Media junkies like me find these sorts of surveys fascinating: What your media consumption preferences are turns out in large part having an impact on your knowledge of world affairs, current events, etc. Nothing really important — just those items crucial to the survival of a functioning democracy.
What is particularly noteworthy — just as Rupert Murdoch is set to acquire Dow Jones — is how informed the viewers are who get most of their news from his FoxNews Channel: They ranked dead last in the survey . . .
This data comes form the well regarded and non-partisan Pew Research Center. The statistical question is how self-selecting these groups are; For example, TDS is parody whose humor tends to assume you already have access to relevant information.
Wired gives us the dope:
More than a decade after the Internet went mainstream, the world’s richest information source hasn’t necessarily made its users any more informed. A new study from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows that Americans, on average, are less able to correctly answer questions about current events than they were in 1989. Citizens who call the Internet their primary news source know slightly less than fans of TV and radio news. Hmmm… maybe a little less Perez Hilton and a little more Jim Lehrer.
Infoporn: Despite the Web, Americans Remain Woefully Ill-Informed
Patrick di Justo
Wired, 06.26.07 | 2:00 AM
Public Knowledge of Current Affairs Little Changed by News and Information Revolutions
What Americans Know: 1989-2007
Released: April 15, 2007