Don't watch O'Reily, Blitzer, or Couric...
Read content on nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com and chicagotribune.com. Or so says a recently released study at UW-Madison.
UW-Mad doctoral candidate (and fellow whiskey drinker) Kajsa Dalrymple and journalism professor Dietram Scheufele teamed up in sifting and through data from the 2004 American National Election Study.
"the Internet had positive and significant effects on all measures of knowledge, even after controlling for other media use. More importantly, however, online newspapers were the only medium that had significant effects on integrated knowledge - the ability of readers to "connect the dots" by combining bits and pieces of knowledge into a meaningful understanding of politics"
My favorite words released from the study were this: "We did not find significant links between television news use and factual knowledge."
Really? Such things as Neil Cavuto comparing Tiger Woods and Paris Hilton didn't tip you off?
Seems like common sense, but the UW-Madison study uses scientific/statistic analysis to make a more clear judgement. If we always just used common sense, then our understanding of the world might depend upon O'Reilly common sense or John Stewart common sense.
One thought I did have about the study is: Was there any control for socioeconomic factors?
Those who read the newspapers, Internet news, say other studies tend to a) have more time (maybe have to work less to pay the bills) and b) have more institutional education. Would these factors make more of a difference in how facts are retained, or not retained?
I would think so, but the study still seems to make a strong argument of association. And it makes me feel better about my chosen field.