Why Cable News Makes You Less Informed

If you want to keep up with world events, Fox News and MSNBC are the worst places to go for information — and you may be surprised by the best.

By Zack Zeigler

ModernMan.com News

Here’s a shocker: People who scream the news don’t necessarily report it best. A recent survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University showed that people who get their news primarily from Fox News and MSNBC were less informed compared to people who listened to NPR, watched Sunday-morning public-affairs shows like Meet the Press, watched The Daily Show, or just plain didn’t do anything.

The study, a follow-up to one completed in New Jersey last November, asked respondents domestic-news questions about the Republican primariesU.S. unemployment, and Congress. It also asked international-news questions about Egypt, Syria, and Iran. Think you’d nail it? Well, we’ve listed five questions from the survey below — scroll down for the answers. Let us know how you did in the comments … if it’s not too humiliating.

1. To the best of your knowledge, have the opposition groups protesting in Egypt been successful in removing Hosni Mubarak?

2. There have been increasing talks about economic sanctions against Iran. What are these sanctions supposed to do?

3. Which party has the most seats in the House of Representatives right now?

4. In December, House Republicans agreed to a short-term extension of a payroll tax cut, but only if President Obama agreed to do what?

5. According to official figures, what percentage of Americans are currently unemployed?








Answers: 1. He resigned more than a year ago. 2. Dissuade Iran from pursuing its nuclear program. 3. Republicans. 4. Okay the Keystone XL Pipeline. 5. About 8.1 percent.

TAGS: Fox News, MSNBC, news, television


Post a comment:

Ken Swenson (Thu, 24 May 2012 23:00:33 +0000): IMHO, The Newshour on PBS is the BEST!
Frank Austad (Fri, 25 May 2012 02:23:02 +0000): I took the test and... I guess I need to listen to NPR more often! Crap!
Gary Harvey (Fri, 25 May 2012 03:49:26 +0000): I'm Canadian and got 4/5 right. ;) C'mon folks!
John Vergo (Fri, 25 May 2012 16:13:56 +0000): Sigh. The author's conclusion is irrational. It's certainly possible that cable news viewers may BE less informed, but watching cable news does not MAKE them less informed. BTW, I watch both of the cable networks that are mentioned and I got 5/5. I stopped listening to NPR when they made a serious suggestion that we need to tax everyone in order to pay reparations for slavery.
Win Pescosolido (Fri, 25 May 2012 17:17:08 +0000): I just took the test and apparently forgot about the Keystone Pipeline -- I got 4/5 and am not a consumer of TV news of any variety. I'm go for NPR / BBC and the old fashioned newspaper.
Josh Madrazo (Fri, 25 May 2012 18:20:23 +0000): Comparing Canadians and Americans is like comparing Canadians to Americans. We don't know about our current events because we don't need to know. See, other people do it for us. =)
Joe Harrington (Wed, 13 Jun 2012 01:35:45 +0000): I watch Fox News and I got 5 right.


Post a comment: