Accusations of left-leaning bias for cable news giant MSNBC abound, and, while a recent media study doesn’t exactly address that issue directly, it did find the channel to be the most “opinionated” of the three biggies (with Fox, CNN).
Pew’s State of the News Media 2013 report is a very interesting read for media watchdogs, and, in it, the topic of hard news reporting versus opinion programming came up. TV Newser reports that opinion broadcasting has increased dramatically since 2007, with hard news falling by the wayside, but it’s worth looking at how much that is happening and which networks are the biggest offenders.
According to the Pew analysis, MSNBS by far had the most opinion programming with 85 percent of segments opinion versus 15 percent reporting. By way of comparison, Fox News had 55 percent of their broadcasting based on opinion with 45 percent hard news reporting. CNN had 54 percent reporting and 46 percent opinion.
Special note: Opinion isn’t just pundit programs like The O’Reilly Factor or The Rachel Maddow Show but every time they bring on “analysts” to talk about a story in the news cycle as well.
Overall, 63 percent of segments on cable news networks feature opinion, compared to 37 percent for reporting.
Obviously, primetime veered heavily into opinion across the board, with morning programming following slightly. Daytime programming was more diverse.
The Pew study also seemingly supports Jake Tapper’s controversial choice to jump to CNN, which was compared to “the Titanic” by an interviewer.
“CNN is a vital place,” Tapper said of his move. “More people watched the election results on CNN than any other channel. More people watched the inauguration on CNN than any other channel. … MSNBC and Fox News are great at what they do, but that’s very different from what we do. So I just reject your characterization.”
The study, as we noted above, found that CNN is the only cable news channel airing more hard news reporting that opinion. That could all change under Jeff Zucker, but as of now, CNN is your source for unbiased reporting.
Which cable news giant do you watch? MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, a couple of them, or all of them?