believe they alone are getting "fair and balanced" coverage of current events, I refer you to two studies.

The first, conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind, found that, when asked a series of nine questions on current domestic and international topics, those who watched only Fox News on average answered 2.12 correctly. The average across all news sources was 3.4, and for those who didn't watch any TV news, 2.5. (For MSNBC, it was 2.49; CNN, 2.59; NPR, 3.48).

The second study, by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, examined misinformation leading up to the 2010 elections. The study found that, while there was plenty of misinformation and it was believed by a significant portion of the electorate, for Fox News viewers, higher levels of exposure to Fox News led to increased belief in the misinformation on many issues (e.g. state of the economy, effect of Affordable Care Act on the deficit, Obama's birthplace). And while this effect was true to a lesser extent for other news sources, Fox News stands out for convincing more frequent viewers of more misinformation on more subjects.

So, watch Fox News if you must, just understand what you're getting. (This goes for you MSNBC viewers, too).

Michael Robinson

Hilton Head Island

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service