The Fox News Effect: Does Polarized News-Media Fill Traditional News Roles?
Davis, Richard; Johnson, Braden W.
Since the formation of the Cable News Network (CNN) in 1980, cable news channels have grown in scope and influence. Traditional news providers are often critical of the bias and "spin" that are frequently associated with such cable news channels but few have looked for the unique benefits that polarized news can have on its consumers. This study seeks to prove whether or not polarized news has beneficial effects on its consumers. Using a 2010 media survey conducted by the Pew Media Center, I group the respondents into categories representing those who view polarized media (n=780) and those who do not (n=760). I then test each group against the mean (n=3,007) in three different measures and compare the results. I find that consumers of polarized media are more likely to have a working knowledge of current events, read the newspaper daily, and register to vote.