A Nation Of Public Affairs Dummies?
Pew Research Center wouldn't put it so harshly. But the verdict appears to be YES!
Nonprofit fundraisers and communicators be aware of these findings as you craft cause-oriented appeals and messages. Don't aim too high!
Pew has just released a study indicating that most Americans cannot pass a basic test of our knowledge of public affairs.
Twenty-three questions were asked, ranging from “who's the VP?” (69% got it right) to “which party controls the House” (76% got it right) to “how many troops does President Bush want to add in Iraq” (61% correct) to “have both houses passed a minimum wage hike?” (24% correct).
Only eight people in an entire 1502 person sample got all 23 answers correct! The average number of correct answers was 12. Using 60% correct as the pass/fail mark, fully half failed.
Where do the best informed folks go most for their news? Fake news programs like Jon Stewart's “The Daily Show” and The Colbert Report”! Those who know the least watch things like network news.
And they say we get the leaders we deserve!
If you're a glutton for punishment, you can take an abbreviated version of the test Pew has posted online. Good luck!
Roger & Tom
P.S. Non-US readers, we can hear you chortling!