Pew study: Fox News reports three times more news than MSNBC

posted at 10:01 pm on March 18, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Editor’s Note: My apologies that this piece showed up in draft form on the blog earlier tonight. I typoed in the worst place possible while scheduling it, making it appear in the 7 p.m. hour instead of the 10 p.m.

In all the hand-wringing over commentary vs. news on cable networks, we are offered Fox News as reliant on right-leaning commentary and MSNBC as its left-leaning foil, while CNN sits in the middle with lots of news gathering and no ratings. In reality, Fox News (45-55) is much more comparable with CNN (55-45) in its percentage of straight news vs. commentary, while MSNBC is far out on a limb, relying on commentary for a staggering 85 percent of its programming.

Pew deemed this finding interesting enough to lead its summary of “The Changing TV News Landscape” in the larger study, “The State of Media 2013.” It is indeed counterintuitive if you’re steeped in cable news mythology and White House talking points about Fox.

But here are the facts:

CNN, which has branded itself around reporting resources and reach, cut back between 2007 and 2012 on two areas tied to that brand—in-depth story packages and live event coverage. Even so, CNN is the only one of the three big cable news channels to produce more straight reporting than commentary over all. At the other end of that spectrum lies MSNBC, where opinion fills a full 85% of the channel’s airtime.

News

Bret Baier is right to stress that his show and much of the daytime line-up is straight news reporting, differentiated from prime time shows dominated by opinion. It would seem MSNBC has almost no such programming to point to. It’s We Report, You Decide vs. We Decide Pretty Much 24/7.

Overall, cable news outlets are devoting 63 percent of their airtime to commentary and 37 percent to reporting, responding a combination of audience demands and a trend toward saving money by cutting down on reporting resources. But the next time you hear a liberal academic bemoaning the loss of reported news and the rise of—gasp! O’Reilly or Beck— you can inform him or her that it is CNN and Fox that are fighting the trend and MSNBC that’s bringing everybody’s average waaaaay down. CNN produces 55 percent of its programming in news and Fox, 45 percent. MSNBC, a paltry 15 percent. I have a feeling the folks at NPR, who however slanted certainly report lots of news, are probably quietly looking down their noses at this crew.

In other findings, local TV may be feeling the pinch these days in the way newspapers have for several years. Pew found local newscasts have responded by increasing coverage of those local news favorites—traffic, sports, weather, traffic, sports, weather, and traffic, and sports, and weather. Those subjects make up 40 percent of local news coverage, as I know well from my time in local newspapers and radio.

But my takeaway? Sure, Fox News and MSNBC would be perfectly appropriate foils for each other on the news scene…if Fox only dropped two thirds of its news coverage. As it is, Fox is slimed while MSNBC is praised. Instead of talking about Fox as if it’s a “conservative” version of MSNBC, we should be talking about how it’s a successful version of CNN, marrying commentary and reporting in almost equal measure and making it work. (Hm, maybe there’s a reason CNN doesn’t do much commentary, if this is how it turns out.)

Full disclosure: I am a contract employee of Fox News as a contributor.


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Shocker.

bgibbs1000 on March 18, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Opinions are like @holes… MSNBC has more of them than anyone else.

CapnObvious on March 18, 2013 at 7:23 PM

This blog post is blank for me…

BigWillieStyles on March 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Kind of light on the content…

cozmo on March 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Broken, to be taken down in a few…

nobar on March 18, 2013 at 7:26 PM

I Love Mary Katherine Ham!

williamg on March 18, 2013 at 7:27 PM

OF course but because Fox is good at what they do the left and the rest of the MSM ignores the biases of their brethren. MSNBC should be paid by the DNC.

CW on March 18, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Saw this on anther site… the liberal commenters heads were exploding.

MikeknaJ on March 18, 2013 at 7:30 PM

News at 11.

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 7:32 PM

This news will not be reported on MSNBC.

M240H on March 18, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Drudge says there is some hacking going on in the washington area, guess MKH got hit.

nobar on March 18, 2013 at 7:34 PM

No news is good news. (liberals)

birdwatcher on March 18, 2013 at 7:34 PM

This blog post is blank for me…

BigWillieStyles on March 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Me too. But the headline says it all and as CapnObvious said there are a LOT more azzholes at the other phoney networks.

VegasRick on March 18, 2013 at 7:35 PM

This blog post is blank for me…

BigWillieStyles on March 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

So obvious MKH did not feel like adding content.

antisocial on March 18, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Can’t AP edit in there and add just something like the melting bunny video?

