A study from the Pew Research Center found that both knowledge of and
opposition to the Federal Communications Commission decision to loosen
media-ownership rules have increased markedly since February.
In a nationwide survey of 1,201 adults conducted in late June and early July,
about one-half of the respondents said the change will have a negative impact on the
country, Pew found, up from 34% in February.
Just 10% of the sample believed the effect of the rule change would be
Just under one-half of the sample said they were familiar with the rule changes
-- about double the previous survey result -- although only 12% said they knew a
lot about the issue.
Of those 12%, 70% thought the rule changes would be negative, compared with
6% who thought it would be positive.
Pew said the public has "nuanced" views regarding the news media when it
comes to politics and coverage.
"The growing audience for Fox News Channel, nearly one-half of whom identify
themselves as conservatives, has more consistently negative views of media," the study said.
"Nearly two-thirds of Fox News viewers (65%) believe some news outlets are
becoming too critical of America, compared with fewer than half of CNN [Cable News Network] and
network news viewers (48% and 45%, respectively)."
The Fox News audience is also more likely to prefer "pro-American coverage of
the war on terrorism," the report added.