News you might use

The Atlantic has interesting figures from a recent Pew Research Center study:

The most knowledgeable Americans were those who got their news from the Web sites of major papers and those who watched programs like The Colbert Report or The Daily Show; they correctly answered 54 percent of the questions about current affairs, while regular viewers of local TV news and network morning shows got only about 35 percent right. The survey found that there isn’t necessarily a trade-off between hard-news knowledge and pop-culture savvy: Respondents who demonstrated a “high” knowledge of politics and world events were also adept at identifying celebrities such as Beyoncé Knowles. And while it’s hard to know which sources provide the best information, the report notes that well-informed people gather their news from an average of 7.0 sources—more than the average of 4.6.

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Intelligent "Daily Show" watchers

I do wish I had satellite sometimes – but I do enjoy watching the Daily Show when I get a torrent or something…of course I’m just saying that because of these figures…

With vulgar fare such as The Man Show, South Park, and Reno 911!, the cable network Comedy Central has earned a reputation for pandering to the Rabelaisian tastes of slackers, stoners, and frat boys. But is that reputation deserved? The Annenberg Public Policy Center set out to answer this question by comparing viewers of Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show with those of David Letterman’s and Jay Leno’s (relatively) staid offerings. The findings are surprising. To be sure, Stewart’s viewers are much younger and much more heavily male than his late-night competitors’. But they are also wealthier and better educated: 30 percent have annual household incomes above $75,000, compared with only 25 percent of Letterman’s and Leno’s viewers. Some 39 percent of The Daily Show’s viewers have college degrees, compared with only 29 percent of Letterman’s and 27 percent of Leno’s. In a perhaps not unrelated finding Annenberg discovered that Stewart’s audience is also more politically aware: 46 percent of Daily Show watchers follow politics “most of the time,” versus 38 percent of Letterman watchers and 39 percent of Leno watchers. And when the researchers asked respondents six questions about contemporary politics, Stewart viewers on average answered 60 percent of them correctly; Leno and Letterman viewers on average answered only 49 percent correctly.