International Press Corps
H. Frank Carey HS
Fox News Channel (FNC), usually referred to as Fox or Fox News, is a major American cable news and satellite channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a holding of News Corporation. As of April 2009, it is available to a hundred and two million households in the United States (US) and, further, to viewers internationally in over forty other countries. The channel was launched in October of 1996 to seventeen million cable subscribers. The network rose to prominence in the later 1990s. In terms of regular viewers, Fox News rates as the number one cable news network in the US. 1 The trademarked slogan, "Fair & Balanced,” has been used in conjunction with the phrase “Real Journalism.” In 2008, FNC used the "We Report, You Decide" slogan, which was the original slogan for reporting political material.2
In May 1985, Rupert Murdoch, an Australian publisher, announced that he and Marvin Davis, American industrialist and philanthropist, intended to develop "a network of independent stations as a fourth marketing force" to compete directly with Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).3 With the success of this fourth network effort in the US, it was publicized in 1996 that News Corporation would be launching a twenty-four-hour news channel to air on both cable and satellite systems as part of a "worldwide platform" for Fox programming. FNC produces a news website featuring the latest coverage, including video clips from the television division and audio clips from Fox News Radio. "Fox News Alert" was also created, which interrupts regular programming when a breaking news story arises.4
Many critics have charged FNC of encompassing a bias towards the right of the political spectrum. FNC has reacted against allegations of bias with saying that Fox News has "given room to both sides, whereas only one side had it before." There is an accurate distinction between FNC news coverage and editorial programming.5 Fox News programming is objective and not to be linked with its other programming which is primarily editorial and opinion journalism.
FNC primetime ratings were up 23% in March 2009, compared with the same period a year before. FNC programs held all ten positions for cable news with an overall increase of 33% in viewers this past June.6 For primetime television, FNC is ranked number six of all cable networks, outdoing Cable News Network (CNN) and Microsoft National Broadcasting Company (MSNBC) ratings combined. 7
In the early stages of the Iraq conflict, FNC saw a large growth in its ratings. According to some reports, at the height of the conflict, it saw a three hundred percent increase in viewers, average over three million a day. In the wake of the North Korean Missile Crisis and the 2006 Lebanon War, FNC saw a surge in viewers and has remained the number one rated cable news channel. Fox News has been, and will remain true to one of its trademark slogans, “The Most Powerful Name in News.”8