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It is said that anything that has a beginning will inevitably come to an end. This premise is one of the only things that is guaranteed for any person, place or thing in the known universe. Although I would have never guessed that we would see the end come for something as enveloped in today’s society as mainstream media. Big time news networks like CNN, FOX, and MSNBC have all been victims of a downward spiral in both content quality and ratings within the last decade. Presentation of biased opinions, partial information, and over-all edited versions of the truth have spear headed this downward spike in viewers for major news networks. A few months ago, a Knight Foundation and Gallup poll was released stating Americans trust in these news networks was at an all-time low. In addition to the kamikaze-like internal dilemmas of mainstream media today, there are a few outside factors playing a role in its downfall as well.
Our Number One Contender...the Internet
The Internet, in the twenty years it has existed, has proven to be a worthy contender in the distribution of information. In all actuality, given the fact that today’s smartphones pretty much allow us to carry around a computer in our back pocket, a person would have no problem staying up to date with current events without ever laying their eyes on a televised news broadcast. Platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and even Vocal, all have the potential to relay both national and global scale news. Combine these platforms with interesting personalities who provide interesting content, like Joe Rogan or Jason A, and you have the formula for the system that makes mainstream news ratings look like a local audience. The internet is also more effective in reaching a wider audience due to the fact that once the content is uploaded it remains up forever, for any random Eric to stumble upon at any given time. Long form discussion and the freedom for people to state their “two cents” in the comment section, also adds more benefit that mainstream news just can’t compete with.
All the Politics
Even if we were to completely disregard the effects the web has had on mainstream news, there are plenty of points and procedures carried out by these networks on a daily basis that fuel the fire. One example being the biased agendas constantly presented to us every single night. A major cause in the reason we, the American people, are finding it harder and harder to trust mainstream news networks at all. Take election time for instance, have you ever flipped between news channels during the presidential race? Watch Fox News and you’ll hear all about how the left is full of no good socialist snakes. Then switch to CNN and you get endless rants on how the right is full of a bunch of corrupt tyrants. This leaves me personally at some-what of a crossroads…. This situation seems to present us with only three scenarios that could be true.
- Option 1: Only one of the two sides is lying, which would be a gross misuse of power and those responsible should be prosecuted.
- Option 2: Both of the networks are lying, which would make the idea of freedom of the press the equivalent to a joke that really isn’t funny.
- Or option 3: Both networks are distributing actual facts, which means the people who run this country are all types of jacked up!
It feels safe to agree that best-case scenario would be that only one of these two sides is lying, that is by every means still one too many. Both national and global news should be presented without any bias or at least as little bias as possible; that way people can process the information and decide for themselves how they feel about what it is they have seen. Another prime example is the presentation of upcoming amendments up for vote. Instead of informing the citizens about the amendments with a “say yes to 6” or “vote no for 3,” why can’t they just give us all the information on all the upcoming amendments and let us decide for ourselves how we are going to carry out our votes? We the people should not be manipulated into voting a certain way; this would defeat the core fundamentals this once great nation was built upon.
A Problem for Everyone
This relentless abuse of power affects the lives of hundreds of millions of people, some more so than others. The former Harvard professor Jordan Peterson makes an excellent case for how deceptive mainstream news can be. Any consistent follower of his work would tell you he is a psychologist and motivational figure whose primary message is the importance of hard work, responsibility, and living a meaningful life. Yet the majority of his edited interviews attempt to portray him as some sort of figurehead for the tyrannical agenda of the male patriarchy. It’s honestly an insulting misrepresentation of the man’s character, a man who has most certainly brought more positive to the table than anything else. Although he is a good example he is just a single grain of sand on the beaches of people who have been falsely depicted by big time news networks. The corrupted agenda of these organizations affects more than us at home in the US, countries all over the world are victims of the same “mainstream misguidance.” It affects us not only politically but on a deeper level as well. In the wake of their steep decline in viewership, undoubtedly the producers had no choice to react. One way they went about doing so was by producing more stories that are chaotic or strike fear in people across the country. Stories that range from killer clowns pulling pranks, all the way to the actual apocalypse. Am I the only one who has a problem with NBC instilling fear into the public just to get a spike in ratings?
Within the Ashes
No news outlet should be allowed to twist the truth in order for it to fit their best interests. It is, without any doubt, that this abuse of power that has caused the death of what was once the primary source of obtaining information across the world. More people should be offended by the fact that these networks treat us as if we were completely incompetent. Day by day more and more people are becoming aware that mainstream news today does just as much bad as it does good. Although, there are still some good aspects of mainstream news, that makes it worth saving, or at least re-inventing. Regardless of all the shady…shady parts of these news networks they do play an important role as well. During natural disasters or global epidemics, CNN and FOX are probably the most heavily relied on networks for important updates and information. It is exactly because they are so heavily relied on for major events like these that absolutely no corruption or false information should be carried out by any means. Yet they continue to do so and thus the role these stations once played in society is being snuffed out, both internally and by external forces. Only time will tell how long before mainstream news networks are just a fragment of our past.