Fox News Website Fixated on Death

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The Fox News website’s obsession with death far exceeds that of its rival MSNBC and outpaces the sensationalistic National Enquirer website. Fox News executives and advertisers know their audience well, obviously, and provide the type of news and entertainment their visitors prefer to read.

A month-long analysis of the Fox News website (www.foxnews.com) reveals that its headlines and homepage text contain far more instances of terminology related to death when compared to MSNBC (www.msnbc.com).

The Fox News website statistically exceeds MSNBC in the use of root words such as “kill,” “murder,” “fatality,” “death,” “dead,” and “suicide.”

The Fox News website presents death-related words an average of 13 times a day on its homepage, while MSNBC uses the same words an average of once a day.

Peter Bakke, the study’s author and former newspaper executive, commented, “There’s an old adage in the news business, ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’ The Fox News website uses death-related terms a great deal. The numbers are remarkable and are an indication that Fox News editors know what type of news attracts their audience. Clearly, Fox News’ readers have an affinity for news more like that of the National Enquirer than hard news found on other national news sites such as MSNBC.”

Bakke added, “Click analysis tells Fox News editors and ececutives what their readers like to read. Obvioulsy death sells. If you visit the Fox News website right now, you’ll likely find not one, but several sensational articles about death and general mayhem.”

The frequency of death-related terms on the Fox News website (13 times per day) also exceeds that of the infamous “catch abd kill” National Enquirer (12 times per day).

Data appears below for terms associated with the various root word topics for each website in the month-long study. The sample consisted of 23 random same-day observations over a 31-day period.

The study was performed by Peter Bakke of Tucson, AZ, who is a former newspaper executive. Contact information is below.

Various word root usage from the month-long study of www.foxnews.com, www.msnbc.com, www.nationalenquirer.com :

FOX NEWS SEX      DEATH          DEMOCRAT          REPUBLICAN
Average use per day  2.74 12.61    3.00  1.43
 Std. Dev  2.43  4.91     2.95  1.41
MSNBC NEWS SEX      DEATH             DEMOCRAT          REPUBLICAN
Average use per day  0.74  1.35    1.87  1.32
Std. Dev  1.05  1.15    2.10  1.36
NATIONAL ENQUIRER SEX      DEATH             DEMOCRAT          REPUBLICAN
Average use per day  4.05  11.73    0.00  0.00
Std. Dev  4.41  4.61    0.00  0.00

Contact:

Peter Bakke

Tucson, AZ

520-261-2090

peter @ bakke.com

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