Thursday, November 24, 2011

Study: Fox Viewers Less Informed Than Those Who Watch No News

A poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University confirms a University of Maryland study, among others, that found that Fox News viewers are particularly misinformed. The results of this new poll, however, go further than concluding that those who are watch alternatives to Fox are better informed. The Fairleigh Dickinson poll, which asked New Jersey residents about Middle East uprisings, found that those who don't watch the news at all are better informed than Fox viewers. Fox is actually worse than nothing, in that it leaves its viewers knowing less. From the university's press release:

...people who watch Fox News, the most popular of the 24-hour cable news networks, are 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who watch no news at all (after controlling for other news sources, partisanship, education and other demographic factors). Fox News watchers are also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news.

"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 PublicMindPoll. "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."


Michael The Molar Maven said...

My son, Alex, posted on his Facebook page that he felt "stupider" after watching one of the republican presidential debates. It's all part of the same problem of, not only of lack of information, but misinformation as well.

Jeff Tone said...

The information that Fox feeds its audience is clearly agenda-driven. Whatever doesn't fit the right-wing viewpoint is either ignored or distorted.