Mass Media Swing

Ferris students rely on television outlets for news with a strong shift in witty political shows

by Published: Nov 7, 2012

FOX News and CNN are the most watched news outlets in America and among Ferris students as well.

Robin Shuberg, Ferris senior in recreation and leadership management, said, “I watch FOX because of the great coverage of current events, and because I’m a republican.”

Television news is currently the largest medium that students use, but the Internet is closing the gap. Pundits from both sides have stated a long standing correlation between television news programs and political party membership.

In a segment during an October broadcast of ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, it was shown that researchers can actually find people’s political allegiance not only by what television news program viewers watch, but also by what sitcom people like, the car people drive and even by alcoholic beverage of choice

For example, if a person prefers a Samuel Adams beer, according to the interview, this same person might be a Republican.

With the research from political scientists aside, what television newscasts do Ferris students spend their time watching?

When 45 stuvdents were polled, approximately 35 percent annotated CNN as their news program of choice while FOX marked just under 30 percent of the vote. A significant number of students, over 10 perecent, noted that they switched to Internet sources such as the Huffington Post or comedic programs such as “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart to get their news.

Last week’s showing of “The Daily Show” pulled in over 2.5 million views, according to Neilson reports. Jon Stewart’s program is one of the strongest cable television news shows in viewership regards. Combine “The Daily Show” numbers with “The Colbert Report’s” 1.7 million viewers and there are over four million people tuning in to comedic news broadcasts.

These two shows have left an impression on young voters, according to Dr. Griffin, Ferris political science professor. The political contrast depicted in these growingly popular programs displays the ranging political beliefs of students here on campus as well.

CNN has been depicted as being too far to the “left.” According to Fox News Channel Chairman Roger Ailes, the station has been hiring only liberal pundits to align toward the democratic model.

Tony Beck, Ferris junior in recreation and leadership management, said, “CNN is more credible than Fox News; it seems like CNN carries more weight.”

FOX News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” raked in more than four million viewers during one broadcast last week, earning the top honors for cable news.

Despite its popularity with viewers, this outlet has been criticized in recent years for its potential connection to the republican ideology. Former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean called FOX News a “right-wing propaganda machine.”

President Barack Obama and his administration have had scuffles with the news station as well in reaction to the recent Health Care Proposal in 2009. The president appeared on all of the major news programs except for FOX News to discuss this proposal. Chris Wallace, a FOX Sunday host, called the White House Administration a bunch of “cry babies” in response to the omission.

The sources which people use to gather news information constantly changes with the advent of new television shows and hosts; all will have had an impact on =yesterday’s election.