Monday, September 12, 2016

MEDIA IN AMERICA

In the face of changing market trends and new competition, traditional media outlets struggle to maintain their journalistic integrity, while competing for viewers at the same time. As a result, news consumers need to actively read a wide range of sources to get a complete picture or important issues impacting our society. 

Image result for newspaper endorsementsAlthough still coveted by some candidates, endorsements by leading newspapers do not carry the same prestige as in the past. Given the more convenient and cheaper avenues to acquire news content, newspapers struggle to maintain relevance with consumers. Some do prefer the feel of a newspaper, the majority of the market prefer digital and televised coverage, alleviating the daily clutter, eco impact, and cost of a newspaper subscription. In response, the quality of some previous prestigious newspapers diminished as the focus now is simply hold the fort. 

Image result for newsThe news market is big business. Despite the clear gap is actual knowledge about important topics and issues, the average person wants to appear informed. To some degree. There are new media outlets catering to the need to be informed, with some changes to make it more convenient. Additionally, the need to entertained leads to popular night shows featuring comedians making puns of national headlines, without providing any constructive discussion on topics. Entertaining, but viewers of this content tend to get their mind blown upon substantive discussions with Fox or CNN viewers. 

Reverting to above, newspapers and early news broadcast once provided comprehensive objective content, which despite personal biases of the writer and editorial, met its responsibility of informing the public and vetting the public sector. Now consumers need to expand their horizons in order to get a comprehensive viewpoint. Despite claims, Fox News does a good job of providing quality journalism and separating opinion, which does tend to lean in favor of Republicans. Contrary, CNN and MSNBC struggle to separate opinion writing from it journalism, CNN doing better than MSNBC.

Media outlets can and should be able to provide opinions of editorial boards and objectively cover issues. The problem lies when writers or anchors put together content pushing a message rather than collecting facts and reporting a story derived from those facts. While Fox is the clear market leader, it is easier for them to maintain quality reporting during the day and on the web, leaving the messaging to the nightly talking heads. But, many other stations feel the need to push a message and collect only the facts supporting it, which does allow them to compete with opinion focused providers and the pseudo news. 

One cannot rely on one source alone. If you watch Fox, tune into CNN occasionally and vice versa. If you watch MSNBC, rethink your life choices. Brit Hume once pointed out that reporting can still be useful journalism as long as the reader understands the biases contained. All reporting contains some biases, so it best serves the public to diversify the content.