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Studies & Research

There Are More People Who Watch Both MSNBC and Fox News Than You Think

cable news cross viewingA Pew Research study on news viewership found that more than one quarter of Fox News viewers also watch MSNBC and vice versa.

Pew finds that 28% of people who watch Fox News also watch MSNBC and 34% of MSNBC viewers also watch Fox. Cross-platform numbers are even higher for CNN, with 54% of MSNBC viewers and 44% of Fox News viewers, respectively, also watching CNN.

Despite the crossover, Pew finds each network also has their own singularly-dedicated audience, with Fox News leading the way: 24% of FNC’s viewers watch only Fox, while 23% watch only CNN and 15% watch only MSNBC.

Cable news also has a higher level of viewer engagement than either network or local news. The most dedicated cable news viewers watch an average of 72 minutes a day, compared to 32 minutes for network news viewers and 22 minutes for local news viewers.

Pew conducted the study by analyzing Nielsen data from February 2013. Read the full study here.

Gallup: Public Trust In The Media No Longer At An All Time Low

Good news for those of us in the media business: public trust in the media is up from an all-time low to slightly higher than an all-time low.

According to Gallup’s latest poll measuring public trust in the media, 55% of respondents have “not very much” or “none at all” trust in the media, while 44% have “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the media. That is better than last year’s all-time low, when 60% of respondents say they didn’t trust the media, and only 40% saying they did.

The 2013 numbers are more or less identical to the 2011 numbers, and slightly better than 2010′s.

Gallup2013

Republicans, Democrats and independents all had more trust in the media this year than they did last year, though a plurality of Republicans and independents still believe the media in general is “too liberal.” Gallup explains:
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Pew: Journalists Dip In Public Perception Poll

A full 27% of Americans say that journalists contribute “not very much or nothing” to society, according to a survey from Pew. The survey examines different careers, and measures the public perceptions of them. While the military, teachers and doctors led the way, journalists, business executives and lawyers were at the bottom of the pack.

For journalists however, it is the decline since the last time the survey was taken (2009) that is most troubling:

Compared with the ratings four years ago, journalists have dropped the most in public esteem. The share of the public saying that journalists contribute a lot to society is down 10 percentage points, from 38% in 2009 to 28% in 2013. The drop is particularly pronounced among women (down 17 points). About as many U.S. adults now say journalists contribute “not very much” or “nothing at all” to society (27%) as say they contribute a lot (28%).

TV Remains Main Source of News; Fox News Cited As Leading Outlet

Television continues to be the main place Americans turn to for news about current events, with Fox News Channel as the leading source. 55% of those polled by Gallup over four days last month say they get their news on TV. 26% of those simply said television or TV news while 8% said Fox News, followed by 7% who said CNN, and 4% citing local news. As the Gallup pollsters write:

No other specific channel — including MSNBC, PBS, BBC, and all of the U.S. broadcast networks that once dominated the news landscape — is mentioned by more than 1% of Americans.

21% of poll respondents say the Internet is the main source of news while 9% say newspapers or other print publications, followed by radio, at 6%. And TV dominates across all age groups:

Another interesting breakout of the Gallup poll is how news consumption exists based on your politics:

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Pew: Every TV News Outlet Had Coverage Supportive of Same-Sex Marriage

A new survey from Pew’s Project For Excellence in Journalism examines the coverage of gay marriage among the media. The big takeaway: almost every outlet presented more supportive statements in favor of gay marriage than opposing statements against gay marriage, including every TV news outlet.

Pew looked at every segment on gay marriage from March 18-May 12, and classified every statement made on the issue as being supportive of gay marriage, opposed to gay marriage or neutral.

