Third Party & Independents Archives

Fox News outspokenly critical; networks go with sources

While media criticism of John Kerry‘s military service far outweighed his positive coverage, ABC, CBS and NBC and the Fox News Channel differed in how they voiced their criticism. On Fox’s Special Report with Brit Hume, journalists were openly critical of John Kerry, the network reporters went for critical quotes from third parties in their account of the controversy.

On Fox, the largest share of criticism of Kerry came from the show‘s journalists, who were responsible for 63% of the negative statements on Kerry’s military service. Interviews with voters and experts only served as a secondary source of criticism on the show.

In the network's evening news broadcasts, the most frequent source of criticism of Kerry were interviews with individual voters, which accounted for 65% of the negative statements on Kerry’s military service. Journalists here were more reserved in tone, contributing only 27% of the total of negative statements.

Making frequent use of the "man on the street" as a source may well have a greater impact on the audience, since such quotes may appear more genuinely representative of the electorate. Similarly, a comment by an ordinary individual may also be perceived as more credible than open criticism from a reporter.

You can find the report with graphics at:

Posted by Isadora Badi at August 24, 2004 5:23 PM