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FOX News

The neutrality of this article is disputed.

The FOX News Channel is a 24-hour news channel launched in 1996 on United States cable and satellite networks as well as in syndication. It is available to 80 million subscribers in the U.S. and broadcasts primarily out of its studios in New York City.

Launched on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers, the nascent network quickly rose to prominence in the late 1990s as it started taking market share away from the Cable News Network (CNN). It has since surpassed CNN to become the number one news channel in the United States (FOX News also competes with the third-place cable news channel, MSNBC). FOX News Channel asserts that it is less biased and more factual than other American networks, using promotional statements such as "fair and balanced" and "we report, you decide". Their commentators argue that other news channels are dominated by a liberal bias. Many liberals and rival media organisations accuse FOX News of having a conservative bias and of pushing agendas rather than reporting the news in a neutral manner.

The FOX News Channel was launched just three months after MSNBC went on the air. Even though they began broadcasting around the same time, FOX News has attracted a large and growing viewership, while MSNBC remains in a distant third place among the three U.S. cable news channels.

Like the rest of FOX, it is owned by Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. It is a sister channel to Sky News, which is based in the United Kingdom.

The CEO, Chairman, and President of FOX News is Roger Ailes, formerly a political strategist for Presidents Nixon and Reagan. Previously, Ailes ran the CNBC network for the NBC network and produced campaign TV commercials for Republican political candidates. His work for former President Richard M. Nixon was chronicled in the book The Selling of the President: 1968 by Joe McGinniss. Managing editor Brit Hume is a contributor to the conservative American Spectator and Weekly Standard.

Several FOX News anchors have expressedly partisan conservative backgrounds. Daytime anchor David Asman previously worked at the The Wall Street Journal editorial page and the Manhattan Institute, a conservative thinktank. Sunday host Tony Snow is a conservative columnist and former chief speechwriter for the first Bush administration. Critics contend that the level of political partisanship is higher among FOX News employees than among those of its competitors.

FOX News on Television

Every hour from 9AM to 3PM Eastern Time, the FOX News Channel broadcasts Fox News Live providing a wide-ranging assortment of hard news, guest analysts, and interviews. In primetime, the network presents a slew of personality-driven news-talk shows such as Special Report With Brit Hume, hosted by political reporter Brit Hume from Washington, D.C. The network bills The Fox Report With Shepard Smith as the signature evening newscast, offering various reports on the day's events hosted by Shepard Smith. The network's top-rated show is The O'Reilly Factor, hosted by the opinionated journalist Bill O'Reilly. In addition, conservative Sean Hannity and moderate Alan Colmes, both radio talk show hosts, debate political issues of the day on Hannity & Colmes.

The network syndicates Fox News Sunday hosted by Tony Snow to Fox Network affiliates across the United States. From time to time, FOX News also produces a newsmagazine show for its Fox affiliates called The Pulse.

The channel is now available internationally, but unlike CNN's international service it tends to concentrate on domestic issues which might be seen as less newsworthy outside North America.

Criticism of FOX News

The channel has come under heavy criticism for claiming to be "fair and balanced" and announcing "we report, you decide" while allegedly putting a conservative slant on news. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a left-leaning media watchdog group, put together a report, Fox: The Most Biased Name in News, that lays out evidence of this purported bias.

FOX News has been accused of placing an undue emphasis on conservative news stories. Some critics state that the network sometimes dedicates whole segments and shows to conservative stories they feel have been downplayed. Reporters are also claimed to take time off to look for stories that are explicitly conservative or place liberals in a bad light. Some critics say that management asks these reporters to make stories more conservative.

A report in the Los Angeles Times newspaper on November 1, 2003, quoted Charlie Reina, a Fox News producer for six years, saying that Fox News executives require the network's on-air anchors and reporters to cover news stories from a right-wing viewpoint.

A Fox spokesman called Reins' remarks the "rantings of a disgruntled former employee."

Fox and their supporters, however, contend that what left-leaning observers like FAIR and the Los Angeles Times perceive as a conservative bias is, in fact, lack of a liberal bias. Pointing to items such as this 1997 American Society of Newspaper Editors' survey [1] in which 61 percent of journalists responding identified themselves as "Liberal/Democrat (or) leaning that way", and the book Bias by former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg, they claim that a left-wing prejudice permeates the 'mainstream' media. Consequently, they say, Fox is perceived as being 'right of center' only because they are not 'left of center'.

Fox and its supporters also point to programs such as Hannity and Colmes as an example of the network's "balance." On that program, Sean Hannity, a conservative radio talk-show host debates Alan Colmes, who fills the liberal seat although he is quite moderate and centrist on most issues. .

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