Monday, April 16, 2007

Fox Viewers Least Informed According to Pew

Pew Survey Finds Most Knowledgeable Americans Watch 'Daily Show' and 'Colbert'-- and Visit Newspaper Sites

By Editor and Publisher Staff

Published: April 15, 2007

(NEW YORK) A new survey of 1,502 adults released Sunday by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that despite the mass appeal of the Internet and cable news since a previous poll in 1989, Americans' knowledge of national affairs has slipped a little. For example, only 69% know that Dick Cheney is vice president, while 74% could identify Dan Quayle in that post in 1989.

Other details are equally eye-opening. Pew judged the levels of knowledgeability (correct answers) among those surveyed and found that those who scored the highest were regular watchers of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and Colbert Report. They tied with regular readers of major newspapers in the top spot -- with 54% of them getting 2 out of 3 questions correct. Watchers of the Lehrer News Hour on PBS followed just behind.

Virtually bringing up the rear were regular watchers of Fox News. Only 1 in 3 could answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly. Fox topped only network morning show viewers.

Told that Shia was one group of Muslims struggling in Iraq, only 32% of the total sample could name "Sunni" as the other key group.

The percentage of those who knew their state's governor dropped to 2 in 3. Almost half know that Rep. Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House and 2 in 3 know that Condi Rice is secretary of state. But just 29% can identify Scooter Libby, 21% know Robert Gates and 15% can name Sen. Harry Reid.

But nearly 9 in 10 knew about President Bush's troop escalation in Iraq.

Men scored higher than women, and older Americans did better than younger, on average. Democrats and Republicans were about equally represented in the most knowledgeable group but there were more Republicans in the least aware group.

Link Dead

Additional Sources

From the New York Times:
Americans may have more news outlets today than two decades ago, but they still don’t know much more about current events than they did then, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

But here’s one big difference: the survey respondents who seemed to know the most about what’s going on — who were able to identify major public figures, for example — were likely to be viewers of fake news programs like Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”; those who knew the least watched network morning news programs, Fox News or local television news. [Link]

From Wired Magazine

From News Corpse (spoof & watchdog blog that counters Fox/Rupert Murdoch).

From Think Progress (Center for American Progress)

 These findings comport with the 2003 World Public Opinion group's extended survey and study on misperceptions of the Iraq war. From their summary of the findings:

    The polling, conducted by the Program on International Policy (PIPA) at the University of Maryland and Knowledge Networks, also reveals that the frequency of these misperceptions varies significantly according to individuals’ primary source of news. Those who primarily watch Fox News are significantly more likely to have misperceptions, while those who primarily listen to NPR or watch PBS are significantly less likely. [Link] (pdf)


Anonymous said...

I wonder what O'Reilly thought when he saw this? It's funny cuz he's always pulling out Pew data to discuss how other shows don't do as well as his in terms of ratings. I even remember how he remarked (jokingly, he says) that John Stewart's audience was intellectually inferior to his.

I would have paid money to hear his comment when he read Thanks for this, AI.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Interesting article - great find guys! Mind if I borrow it?

This piece may raise a smile also:

Fox News: Flat Earthers-R-Us

Glad I found this place!