Fox Viewers Transformed After Watching CNN For 30 Days: Study
Fox News viewers who were paid to watch CNN for 30 days eventually became more skeptical and less likely to buy into fake news, according to a new study, Sravasti Dasgupta reported for The Independent of the UK.
Photo Insert: The study found changes in attitudes and policy preferences about COVID-19, evaluations of then-president Donald Trump and Republican candidates as well as elected officials.
The study entitled “The manifold effects of partisan media on viewers’ beliefs and attitudes: A field experiment with Fox News viewers” by David E. Brockman and Joshua L. Kalla was conducted in September 2020 and published last week.
“Of 763 qualifying participants, we then randomized 40 percent to treatment group. To change the slant of their media diet, we offered treatment group participants $15 per hour to watch 7 hours of CNN per week, during Sept. 2020, prioritizing the hours at which participants indicated they typically watched Fox News,” the study said.
The study found changes in attitudes and policy preferences about COVID-19, evaluations of then-president Donald Trump and Republican candidates as well as elected officials.
“Despite regular Fox viewers being largely strong partisans, we found manifold effects of changing the slant of their media diets on their factual beliefs, attitudes, perceptions of issues’ importance, and overall political views,” the authors of the study said.
They found that participants became more likely to agree that if Donald Trump made a mistake, Fox News would not cover it. “CNN provided extensive coverage of COVID-19, which included information about the severity of the COVID-19 crisis and poor aspects of Trump’s performance handling COVID-19.
Fox News covered COVID-19 much less,” said the study.
It found that Fox News gave viewers information about why the disease is not a serious threat, while CNN provided a lot more information about the disease itself. Fox News covered racial issues “extensively but selectively about Biden and other Democrats’ supposed positions on them and about outbreaks of violence at protests for racial justice in American cities.”