08 October 2006

Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the NEWS!

Do you watch The Daily Show with John Stewart? You may want to read this post. If not, you may also want to read this post. It appears that The Daily Show and network news stories carry about the same ammount of substance. So, if you like belly laughs with your news, watch The Daily Show. If you like hype, keep on watching network news.

It's No Joke: A Comparison of Substance in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Broadcast Network Television Coverage of the 2004 Presidential Election Campaign (J. R. Fox, Indiana University, October 2006) will be published by the Journal of Broadcast and Electronic Media.

According to Professor Fox:
. . . the popular fake news program is just as substantive as network coverage. . . in some cases--like John Edwards announcing his candidacy--the news is made on the show. . . You have real newsmakers coming on. . . notably, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. . . Republican Sen. Trent Lott, former President Bill Clinton, former Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan and former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey.
A second-by-second analysis of audio and visual content contained in The Daily Show found more humor than substance, but a similar analysis of the content of network newscasts found more hype than substance.

The study found that, during the 2004 presidential election, the average amount of substantive video and audio content in network news stories was not significantly higher than the average amounts of substantive visual and audio content in The Daily Show.
Our findings should allay at least some of the concerns about the growing reliance on this non-traditional source of political information, as it is just as substantive as the source that Americans have relied upon for decades.
Dr. Fox concludes that the public should worry about the content of both sources, because neither one is particularly substantive.

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