New Survey Shows How the Media Provokes Our Fears and Shapes Our Politics

It’s no secret that the world is not a friendly place, and life, in general, gives up ample opportunity to stress.

A new survey by SafeHome.org claims that what Americans worry about most can be determined, based on what news network they watch regularly.

More specifically, the survey compared the top 10 concerns of Americans – everything ranging from violent crime to financial collapse – between Fox News and MSNBC.

There was not a single concern that the viewership of these two networks had in common, rank-wise.

Of the top 10 things Fox News viewers worried about on a daily basis, the ratings fell this way:

1. Someone breaking into their house
2. The nation becoming fragmented
3. Identity theft
4. Society breaking down
5. The U.S. government
6. Not having access to healthcare
7. Cybercrime
8. Being the victim of a violent crime
9. Economic or financial collapse
10. Terrorism

For viewers of MSNBC, their concerns looked like this:

1. The nation becoming fragmented
2. The U.S. government
3. Someone breaking into their house
4. Not having access to healthcare
5. Society breaking down
6. Identity theft
7. Gun violence
8. Economic or financial collapse
9. Cybercrime
10. Being the victim of a violent crime

Also touched on in the survey was the notion of Fox viewers versus MSNBC viewers, in regards to violence or threats against Christians, Jews, or Muslims.

For Fox News viewers, 41 percent have said violence and threats against Christians is on the rise, as opposed to 17 percent of MSNBC viewers who felt the same. Another 30 percent of Fox News viewers felt conditions for Christians were holding steady, while 41 percent of MSNBC viewers felt that way.

Thirty-two percent of Fox News viewers feel violence against Jews is on the rise, compared to 40 percent of MSNBC viewers.

There is near total agreement between Fox News viewers and MSNBC viewers, with 19 percent of Fox fans and 18 percent of MSNBC watchers believing violence against Jews is on the decline.

And as for Muslims, over half of Fox News viewers (51%) feel violence against Muslims is on the rise. For MSNBC viewers, it is a whopping 72 percent!

Twenty-seven percent of Fox News viewers believe the trend is holding steady, while 17 percent of MSNBC viewers believe the same.

The survey also went on to compare opinions between Breitbart readers and Reddit readers, as well as comparing the trustworthiness of news outlets (newspaper, TV news, blogs, etc…), as considered by Republicans versus Democrats.

I can say this about the survey: Since Donald Trump began his war against American media, it appears that Republicans have a much dimmer view of news media than their Democrat counterparts.

There were 1,000 respondents to the survey, making it a small sampling, but still yielding some interesting insight into how the media is shaping what viewers care about.

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Susan Wright

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