The Transition of Media in Recent Times
The Transition of Media in Recent Times
A gradual change seems to be taking place in the media industry. News that captures the world’s attention now bears less meaning among some of the U.S. news media. Of interest, is to give local news more airtime and international coverage a slight push backstage. Foreign news has evolved into a corner subject especially any that does not directly affect the American citizens. Without holding the viewer’s attention to any distant nation, any foreign event that would bear coverage becomes exceptionally difficult to cover. This is even worse during a seemingly peaceful time when a greater shift to local news is made.
A history into the United States’ news coverage would support this claim (Ginsberg, 2002). Back in 1991, the proportion of network exposure to foreign affairs shown by ABC, NBC and CBS clocked at 51 percent, half of it revolving around the Persian Gulf War. Six years later, it dropped to 20 percent and poised at that level until September 11as per the Center for Media and Public Affairs. Tyndall Report stated that diplomatic and international news dropped by greater than half in a period of ten years from 1990. Newspapers are not exempted either, 2 percent outside news dedication according to American Society of Newspaper Editors in the late 1990s (Associated Press, 2010).
However, this change was only different after the September 11 attacks. Magazines, newspapers and U.S. networks literally tussled to propel their journalists overseas. A rush to find out why the bombing happened took place within the blink of an eye. Earlier coverage possibly would not have made any tangible difference, but it could have served as an alert. The costs would have been significantly cut had the nation constantly covered the foreign happenings before the catastrophe struck. Well does that mean that local news is better to report than any global happening? That seems to be the case with regard to Fox news, as Media Research Center found out.
Tim Graham exemplified this by mentioning that an American perspective of things is all that matters most to Fox. It would rather report on fewer bad news on Iraq than scandals making headlines among celebrities. Less content about the bombings and war in the Middle East would earn a soft spot in the Republican hearts. More discussions are generated about music artists, actors, billboard models than a turn around in war in Iraq. Being a news network, it would be quite surprising when big global topics are not frequently broadcasted. Therefore, it does make a huge difference where the source for any hot news bulletin is generated. This is reflected in findings of Mark Jurkowitz in the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
In 2006, bomb explosions led to the murder of an estimated 34000 civilians at a university in Iraq (Bauder, 2007). CNN and MSNBC spent quite some time reporting about it. On that day, Fox News Channel did not mention anything related to it. Previously, MSNBC used up twice as much time as Fox did on the war in Iraq. Daytime news showed a greater difference as compared to opinion shows. Democratic presidential aspirants cared little to show up at debates promoted by Fox. A debate is thus generated as to whether ideology prompts news agendas. Repeated attempts to gather any executive’s views on the war coverage did not bear any fruit. It was not by mere coincidence that they just failed to report about the war.
On the other hand, a balance has been reached pertaining to the war coverage. It would appear that Fox aired stories about achievements in Iraq than any other station. As compared to CNN and MSNBC, Tim Graham would say that what was blown up received better treatment. Indeed, it appears that a portion of the public opposes the idea of bad news. That is where Fox news gets a higher opinion. A business interested in generating less pessimistic news about Iraq. A Republican dominated news agency would demand a reduced quantity of combat affairs out of disgust for the war. Whether it tears away on the credibility of journalists, this would be regarded as a trivial issue.
Covering war leads to an emotional fortitude, uses many resources and requires a huge portion of luck. Even still, peace is much harder to cover as it does not motivate the ears of the listeners nor does it steer headlines for long. Instead, alternatives have to be made to solve such a dilemma. A relentless pursuit for the truth on the world scene handed many media houses burdens to bear without returns. Time magazine gathered back some of its foreign reporters while ABC News closed down 10 of 17 bureaus. Foreign stories would get more attention in countries outside the United States than within the country. In severe cases, world wrap-ups in news reports would take just a minute with seconds counting down to their completion (Associated Press, 2010).
With the evolving of the internet, this would mean a shortage of conventional foreign coverage as it acts as a medium for international news delivery. Video services were expanded to allow the closing down of more bureaus for Associated Press and Reuters. On a large scale, new sources were also established on cable TV such as National Geographic and BBC. This faded off the popular sources for the masses of U.S. viewers and readers. Even at a time of the Rwanda genocide, ABC bureaus still evacuated from the sites. The interest of media in the world would soon dwindle. Thus, the face of media industry today is a complete turnaround in coverage.
Associated Press. (2010). We Ignored Paris. New York, NY: The Associated Press.
Bauder, D. (2007). War takes up less time on Fox News. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/2007-06-11-1175347337_x.htm
Ginsberg, T. (2002). Rediscovering the World. Retrieved from http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=2443