Recently I came across a study conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University about which media informs its audience best (and worst) when it comes to domestic news. Fox News did not fare well in this study — to put it mildly. Here’s a snippet to ponder:
“The study concludes that media sources have a significant impact on the number of questions that people were able to answer correctly. The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all.”
It would be nice to write here that Fox is the only culprit in the big media dumb-down. Alas, based on my own nightly search for good domestic
coverage, flipping back and forth between ABC, CBS, and NBC in a desperate search for some real information, I rarely come away satisfied.
Almost every night they all spend so much time on ads for things like in-grown toenails and erectile dysfunction that there isn’t much time left over to report the news. And during the contracted time period supposedly devoted to actual news, they waste additional time on house ads disguised as news. When they deign to do a real news story at all, it tends to be one of those feeding frenzy pieces that have been done to death everywhere. Hard issue coverage of any kind is a rarity.
My choice for a good broadcast news station based in the Fairleigh Dickinson study and my own observations? None of the above.