It's always a treat when studies come out that link how much individuals know with where they get their news. In the following tables, the percentage next to a media outlet's name represents the number of viewers of that outlet that can answer 15 of 23 questions about political and world affairs correctly. Not a particularly high bar.
|Daily Show/Colbert Report||54%|
|Major Newspapers' Websites||54%|
|NewsHour w/ Jim Lehrer||53%|
Those are the folks who did well. Here's the group that did just okay.
Ouch, CNN. Clean up your act. And here's the folks that did really poorly. This is the funniest group.
|Network Evening News||38%|
|Local TV News||35%|
|Network Morning Shows||34%|
I'll let you digest all of that without making the numerous easy jokes. But I'll point out two facts: First, other questions from the same poll reveal that people are about as aware of major news events today as they were 20 years ago, so the information explosion has not helped anything. And second, the national average? 35%. So the majority of the country either gets their news from FOX, local news, morning shows, or doesn't get the news from anywhere at all.
For shame, Regis and Kelly.
Update: Some other tidbits that I love. Only 69% of people in America know Dick Cheney is the vice president. Also, this: "Democrats and Republicans were about equally represented in the most knowledgeable group but there were more Republicans in the least aware group."