People who watch MSNBC and CNN exclusively can answer more questions about domestic events than people who watch no news at all. People who only watch Fox News did much worse. NPR listeners answered more questions correctly than people in any other category.
The survey of 1185 random people conducted by landline and cell phone in early February follows a similar poll FDU conducted last November, which surveyed only New Jersey residents and returned similar results.
The report explains:
The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly — a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly; viewers of Sunday morning talk shows fare similarly well. And people watching only The Daily Show with Jon Stewart could answer about 1.42 questions correctly.
Questions: (all but the first two were open-ended)
• To the best of your knowledge, have the opposition groups protesting in Egypt been successful in removing Hosni Mubarak?
• How about the opposition groups in Syria? Have they been successful in removing Bashar al-Assad?
• Some countries in Europe are deeply in debt, and have had to be bailed out by other countries. To the best of your knowledge, which country has had to spend the most money to bail out European countries?
• There have been increasing talks about economic sanctions against Iran. What are these sanctions supposed to do?
• Which party has the most seats in the House of Representatives right now?
• In December, House Republicans agreed to a short-term extension of a payroll tax cut, but only if President Obama agreed to do what?
• It took a long time to get the final results of the Iowa caucuses for Republican candidates. In the end, who was declared the winner?
• How about the New Hampshire Primary? Which Republican won that race?
• According to official figures, about what percentage of Americans are currently unemployed?
Answers (without looking them up)
Germany (I think)
Stop them from getting a nuclear weapon
Not sure but perhaps pay for them with cuts elsewhere?
8.2% (around 8%)
I'm certain about all but 2 of the above, so I got between 7 and 9 out of 9 correct. I would not qualify for any of the categories above, though, because I watch both the Daily Show and MSNBC (largely just Rachel Maddow). I don't watch Fox. Because I do have functioning brain cells :)