Surprise, surprise! Fox News viewers worst informed – study
Published 25/05/2012 | 07:41
FOX News viewers are less informed than those who watch other programmes, or no TV news at all, research has found.
A study conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey, found that on average, the average American was able to correctly answer 1.8 out of four questions on international news and 1.6 out of five on domestic.
Fox News followers however only answered 1.04 domestic questions correctly, which is worse than those who said they watched no media at all – which stood at 1.22.
The study, which surveyed 1,185 people, found that in comparison, those who listened to National Public Radio fared best, answering 1.51 questions correctly, while those watching The Daily Show, which mixes current affairs with humour, scored 1.42.
"These differences may be small, but even small differences are important when we're talking about millions of people," said Dan Cassino, political scientist and poll analyst. "We expect that watching the news should help people learn, but the most popular of the national media sources – Fox, CNN, MSNBC – seem to be the least informative."
Fox News responded by focusing on Fairleigh Dickinson's academic record – Forbes ranked it 585 out of 650 US colleges.
"Considering FDU's undergraduate school is ranked as one of the worst in the country," a Fox News spokesman said, "we suggest the school invest in improving its weak academic program instead of spending money on frivolous polling – their student body does not deserve to be so ill-informed."