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For my observation I decided to watch a program on Fox News and also a program on MSNBC to compare and contrast the messages based on political affiliation. I chose programs that were on during the day because they are less opinion oriented and more geared towards sharing the story of what has happened today. That does not mean that personal opinions or the opinion of the network does not show up during the day, in fact the way the same story was presented between both channels was interesting.
I decided to focus on three main areas for my observation: sharing the news story versus sharing opinions, differences in who the hosts consider to be to blame for negative news stories, and finally the number of stories that were covered by both programs.
In the morning show called Fox & Friends the hosts are sitting on a couch and face the camera while sitting in a sort of half circle so that they can interact with each other as well.
There are three hosts on this program, two men and one woman. This program is considered to be Republican based, and is more heavily supported by conservatives in America. One thing I noticed on this program but didn’t catch at least in the hour I was watching MSNBC was the mention of other news stations in a negative way. I could not completely tell what they meant but they said that “this is not being reported by the folks at CNN or MSNBC” but the story itself was only mentioned once and not given more detail.
The story itself was about a democratic congresswoman named Ilhan Omar talking negatively about Israel, but during the hour-long program they did not show her speaking or a quote directly.
Another thing that I noticed when watching this program was the framing of the stories as mostly being positive for President Trump. This was definitely in contrast to what I saw on MSNBC during a program called Morning Joe. This was also the most obvious contrast between the two programs was simply in whether or not the same story was a good thing or a bad thing for the President. When Fox and Friends was discussing the economy there was a belief that the economy is doing well and that the one responsible for that success is President Trump. The same discussion of the economy on Morning Joe did not put the entire blame on President Trump but instead focused on the ways that he could improve the economy. They did not talk positively about the president, but also seem to present more of the details of the story with a little bit less opinion. There was no mention of the democratic congresswoman Omar on Morning Joe. When I searched for this topic to try to understand more after my observation I noticed that the story itself was not very recent and that might explain why it was not covered on both programs.
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