April 4, 2022

Political scientists David Broockman of Stanford and Joshua Kalla of Yale in a new study take a look at the impact of Fox on its viewers. While it didn't change everyone's minds, there still was a significant change of attitude. Via the Washington Post:

Broockman and Kalla recruited a sample of regular Fox News viewers and paid a subset of them to watch CNN instead. (Compliance was enforced with some news quizzes, for which additional compensation was offered.) Then the treatment group of switchers and the control group of non-switchers took three waves of surveys about the news.

The results: Not only did CNN and Fox cover different things during the September 2020 survey period, but the audience of committed Fox viewers, which started the month with conservative predispositions, changed their minds on many issues.

Switchers were five percentage points more likely to believe that people suffer from long Covid, for example, and six points more likely to believe that many foreign countries did a better job than the U.S. of controlling the virus. They were seven points more likely to support voting by mail. And they were 10 points less likely to believe that supporters of then-candidate Joe Biden were happy when police officers get shot, 11 points less likely to say it’s more important for the president to focus on containing violent protesters than on the coronavirus, and 13 points less likely to agree that if Biden were elected, “we’ll see many more police get shot by Black Lives Matter activists.”

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