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.