Researchers have revealed that MSNBC and Fox News negatively impact a person’s knowledge of current events rather than expanding their awareness of them. Conversely, the majority of political talk shows airing on Sunday mornings and the regular programming on NPR prove to be the most informative news sources according to the findings of the newest PublicMind Survey being conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University .
In this study, researchers questioned 1,185 persons at random across the nation. During questioning, respondents revealed the news sources that they regularly viewed over the past week while also answering questions regarding current events in the United States and around the globe. When it came to domestic events, people averaged correct responses to 1.6 of the 5 questions given.
The study was developed in order to isolate and evaluate the effects of particular news media. The variables also faced controls regarding outside sources of news that included demographic considerations, education level, individual partisanship, and other news resources. The actual numbers stated that someone viewing only Fox News can be expected to answer 1.04 questions regarding domestic affairs correctly while individuals who consumed no news sources at all can answer 1.22 questions correctly on the same topic. People who limited their viewing to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” were able to answer 1.42 questions correctly while the NPR and morning news viewers led the pack by answering 1.51 questions correctly.
People handled international news better, answering an average of 1.8 questions correctly when given four questions. Additionally, NPR viewers did better in this area of questioning, answering 1.97 questions correctly. Researchers concluded that news sources such as MSNBC and Fox News that center on particular ideologies are talking to a smaller audience and, therefore, addressing fewer issues and offering less substantial knowledge regarding the world at large.