A recently-released study by the Pew Research Center has found that Fox News — mocked by critics as “Faux News” — actually spends far more time than its left-leaning rival MSNBC on factual reporting than commentary and opinion.
Part of the annual “state of the news media” study, the report found that Fox News spends roughly 45 percent of its programming on factual reporting, and 55 percent on commentary and opinion.
MSNBC, on the other hand, reportedly dedicates an average of 15 percent of its programming to factual reporting, the other 85 percent dominated by commentary and opinion.
The Chicago Tribune added that, based on the study, MSNBC has done the most to “ratchet up partisanship.”
Here are the results in graph form, via the Pew Resesarch Center:
CNN, meanwhile, was the only channel of the three to spend more time on factual reporting than opinion and commentary.
But how, exactly, did the Pew Research Center conduct the study? First, it considered a story to be commentary/opinion if more than 25% included “opinionated statements.”
The Pew Research Center has more on the methodology:
For the historical data regarding the three cable news stations (CNN, Fox News and MSNBC), a large sample of weekday programming was examined during the first five months of 2007 and 2012. That sample included a half-hour sample of afternoon programming (2:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time) along with the first 30 minutes of many of the general news-focused programs during the evening hours. In order to make sure the half-hour sampling of afternoon cable news was representative of daytime cable news, Pew Research examined an additional three full days of cable in late 2012. The data from those three days suggest that the 2:00-2:30 p.m. time slot is representative of daytime programming in general.
For the first five months of 2012, Pew Research analyzed 6,472 stories over the course of 267 hours of cable programming (not including commercials or previews.) In 2007, Pew Research coded 9,655 stories over the course of 377 hours. When that is combined with the three-days of coding in late 2012, Pew Research analyzed a total of 711 hours of cable news, excluding commercials and previews.
(H/T: Business Insider)