Myron Falwell on March 18, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Yeah, BUT, MSNBC has way more than three times as many ‘pre-op tranny’ and ‘gender-indeterminate’ talking heads, as Fox News.

Pork-Chop on March 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Liberals are totally shocked by this finding, though it gives their DNC propaganda arm an out: “Fox lies, while MSNBC can’t possibly do that. They’re an ‘opinion’ news station!”

New motto for them:

MSNBC–We know what you’re thinking because we told you what you should be.

Liam on March 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Hot Air commenter study: AP, Ed, Erika posts have 100% more content than MKH posts.

Mark1971 on March 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM

Myron Falwell on March 18, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Considering the title, wouldn’t humpbot be more appropriate?

cozmo on March 18, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Drudge says there is some hacking going on in the washington area, guess MKH got hit.

nobar on March 18, 2013 at 7:34 PM

That is not hacking, it is the Eye of Sauron staring intently at various individuals in search of the Ring of Power.

SWalker on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Maybe this explains why the trolls are here. Even progressives want to get the news… even if they don’t like what they read.

Seems as though MSNBC is censoring the news and determining what their viewers and readers should know, along with a very large dose of opinion on what they do choose to release.

thatsafactjack on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Most of the pap on MSNBC is Obama cheerleading. Must have been hard for Pew to figure out.

GarandFan on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

This just makes skipping the article and commenting on the headline so much easier.

Flange on March 18, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Kind of light on the content…

cozmo on March 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Maybe it’s an audition for MSNBC – or Ace’s Content Free series.

forest on March 18, 2013 at 7:44 PM

MSNBC, Guardians of the Know Nothing Party. Sergeant Schultz leading the parade.

birdwatcher on March 18, 2013 at 7:46 PM

That is not hacking, it is the Eye of Sauron staring intently at various individuals in search of the Ring of Power.

SWalker on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Obligatory meme

nobar on March 18, 2013 at 7:48 PM

I am surprised that MSNBC reports any news.

DAT60A3 on March 18, 2013 at 7:49 PM

MSNBC on the weekends is nothing but Life inside Prison stories and Reruns of 48 hours off of NBC.

I’ve never seen a legitimate news segment on MSNBC. EVER.

portlandon on March 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

If only Obama could give a SOTU address like this thread..

One could fit it into the test of the Emergency Broadcast System..

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 7:52 PM

TLDR.

Curtiss on March 18, 2013 at 7:53 PM

It all makes sense. When is the last time Obama had a press conference where he had tough questions? When has he ever answered a question without filibustering? When has Obama taken responsibility for anything? When was the last time Obama paid his own way with honest money?When was the last time Obama did something good for humanity? The news blackout will continue.

birdwatcher on March 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

They’re both biased. Fox News is in the tank for the Republicans and MSNBC is in the tank for the Democrats.

SoulGlo on March 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Fox News still sucks. There is a new conservative cable network One America starting July 4. Hopefully it will give FNC a challange:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/one-america-news-conservative-cable-428665

bw222 on March 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

What is this ‘MSNBC‘ that you speak of…?

Seven Percent Solution on March 18, 2013 at 7:57 PM

MSNBC, Guardians of the Know Nothing Party. Sergeant Schultz leading the parade.

birdwatcher on March 18, 2013 at 7:46 PM

MSNBC just moved Sargeant Schultz to the Russian front.

bw222 on March 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Mary Katharine broke HotAir.com.

meci on March 18, 2013 at 8:02 PM

Fox doesn’t edit as much that’s why.

mixplix on March 18, 2013 at 8:04 PM

MSNBC, Guardians of the Know Nothing Party. Sergeant Schultz leading the parade.

birdwatcher on March 18, 2013 at 7:46 PM

MSNBC just moved Sargeant Schultz to the Russian front.

bw222 on March 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Just saw that.

So, a fat, balding white Rush-ripoff Socialist is swapped for a thirtysomething white policy-wonk Socialist.

It could only happen at PMSNBC.

Myron Falwell on March 18, 2013 at 8:05 PM

MKH on Bill O’Reilly just now, making sense, Juan Williams with a confused look on his face.

birdwatcher on March 18, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Juan Williams with a confused look on his face.

birdwatcher on March 18, 2013 at 8:10 PM

Or as Juan calls it, a look on his face.

Flange on March 18, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Okay, is it me or is there just a headline and a byline?

Cindy Munford on March 18, 2013 at 8:20 PM

I’m assuming MKH is throwing some ironic hipster stuff our way. What could be more ironic than a headline about “more news” and the contents be totally empty?

