What’s stunning is how many different areas of the news and public policy Fox viewers are misinformed about.
The release this week of yet another survey indicating the more you watch Fox News the less they know, has once again shone a spotlight on one of the unique features that defines Rupert Murdoch’s cable news outlet – it is very, very good at misinforming people. And it’s very bad at reporting the news. In other words: Propaganda? Yes. News? Not so much.
It’s true that the most recent survey, conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University, only polled adults in New Jersey and doesn’t represent national indictment against Fox. Nonetheless, the findings created amedia stir because they reinforce what pollsters and academics previously discovered; that one of the country’s all-news channels consistently leaves viewers less informed.
What’s stunning is how many different areas of the news and public policy Fox viewers are misinformed about. For instance, the Fairleigh Dickinson survey asked viewers about recent grassroots uprisings in Arab nations [emphasis added]:
For example, 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….. 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.
That just means we can add the Arab Spring to the laundry list of issues Fox fans are less knowledgeable about. Here are some previously documented examples.
–2003, the Iraq War. the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) study found widespread public misperceptions about the Iraq war, but some media consumers were more misinformed than others:
Those who primarily watch Fox News are significantly more likely than average to have misperceptions.
- Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll Shows Fox News Viewers Less Informed on Major News Stories (wpvins.wordpress.com)
- Fox News Viewers Flunk Current Events Again (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Poll: Fox News Viewers Less Informed Than Those Who Read No News [Fox News] (gawker.com)
- Study Shows Fox News Viewers Are More Misinformed Then People Who Don’t Watch News AT ALL (perezhilton.com)
- Study: Fox News Has The Most Ignorant Viewers (truelogic.wordpress.com)