PublicMind survey seems to touch a “news” nerve

This chart compares typical weekday views for all of Fairleigh Dickinson's website with pages views for the "Some News Leaves People Knowing Less" poll, President Barack Obama's 2009 visit and Bruce Springsteen's visit last spring

The latest findings released from PublicMind, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s polling unit, are creating news headlines about news — nationally. 

The poll, which concerns how New Jersey residents consume their news, shows that viewers who get most of their information from Fox News have the hardest time answering questions about recent Middle East uprisings, Occupy Wall Street protesters and Republican presidential candidates. Viewers of any “Ideological Media” didn’t fair as well as NPR listeners, Sunday morning news show viewers or New York Times or USA Today readers did. Even those who get their news from the satirical The Daily Show, faired better. 

Poll analyst and Fairleigh Dickinson University political science professor Daniel Cassino told Forbes, “Ideological media does a very poor job overall. They don’t challenge people’s assumptions. In traditional news, you will find that more often than not, there actually is a correct answer and there is no gray area. People who tune into ideological media are motivated to hear their side of the debate and so you can have someone who watches MSNBC be so used to hearing about protests coming from the right that they automatically believe that Occupy is mostly a Republican protest.” 

Cassino, author of Consuming politics: Jon Stewart, branding, and the youth vote in America, is scheduled to appear on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” at 8 p.m. on November 22. He also gave interviews to NJ 101.5 and Slate. 

So far, the story has garnered more than 7,000 Facebook shares, and, according to FDU Webmaster Bill Kennedy, “a Google search for ‘Fairleigh Fox PublicMind’ in the last 24 hours gets 12,000 hits.” Traffic volume to the Fairleigh Dickinson website is higher for this poll than it was when President Barack Obama visited campus and when Bruce Springsteen stopped by to play.

Part two of the poll, which compares public knowledge of the Euro bailout to news sources, will come out on Monday, November 28.

To access the full study, visit

For Immediate Release

FDU Office of Public Relations

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FDU Office of Public Relations

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