Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Evolution for the Catholic Student

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Monday, June 10, 2013

MSNBC - News Station?

MSNBC – News Station?

          Many people get nearly all of their news from cable television news stations, namely CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC.  From these stations people also get a lot of commentary, much of it blind, biased opinion.
          Regardless of wisecracks from liberal pundits, I remember hearing about a content analysis during the 2008 Presidential campaign season that measured the types of stories and mentions of the major candidates which revealed, much like their claim, that Fox News was, in fact, the most balanced.
          I heard the results of another study about a year and a half ago, of 20 major news outlets – television stations and newspapers – that found that 18 bent to the Left and only two – Fox News and the Washington Times – leaned conservative.
            (Note: These are older studies which I heard reported on the radio.  I’m afraid I can’t reference which groups produced them, but I imagine anyone interested enough could track them down to be sure I'm remembering them correctly.)
          However, just recently, the Pew Research Center released its “State of the News Media 2013” study.  It found that among the three major networks, CNN fared the best in factual versus commentary programming, with a 54% to 46% spread in favor of factual reporting.  Fox News was a little behind, scoring 45% factual to 55% commentary.
          The most interesting finding was that MSNBC almost couldn’t be characterized as a news channel, providing only 15% factual reporting, versus 85% commentary.  Of course, MSNBC – which provided three to four times less factual reporting than its rivals – was the only network to pick up viewership, placing it solidly second behind Fox, whose viewership remained flat.  CNN’s viewership fared the worst, falling 4% in prime time.
          The results of all this fits with the eye test, but it does beg the question, when it comes to politics, is the American citizen becoming less informed?  Our Founding Fathers said that this country was built for a religious and informed citizenry.  As we seem to become less of both, one wonders what the future will bring.