Truthiness! Fox going light on scandal coverage
Many media analysts and even casual observers have noticed that the phone-hacking scandal dominating headlines in Britain and the United States has been a somewhat smaller story in publications owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Now comes proof in the form of a study that found cable channels MSNBC and CNN dedicated five or six times more airtime to the topic than News Corp.’s Fox News Channel.
The study, by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, analyzed four hours of daily prime time television and one hour of daytime programming from July 6 through 8 and July 11 through 15, peak days for the exploding scandal over phone hacking by reporters at the British tabloid News of the World.
“We thought we would take a very clear, empirical look at how much coverage Fox, MSNBC and CNN have given it,” said Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the project.
The study found that during the time period studied, CNN and MSNBC each devoted roughly 16 minutes per night to the topic, compared with only three minutes on Fox.
In daytime coverage, CNN spent about four minutes per hour on the scandal, while MSNBC spent about half that much time. The total at Fox was closer to 30 seconds per hour.
All three channels carried live daytime coverage of Tuesday’s hearing before the British Parliament, where Murdoch and his son James appeared.