Airport Polls Passengers: Do You Prefer Fox News or CNN?
October 7, 2008
Which news channel would you prefer to watch at the airport: Fox News or CNN? This is the question that South Bend Regional Airport in Indiana is asking passengers after receiving complaints from five University of Notre Dame professors about the airing of Fox News on airport televisions.
The complaints from the professors called for the airport to switch over to news broadcasting that was more politically neutral than Fox News, which tends to be “the right-wing Republican voice,” said ethics professor Darcia Narvaez, who also said that many cable news stations are biased in their political coverage.
Narvaez said that such programs essentially become propaganda when they are aired in public spaces that are financed by money from taxpayers.
Because airports are considered a public space, the people inside them can be considered to be a captive audience, according to Erik Bucy, an Indiana University Professor. Bucy is currently working on a project that deals with the way in which candidates’ images are displayed in visual media.
Since it is election season, news broadcasts could have a bigger influence on the voting mindset of a casual viewer at the airport.
The airport has decided to conduct a survey asking passengers whether they’d rather see news, sports, or weather broadcast on the airport’s 15 television monitors. If someone answers that they would like to see news, they are asked which station they would prefer.
The survey aims to collect responses from 1,000 passengers to help figure out what changes need to be made.
So far, 300 out of 400 responses wanted to see news instead of other kinds of programming such as weather or sports. Out of the people who responded in favor of news, 132 of them wanted to see CNN, 113 wanted to see Fox News, 58 were for MSNBC and four preferred CSPAN.
John Schalliol, the airport director, said that the results so far have not given reason enough to make a change.