Its OFFICIAL! Watching MSM News will make you dumber than if you didnt watch at all.
David Frum at the Daily Beast
draws attention to a study of TV news viewing habits that indicates
certain news channels make people dumber than if they hadn’t watched the
news at all.
The study by Fairleigh Dickinson
University (“the largest independent university in New Jersey”) finds a
a correlation between which news programs Americans watch, and their
ability to answer questions on public issues. It’s worth noting that nobody
does very well. Out of 1,185 respondents, on average people got the
correct answer to only 1.8 of 4 questions on international news, and 1.6
of 5 questions on domestic news.
But people who watched the “most ideological” stations — FOX News for conservatives and MSNBC for liberals — did the worst.
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. On the other hand,
if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51
questions correctly; viewers of Sunday morning talk shows fare similarly
well. And people watching only The Daily Show with Jon Stewart could
answer about 1.42 questions correctly.
“These differences may be small, but even small differences are
important when we’re talking about millions of people,” said Cassino.
“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.”
That was last year ... this year the study was repeated.
So this year, the authors repeated the experiment, using a wider base of respondents. And guess what?
people nationwide were asked about their viewing habits and then asked 4
questions about international affairs and 5 about domestic news. On average, respondents got correct 1.8 of the international questions and 1.6 of the domestic questions. (I know, I know.) People who mainly listened to NPR did somewhat better: an average of 1.92 correct on the domestic section.
People who watched no news at all averaged 1.22 domestic questions right. And people who watched only Fox? 1.04.
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