David Bauder writing for the Associated Press reported that the chiefs of CNN and Fox News were waging a war with words—it seems each thinks the other is “essentially out of the news business”.
I would argue that Fox has never been in the business of reporting the complete news—that is without a bias that ignores facts—that’s called cherry picking.
Wanting to know who had the larger audience share, I checked Google to discover how influential these two so-called news sources were.
According to Gallup in July 2013, Fox News is “perhaps the most powerful brand name in news” by a slim margin. That’s too bad as you will discover.
According to Gallup: “Most Americans (55%) turn to television as their ‘main source of news about current events in the U.S. and around the world,’ and 8% of those say they turn to Fox News. That makes Fox the most popular specific brand name for news. CNN comes in a close second, as 7% of Americans say they turn to the network for their news.”
In addition, Fox is the choice of Republicans and conservatives: “67% of people who turn to Fox News as their primary source identify as Republican, and that number jumps to 94% if Republican ‘leaners’ are included.” (Gallup.com)
“CNN, meanwhile, is where self-described moderates and Democrats turn for news,” Gallup reported. “Of the responders who said CNN was their primary source, 51% were moderate, and 63% at least leaned Democratic.”
Therefore, anyone interested in more balanced news might watch both Fox and CNN to find out what both sides are claiming. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
But how about the least biased media source?
The answer for least biased was NPR. A survey reported by Poynter.org revealed that Fox viewers were the worst informed and NPR the best.
How did this survey come to that conclusion? They asked questions to find out who was the most informed: Fox lost and NRP won.
To sum up Poynter.org: “People who watch MSNBC and CNN exclusively can answer more questions about domestic events than people who watch no news at all. People who only watch Fox did much worse. NPR listeners answered more questions correctly than people in any other category.”
But what about conservatives claiming that NPR has a liberal bias? Most studies that measure bias are usually based on how many times a media source interviewed or quoted was liberal or conservative. To get at the truth, The Columbia Journalism Review revealed that NPR, in 2005, called conservative think tanks 239 times for commentary while only calling liberal think tanks 141 times.
In the end, I think it boils down to what truth conservatives, moderates or progressives want to hear: the truth that’s correct based on all the facts of an issue or the truth based on cherry-picking facts, lies and misinformation. Moderates are probably the only Americans who want to hear both sides of an issue without the news cherry picking the facts.
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.
His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.
And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.
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