Monday, April 16, 2007

smart viewers like their news funny, too

For all those who fret about the audiences that skip traditional news in favor of Jon Stewart's The Daily Show or Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report, take heart: A new survey says that those faux news shows command the attention of viewers with the highest level of news knowledge. Today's New York Times summarizes the Pew Center for People and the Press survey here, with this ranking that compares the fake news with the real thing:
The six news sources cited most often by people who knew the most about current events were: “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” (counted as one), tied with Web sites of major newspapers; next came “News Hour With Jim Lehrer”; then “The O’Reilly Factor,” which was tied with National Public Radio; and Rush Limbaugh’s radio program.
More disturbing, for those looking to grab public attention or those who think the media serves to educate the public? Only 69 percent of people in the latest survey could come up with Dick Cheney when asked to name the vice president. That smart audience seems to be shrinking, compared to previous surveys. See the original data at the Pew Center site, here.

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