News Interest Index: Why Change the Channel?

  • June 20, 2007

In spite of their general criticisms of the media, Americans have good things to say about the major broadcast and cable news networks, according to this Pew Research Center survey. The public draws few distinctions among the news divisions of the big three broadcast networks. There is much less consensus about the major cable news networks. Nearly half of the public sees real differences among CNN, the Fox News Channel and MSNBC, but four-in ten say the cable news outlets are all pretty much the same. National Public Radio is less well known to the public, but receives generally positive evaluations from those who can rate it.

When asked to name the one word that best describes their impression of six major news organizations, "good" is the word that comes to mind most often for each one. Beyond that, the big three broadcast networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – are most often described as "OK." Other top descriptors for the networks include "biased," "liberal" and "informative."

View News Interest Index at the Pew Research Center Web site.