And they wonder why we do not take them seriously anymore?
Approximately 30 years ago, CNN hit the ground running as America’s first and only network devoted entirely to providing news on a 24 hour cycle. This was a monumental event that had “news junkies” clamoring at the bit. News programming had before only been offered in specific and limited time slots. Similarly, internet news was something that remained science fiction at the time. CNN was the only to offer this priceless service for an excess of 15 years.
Now, fast forward to the present. Today the number of media outlets have multiplied exponentially. With thousands of internet news sites and aggregates added to the mix the everyday options for news are endless. Many young people, particularly college students, have converted to newer formats of media for a variety of reasons.
The first format can be summed up with two popularly hyphenated words: “On-Demand”. Do you want to know who won the sports competition that concluded merely 5 minutes ago? Why even wait for the ticker on ESPN to make it way around to your team? You can access scores on your Smart-phone or computer in what amounts to real-time. Similarly, this instant data extends far beyond the reaches of standard media, offering a much greater variety of content and opinions.
Secondly, America’s youth have become appalled by the political polarization displayed and desired by their elder counterparts. A recent study done by Steve Sternberg and published in Variety Magazine revealed that the average age of the conservative Fox News Corporation viewer was in excess of 60 years. In an attempt to remain fair, the median age viewer of its liberal counterpart, NBC, did not clock in far behind at above 50. While these networks continue to act as though they are preaching to the entire choir, the fact remains that the youth have chimed out.
While it appears that the youth market resorts to web as their primary source of news, not all of television has been left abandoned by our generation. Comedians, such as John Stewart and Stephen Colbert have seized on our crazy political climate as a means to develop their current cult followings. This is quite logical in the sense that if you think the news being portrayed on traditional television outlets is ridiculous, you might as well laugh at it.
In 2009 Americans voiced this opinion in the form of a Time Magazine online poll that cemented John Stewart’s status as “America’s Most Trusted Newscaster.” This poll would have come as a shock, had Stewart note been voted 4th in a similar poll conducted by the Pew Research Center only two years prior.
What does this all mean?
To myself, it means that whether you live to the left, the right, or smack dab in the center, I implore you to stop letting the idiots that dominate the “mainstream media” ruin your day. The joke is on them. While they can hold demonstrations and sell hardcover memoirs, the truth is the truth. They are no longer the mainstream in “mainstream media.” Likewise, their audiences will be dead or in convalescent homes by the time your children are in college. So, take my advice. The next time someone approaches you with the same cable news rhetoric, do as you did with your great-grandmother as a child. Smile at them and say “of course I remember.” They will have no rebuttal, and Sanity will be Restored!
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