A recent survey of Oklahomans’ views of broadcast news finds perception meets reality as political views dictate viewer choice, with one exception.
SoonerPoll.com asked 500 registered voters across the state for their thoughts about mainstream media, including selected cable news channels. Some of the results are hardly surprising.
When it comes to the mainstream press, favorability depends on political party affiliation. Republicans don’t care much for it; less than 21 percent gave it a positive response, with 70 percent voting negative. The view is more favorable among Democrats, with 52 percent giving positive marks, and 34 percent negative.
When asked about specific channels, the difference is evident. More than 73 percent of Republicans like the Fox News Network; 47 percent give the channel a very positive mark. Only 43 percent of Democrats had a positive view of Fox, 21 percent very positive.
But when it comes to CNN, the differences are not as stark. With both Democrats and Republicans, CNN failed to get much more than a 50-percent positive response (50.7 and 26.5, respectively). Less than 20 percent of both parties had a very positive outlook on CNN.
Regarding those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party, CNN might as well pull the plug. Less than 7 percent had a very positive view of the channel, while more than 57 percent had a very positive view of Fox.
“Because moderate and liberal voters moved more heavily to the Internet for news than conservatives, it isn’t surprising to see Fox rank well,” said Keith Gaddie, University of Oklahoma political science professor and SoonerPoll.com vice president.
CNN had positive view problems across many Oklahoma demographics. The cable news outlet started by Ted Turner in the early 1980s couldn’t muster more than 20 percent very positive views among church attendees or age groups. In fact, the only segment giving CNN a very positive mark above 20 percent were those making less than $15,000 a year, 20.8 percent.
“It’s not a liberal versus conservative divide between CNN and Fox,” Gaddie said. “The divide is between MSNBC and Fox. CNN gives more of an international perspective, while Fox is more nationalistic.”
Mainstream-media perceptions took a nosedive from liberal to conservative. More than 65 percent of those described as somewhat liberal like the mainstream press, while those deemed somewhat conservative dropped below 33 percent.
Age also mattered. Nearly 62 percent between 25 and 34 have a positive attitude, but the marks descend to 30 percent for those between 55 and 64. Those older than 64 have a better view than their younger neighbors, at a little more than 40 percent. “Scott Cooper