The following essay will deal with a discussion of Fox News’ coverage and if they fail meeting their responsibility as a news channel to provide the audience with proved and correct facts. In recent days especially but already throughout the past decades the U.S. news channel Fox has been blamed for putting facts a wrong way in their reports. Looking at the history this refurbishment of information is deeply rooted. The conservative american channel with their headquarter located in New York was founded in 1996 and is nowadays the most seen news channel in america with an audience of around 1.2 million people per day. Former consultant of the republican party Roger Ailes was announced as the CEO. However, Fox News adorned themselves with the slogans ´Fair and balanced´ and ´We report. You decide´ that indicate a coverage based on a neutral position. However, a survey published by the Rasmussen reports in 2007 collected the following data: What you can read from this chart is an by competitors (ABC,CBS,NBC) unbeaten 31 percentage of people that have the opinion that Fox News’ has a conservative bias. The following paragraphs will content of two examples of Fox News’ reports.
After the Charlie Hebdo Shooting and the ensuing taking of hostages that have lasted from the 7th January to the 9th 2015 in Paris, on the FOX News broadcast of the 11th of January, Steven Emerson was reporting about so called 'no-go-zones' in Europe and especially in Paris and in Birmingham.
This zones Steven Emerson describes like following: “And they’re places where the governments, like France, Britain, Sweden, Germany - they don’t exercise any sovereignty, so you basically have zones where Sharia courts are set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where police don’t go in.“ Furthermore he described Birmingham as a no-go area for non-muslims, which is not visited by people with other religions.
But these zones doesn't exist in reality and so he got a response from british Prime Minister David Cameron, who called him “a total idiot” and got mocked by twitter users after informing about wrong facts.
Emerson later issued an apology on his website, where he wrote amongst others: “I have clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry. My comments about Birmingham were totally in error. And I am issuing this apology and correction for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham.”
In addition he stated that there is no excuse for a mistake like this: “I do not intend to justify or mitigate my mistake by stating that I had relied on other sources because I should have been much more careful. There was no excuse for making this mistake and I owe an apology to every resident of Birmingham.”
Moreover the Parisean mayoress Anne Hidalgo gave her statement to this broadcast on the 20th of January. She thinks that the Parisean government have to go to court and to sue in order to have this words removed.
Not only Steven Emerson excused himself, different reporter were giving excuses in live TV as well. "Over the course of this last week we have made some regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe," Fox News host Jeanine Pirro said on Saturday's “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” a week after Steve Emerson, made those claims on her show.
Furthermore Julie Banderas, who is an American anchor for FOX News told their audience: “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country, and no credible information to support the assertion there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion. There are, certainly, areas of high crime in Europe, as there are in the United States and other countries, where police and visitors enter with caution.“
All of this reveals that FOX News were giving a totally wrong coverage to their audience.
In the end one has to come to the conclusion that Fox News’ fails to allocate well proved facts to their audience and therefore also misses their responsibility as a news channel. Nowadays in a world where news are mostly spread on the internet the craving for sensation and the pressure to be the first to report about the latest changes in the world created the so called ‚Infotainment’. Especially Fox uses this form of reporting to attract as many watchers of their news shows as possible in order to maximize their profit. The loss of this fast living world is that often the need to prove facts and state this in the right way are forgotten.
• http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/21/media/anne-hidalgo-fox-news-lawsuit/ (Parisean mayor interview)