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Study: ‘The Colbert Report,’ Jon Stewart Explain Finance Better Than CNN, Fox News, MSNBC

Jun 04, 2014 07:38 AM EDT
Stephen Colbert
(Photo : REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/Files) A study reveals that “The Colbert Report” is more relatable to the viewers than other forms of finance media presented by professional journalists.

Researchers from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania reveals a study that indicates Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert explains campaign finance more effectively than professional finance journalists, WN reported.

The research surveyed viewers of different networks including CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and Colbert's Comedy Central. The results showed that Colbert's viewers are more knowledgeable about campaign finance and other topics of the same nature than viewers of other major networks.

The study is named "Stephen Colbert's Civics Lesson." The survey was done between the dates of Dec. 13, 2012 and Dec. 23, 2012. There was a total of 1,232 people aged 18 above who participated in the survey.

According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center, "the show not only increased people's perceptions that they knew more about political financing, but significantly increased their actual knowledge, and did so at a greater rate than other news sources."

Bruce W. Hardy, lead author of the study, said "It's the first study actually showing that Colbert is doing a better job than other news sources at teaching people about campaign financing."

Another similar study supports this claim. The study was done by Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2012. The study explained that Fox News viewers' statistics when it comes to campaign finance knowledge are lower than average, Huffington Post reported. It was also compared to the viewers of Jon Stewart's show, "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" who got a higher average score than Fox's viewers.

"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."

The study became controversial that Fox News posted a public statement as a response to the university's research.

One of the spokespersons of the said network told THR that the students who conducted that survey were all "ill-informed."

"Considering FDU's undergraduate school is ranked as one of the worst in the country, we suggest the school invest in improving its weak academic program instead of spending money on frivolous polling - their student body does not deserve to be so ill-informed," said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Colbert is to take David Letterman's spot as the how of "Late Show" next year.

FOLLOW: The Colbert Report, Finance

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