As a whole, the network morning shows presented 44 statements in favor of gay marriage, none opposed, and 56 neutral. The network evening newscasts presented 46 statements in favor of gay marriage, none opposed, and 54 neutral. Each cable news channel was broken down individually. Given the three very different programming strategies of the channels, it was an interesting move, as all three presented far more supporting arguments than opposing arguments:

Poll Shows Most Americans Aren’t Paying Attention to Scandals

Following last week’s trifecta of scandals: Benghazi talking points, IRS targeting and DOJ phone taps, it turns out most Americans don’t give a damn. Late last week, the Pew Research Center surveyed a little more than 1,000 people and asked them if they are following the stories very closely.

26% said they are very closely following the IRS story; 25% are closely following the Benghazi investigation and just 16% are very closely following news about the Justice Department subpoenaing AP reporters’ phone records.

The numbers are greater if you’re a republican and less if you’re a democrat.

Study: Fox News Once Again Most Trusted And Least Trusted TV News Organization

Public Policy Polling has released its annual poll on TV news, and the results are in line with the last few years of polling… with some changes.

Once again, Fox News Channel is by far the most trusted TV news outlet, according to respondents. It is also by far the least trusted TV news outlet, with a plurality of people naming it to both groups. Political persuasion had a lot to do with that, with Republicans overwhelmingly saying it was the mot trustworthy news outlet, and Democrats overwhelmingly saying it was the least trustworthy.

That said, PPP says that trust in FNC is at an all-time low since it started doing the poll four years ago.

Other takeaways: PBS has the most bi-partisan support, with a majority of Democrats saying that it is trustworthy, and a plurality of Republicans (after FNC is excluded) saying that it is trustworthy. Democrats also found every news outlet other than FNC to be more trustworthy than not trustworthy.

You can read this year’s survey here, last year’s here, 2011′s here and 2010′s here.

The Most Covered Stories And Most Utilized Correspondents Of 2012

The Tyndall Report has released its analysis of the network evening newscasts in 2012. As usual, it provides insight into the differences between the newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as who the “most valuable players” are, so to speak.

The top story of 2012 on both “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” and “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” was coverage of Mitt Romney‘s Presidential bid. On the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” the top story last year was the rebellion in Syria. CBS spent more time on Syria than NBC and ABC combined.

ABC spent more time than NBC or CBS on soft news stories, like holiday shopping and the British Royals, with NBC dedicating more time to natural disasters than its competitors. CBS spent far more time covering news stories abroad.

The most-utilized correspondent of 2012 was ABC’s David Muir, who spent 426 minutes on-air last year.

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Pew: Nearly 60% Of Americans Following Newtown News

A new study from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reports that 57% of Americans are following the latest news out of Newtown Connecticut closely. That is a significantly higher percentage of people than the shooting in Aurora, Colorado earlier this year, and the shooting in Tucson Arizona last year. It was a lower percentage of people than those following the 1999 school shooting in Columbine, however.

The pew study also suggests that where a majority of respondents felt that the Colorado and Arizona shootings were the result of a lone, troubled individual, a plurality of respondents say that the Connecticut shooting reflects broader problems in society.

As we noted earlier, media outlets, and TV news outlets in particular, have the power to sway public opinion in these matters, whether they intend to or not.

Pew: Cable News Still a Major Stop For Campaign News

Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has a new study out looking at where Americans get their campaign news fix. The good news for TV: cable news and local news still hold the number one and number two slots, respectively. The Internet is right behind them however, and is growing faster than any other source of news, with the national broadcasts lagging behind.

The news isn’t all sunshine and daisies for traditional media, however.

But there is also evidence that role of cable talk might be smaller than it was some years ago. In January 2004, for instance, a combined total of 44% of Americans said they regularly or sometimes watched the shows for campaign information. In January, that number was 34%. Now it is 35%. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who said they never watch cable talk shows has risen from 38% in 2004 to 47% today. This possible downward trend in the broad audience for cable talk, moreover, stands in contrast to the trend for cable news in general, which has been among the most stable in audience reach of the older news platforms.

You can check out the entire report, here.

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