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Diluted News

The main triumvirate of TV news and political coverage, Fox, MSNBC, and CNN have never impressed me. Before I became a news junkie, I spent a lot of time keeping these channels on in the background of my daily life, mostly as mindless entertainment. Although I truly enjoyed the 2010 election coverage from the exciting primaries to election day, I never learned much. It disappoints me that one of the most accessible, popular channels of information in our society provides little real education. The information is heavily partisan on most of the networks, with a  heavy focus on the American perspective. You can watch these channels day in and day out, and still remain ignorant of most important world news, not deemed sensational enough for the networks. The presence of celebrity news on supposed “hard-reporting” shows and mindless opining of pundits has a more degenerative effect on a viewers’ brain than anything else.

The networks’ final goal is ratings. This implies that the networks provide coverage of topics that the American public demands. Although I do think that much of our society has little concern or awareness of global events and the world outside North America, it is sad our news coverage does not seek to challenge its viewers. Why can’t the networks provide real global news coverage in a fashion accessible to the American public?

A more worrying trend is the growing presence of former and hopeful politicians on the news networks. In the right context, a former official can provide unique insight and commentary on the news. However, this is often not the case. An article in the NY Times yesterday talked about this trend and popular it is becoming.

Individuals like Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Chris Matthews, Harold E. Ford Jr., and Lou Dobbs have all expressed interest in launching political campaigns. They conveniently sit on the networks where they can use their positions as platforms to be in constant communication with voters. It’s interesting that these people supposedly have sincere political ambitions, but instead of doing anything to actually serve American society, they serve their own egos. I wish we would take the barbies, pundits, and politicians off the news networks and try to actually learn something.

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