Stop watching cable news

May 19th, 2020 by Ken

Forty years ago next week, one of the most seminal moments of the late 20th Century changed the way Americans thought about their world.

June 1 will mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of CNN, the first of the 24-hour newscasts.  That was followed a few short years later by the creation of MSNBC and then Fox News.  Americans could get their news fix anytime they turned on their television at any hour of the day or night.

Hope was that people would become better informed and then better citizens.   It didn’t turn out that way.

Networks learned early on that while there may have been enough news happening all around the world, there wasn’t enough to keep the interest of the viewer longer than an hour or so.  Something more was needed.  And what was needed was context.

So, the 24-hour news networks added commentators, experts, specialists and just plain interesting people to the mix of news.  And, the news networks became less about news and more about the opinions of those commentators, experts, specialists and interesting people.

And, to get people to watch the news longer than an hour, those opinions began to stray from the middle-of-the-road, to the fringes of public thought.  And, as cream separates from milk, the networks began to echo the extreme opinions of Americans.

While the opinions became sharper and more pronounced, the news bureaus began to cover stories and events which echoed the views of its commentators, experts, specialists and just plain interesting people.

Now the public is no longer served strictly by 24-hour news, but by biases and opinions. based on what news stories best fit with the views of the commentators, experts, specialists and just plain interesting people.

If you want to be a better informed citizen, I have some advice for you.  STOP WATCHING CABLE NEWS.

Posted in Business, History, Informational, The Real News

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