Despite a heavy reliance on social networking sites such as Facebook for news consumption, a large number of Americans remain hooked on cable television.
Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences surveyed a decade of cable news, demonstrating that CNN, Fox, and MSNBC have become more polarized than ever before.
The research was carried out at the University of Pennsylvania.
“We use longitudinal data from the Stanford Cable News Analyzer (2010 to 2021), which reports the screen time of various political actors on cable news, and quantify the partisan leaning of those actors using their past campaign donation behavior,” the study’s authors explained in their report.
“Using one instantiation of media bias—the mean ideology of political actors on a channel, i.e., visibility bias—we examine weekly, within-day, and program-level estimates of media bias.”
“We find that media bias is highly dynamic even in the short term and that the heightened polarization between TV channels over time was mostly driven by the prime-time shows,” the authors concluded.