ButterflyDragon on March 18, 2013 at 8:22 PM

The less you know the easier it is to think you know everything.

29Victor on March 18, 2013 at 8:25 PM

by Mary Katharine Ham

I agree!

joekenha on March 18, 2013 at 8:28 PM

I’ve never seen a legitimate news segment on MSNBC. EVER.

portlandon on March 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Then you haven’t looked very closely because they’re not really that hard to find in the daytime.

It’s okay to admit that. Even though liberals can’t admit the same about FNC.

MikeknaJ on March 18, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Fox News still sucks. There is a new conservative cable network One America starting July 4. Hopefully it will give FNC a challenge:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/one-america-news-conservative-cable-428665

bw222 on March 18, 2013 at 7:54 PM

Yes, Fox News desperately needs competition on the right. If the entire market one millimeter to the right of CNN is all theirs, they get fat, dumb and lazy. Murdoch and Ailes fell apart like a rained-on Sunday paper when Bammie challenged them a couple of years ago. That’s when word went out to ‘tone it down’.

Another article: Washington Times Extending Reach with Cable Network

slickwillie2001 on March 18, 2013 at 8:30 PM

I’m assuming MKH is throwing some ironic hipster stuff our way. What could be more ironic than a headline about “more news” and the contents be totally empty?

ButterflyDragon on March 18, 2013 at 8:22 PM

MHK for RNC spokesperson!

nobar on March 18, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Is MSNBC even supposed to be a news channel? I just thought it was a propaganda machine full of democratic talking points.

Greek Fire on March 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Oh no, a meme just died. Anyone know where I can send flowers?

Robert_Paulson on March 18, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Second!

Flange on March 18, 2013 at 10:06 PM

But the next time you hear a liberal academic bemoaning the loss of reported news and the rise of—gasp! O’Reilly or Beck— you can inform him or her that…

Beck isn’t on Fox any longer.

Resist We Much on March 18, 2013 at 10:09 PM

MSNBC viewers cannot discern between the two types of reporting anyway, MKH….

ted c on March 18, 2013 at 10:09 PM

As far as that CNN Steubenville rapist screw-up, it was Candy Crowley hosting the cluster-mess.

Candy Crowley… master of the Presidental Debate moderation duties.

MikeknaJ on March 18, 2013 at 10:10 PM

while CNN sits in the middle with lots of news gathering and no ratings.

LOL.

Lots of moss gathering and lefty/anti-American propagandizing. Not much news.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 18, 2013 at 10:10 PM

This could have been an epic thread.

Curtiss on March 18, 2013 at 10:10 PM

MKH on Bill O’Reilly just now, making sense, Juan Williams with a confused look on his face.

birdwatcher on March 18, 2013 at 8:10 PM

I wish MKH would just sock Bill O’reilly in the nose to clear up Juan’s confusion.

ted c on March 18, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Like the cheese threads of yore, when the topic was stale and something was needed to liven things up.

Bishop on March 18, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Déjà vu

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:12 PM

What percentage of MSLSD’s air time is comprised of Chrissy “Bad Acid” Matthews’ ranting Ogabe love fests, massive mood swings, generally going berserk, talking over then having his spittle squeegeed off of show “guests”?

viking01 on March 18, 2013 at 10:13 PM

Second!

Flange on March 18, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Is it Easter???
This thread has been reborn..

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:13 PM

I wouldn’t call Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity news.

BedBug on March 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I was I’m a waiting room with msnbc on this afternoon. It was rendell and some lady saying how republicans are are racist and want segregation.

Rusty Allen on March 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Which network reported the facts on Benghazi?

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:15 PM

I wouldn’t call Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity news.

BedBug on March 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

You are correct.

The news was on the wire..
They just reported it.

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Man, I would hate to be tasked with mopping the floors at the MSNBC studios. Just sayin’.

Pork-Chop on March 18, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Oh..

Chrissy is on the main page for this thread..

I liked the first draft better…

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Pew study: Fox News reports three times more news than MSNBC

And that’s not spittle in the corner of Chrissy Matthew’s mouth…

Seven Percent Solution on March 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Rusty Allen on March 18, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Hon, that’s all they say…

Scrumpy on March 18, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Which network reported the facts on Benghazi?

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:15 PM

They reported, you decide…

White House Covers Up Benghazi Terrorist Attack (INCLUDING NEW REPORTS)

Seven Percent Solution on March 18, 2013 at 10:24 PM

They reported, you decide…

White House Covers Up Benghazi Terrorist Attack (INCLUDING NEW REPORTS)

Seven Percent Solution on March 18, 2013 at 10:24 PM

Interesting video..

