Fox News is less informative than no news

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Fox News Channel

If you want to know what's happening in the world, and your viewing choices are between Fox News Channel and a blank screen, the latter would be more informative, according to Fairleigh Dickinson University researchers.

While New York Times and USA Today readers are twelve percent more likely to know that Egyptians recently overthrew their government than people who abstain from all media sources, Fox News viewers are eighteen percent less likely. (The latter are also six percent less likely to know that Syrians have not overthrown their government.) A previous poll found that Fox News viewers are more misinformed than Americans who receive their information elsewhere, but this new study indicates they are more misinformed than people who receive their information nowhere.

"[T]he results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all," said Dan Cassino, a political-science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. "The fact that Fox News, the preferred media outlet for many of the candidates, doesn't do better in informing viewers is very surprising."

So what should Fox News viewers do instead? (Besides watching paint dry, which is apparently more educational?) According to the press release, "Listening to NPR also helps, but the biggest aid to answering correctly is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." But you already knew that… unless you watch Fox News.