TV News Decline: Fake It and Audiences Will Flee
"Broadcast Evening Newscasts Lose More than 1 Million Viewers in Past Year," reports a headline at TVNewser.
Mark Tapscott takes up the theme at Beltway Confidential:
Employee layoffs and publication closings among daily newspapers gets most of the coverage as the legacy media continues its decline, but the same trend is evident in the numbers for the three broadcast network evening news programs.
TVNewser reports that more than a million former viewers stopped watching NBC News Brian Williams, ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, and CBS News Katie Couric during the second quarter of 2010, compared to the same quarter last year. The total losses by network were 440,000 for NBC, 260,000 for ABC, and 340,000 for CBS.
The big networks are failing their viewers in at least two ways.
First, increasingly they are no longer reporting news. The networks have rejected the mainstream of journalism in which reporters are expected, in a fair, blalanced, and accurate way, to marshall facts in support of stories about crucial events and happenings around town and around the world. Instead of news and a passion for facts, we have propaganda and passion for ideology.
Second, increasingly they are no longer supporting freedom. The major broadcast networks have rejected the mainstream principles of freedom as set forth so well in the Declaration of Independence and then safe-guarded governmentally in the U.S. Constitution.
Therefore, the unspoken and hidden premise of so much "coverage" is that of the superiority of the secularized and centralized state over against the individual and, ultimately, over against any rival entity that challenges the power, authority, and supremacy of the new savior masked as government.
Unfortunately for the networks (but good for us), human beings are created for objectivity, truth, and dignity. The same Creator who has created all people equally (of the same high ontological worth and significance) has also endowed us with a drive for truth and for holistic decision-making and personal commitment based on truth.
Therefore, a people hungry for real information (from toothpaste to technology to theology) resists pretend journalism, fake reporting, and distortion directed toward "change" instead of a fair treatment of the facts at hand.
And, therefore, yes, the door is open for a Fox News -- and for any journalistic outlet that knows something about the difference between fact and opinion and which respects the God-given intelligence and dignity of thinking minds keeping an eye on what ABC, CBS, and NBC are up to.
Instead of a "field of dreams," the networks have created a broadcast "field of schemes." And as audiences observe what the formerly mainstream media have built, they are turning away. They are deciding one by one that the real game in town is at another ballpark, one where real professionals play by the rules.