Exceeds the allotted bandwidth of the ObamaPhone though..

“ah…ah…you..you..you…”
somehow is subsidized..

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Which network reported the facts on Benghazi?

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:15 PM

What facts? They’ve all been covered up.

Curtiss on March 18, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Pic of the Day: Chinese All-U-Can-OB-GYN Menu

Resist We Much on March 18, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Examinations…

Language is everything..

Unless you snuff it out..

Sad.

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Pic of the Day: Chinese All-U-Can-OB-GYN Menu

Resist We Much on March 18, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Fetal Heart Examinations..

Observation Room?????

Cloth Hanger rack???

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:33 PM

Did you miss “Cvnt Examination”????

Resist We Much on March 18, 2013 at 10:34 PM

What facts? They’ve all been covered up.

Curtiss on March 18, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Yes indeed.
After someone said..
“What difference does it make”

But before that statement..
The truth was out there..

But no one cared to listen..

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Did you miss “Cvnt Examination”????

Resist We Much on March 18, 2013 at 10:34 PM

I saw it.
I was trying to…

Oh hell..

I don’t know the words for this picture you posted..

Depressing is the best I can come up with..

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:38 PM

I saw it.
I was trying to…

Oh hell..

I don’t know the words for this picture you posted..

Depressing is the best I can come up with..

Electrongod on March 18, 2013 at 10:38 PM

lol

Resist We Much on March 18, 2013 at 10:41 PM

MHK for RNC spokesperson!

nobar on March 18, 2013 at 8:30 PM

…that sends a tingle up and down my leg!

KOOLAID2 on March 18, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Pic of the Day: Chinese All-U-Can-OB-GYN Menu

Resist We Much on March 18, 2013 at 10:26 PM

I guess they make extra money charging visitors for the observation room.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 18, 2013 at 10:42 PM

I guess they make extra money charging visitors for the observation room.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 18, 2013 at 10:42 PM

LOLLOLOLOL!

Resist We Much on March 18, 2013 at 10:45 PM

I believe it, but they still miss a heck of a lot.

American TV news is truly awful when compared to what you can access online.

I generally like Fox News, but there’s waaay too much gabbing and cutesiness going on. Over the last five years especially, I’m not really in the mood to see people paid well to yuck it up while Rome burns.

Oh, and Fox needs to lose the Libtard “analysts”. This fair and balanced approach has done zilch to deflect criticism from the Left, and more shamefully from our own elected officials. But I guess it is amusing in a way to see said Libtards who really hate Fox News cashing checks signed by Roger Ailes.

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 18, 2013 at 10:56 PM

In all the hand-wringing over commentary vs. news on cable networks, we are offered Fox News as reliant on right-leaning commentary and MSNBC as its left-leaning foil, while CNN sits in the middle with lots of news gathering and no ratings. In reality, Fox News (45-55) is much more comparable with CNN (55-45) in its percentage of straight news vs. commentary, while MSNBC is far out on a limb, relying on commentary for a staggering 85 percent of its programming.

MKH

.
When you say “… we are offered …” in that first line, WHO is doing the “offering”?

listens2glenn on March 18, 2013 at 11:19 PM

How is this surprising? MSNBC is not intended to be “cable news,” it is intended to be a live video version of liberal talk radio, which was chased off the airwaves for all the sucking it did. They’ve got to shoehorn that in somewhere, and maybe give a small bit of news to people to keep them thinking that MSNBC is somehow relevant to today’s world.

mintycrys on March 18, 2013 at 11:47 PM

With a Manchurian in the White House, not much news reporting is required, as it’s more about dissemination the other direction.

HopeHeFails on March 19, 2013 at 12:28 AM

Msdnc

cmsinaz on March 19, 2013 at 7:42 AM

Anyone who believes that MSNBC provides real news probably got their formal education from Schoolhouse Rock.

Mr. Grump on March 19, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Hot Air is some group to talk. All you produce is autostart commercials! You have so many commercials, I can’t even find them on the sidebar to stop them. I think I am going to cut back on Hot Air. You finally did it.

Old Country Boy on March 19, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Duh!

EdmundBurke247 on March 19, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Single Party Media
Manure Spreading Media
State Controlled Media
MSMDC or MSNBC with Chris Matthews
Chris Matthews = I don’t give a shiite

Missilengr on March 19, 2013 at 4:33 PM