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Fox News vs. Faux News, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 419

Essay

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are two of the most well-known television personalities in today’s cultural universe, and are also the most watched by the demographic that is most sought by advertisers: young people. Many of their viewers receive all of their news from watching those two programs. This paper will discuss whether or not Stewart and Colbert are having a positive impact on young people, because they engage them in the political process or whether their programs provoke cynicism that is disruptive and negative. The position that will be defended is that these two men are providing a tremendous service to not only young people, but the society at large.

While Americans have more access to news outlets today than they did 20 years ago, they are no better informed than they were in those days (Seelye.) The irony of this is that the people who are the best informed, factually, are those who watch the “fake” anchormen as opposed to viewers of mainstream programs such as “The Today Show” and virtually all of the programs on Fox News. Although Stewart and Colbert presents stories of the day in a satirical and comical manner, they are essentially presenting a more factual summary of the news then can be found in traditional news outlets. For example, in a survey, only 69% of people surveyed in 2007 could name Dick Cheney as the vice president; even fewer could name the governor of their state and even fewer could identify the president of Russia (Seelye.) Although education was the most reliable predictor of who answered the questions correctly, it did not guarantee that college graduates were much better at knowing current events and political figures than their less educated counterparts.

Approximately 50% of the people who answered the most questions correctly reported that they receive their news from at least seven outlets a day. The news sources that were cited most frequently by people who were most knowledgeable about current events were “The Daily Show” and the “The Colbert Report”, which were tied with website outlets of major newspapers; the next most frequent source of news came from PBS, and finally, “The O’ Reilly Factor.” Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have provided a tremendous service to the public by engaging young people in the process of government and politics and making it not only acceptable but cool to be part of their following.

Work Cited:

Seelye, Katharine Q. “Best Informed Also View Fake News.” 16 April 2007. The New York Times. 27 November 2012 <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/business/media/16pew.html?_r=0>.

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