Washington Square News

24-Hour News Is Ruining American Politics

By Thomas Price, Contributing Writer

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Despite living in the Age of Information, there has never been more ignorance, anger and polarization in the American political system than there is today. This is almost completely the fault of one aspect of American culture: the 24-hour news cycle. This phenomenon has quickly become the antithesis of honest reporting and real journalism. The networks that have popularized this format are home to a garbage fire of angry political pundits, excessive on screen graphics and extremely biased messages. Fox News, MSNBC and CNN have become far more of a detriment than a service to the medium of news and to the American people.

It is the job of those who present the news to report the top stories and provide vital updates to the nation every day in a straightforward and balanced manner. However, what these news networks have elected to do instead, is to draw strong opinions and biased rhetoric into their broadcasts and still somehow present it as news. This is a blatant manipulation of the trust placed in news outlets by the millions of Americans who use them as their main source of political information. These networks skew stories to their political leanings to pander to specific demographics and boost their ratings. As a cable channel, it is perfectly understandable to strive for profits — but they are not merely another cable channel.

As news organizations, they should hold themselves to a higher standard, yet it is clear to see that they have instead focused blindly on profits. These actions have been made at the expense of the unity of the nation. Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, the politics of our country have grown dangerously partisan. Channels have started to lean on more and more inflammatory rhetoric in an attempt to keep viewers watching. The significance of the story now takes a backseat to whatever minor detail a team of producers decides to make the most controversial. Over the course of the past few elections, many politicians have had their entire campaigns sunk by simply repeating themselves, sighing or even just yelling. To suggest any of these things are enough to destroy a campaign is erroneous and plainly false, but the cannibalistic nature in which the news networks have greedily consumed and reported these moments says otherwise.

Our nation has been split apart by an ever-growing political schism. And quite honestly, how could it have not been? Especially when millions of Americans tune in every night to watch a program in which one side will essentially beat the other close to proverbial death with contemptuous language, all the while calling itself a source of unbiased and legitimate news. This is the world that the 24-hour news cycle has produced — and it cannot be allowed to continue.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

Email Thomas Price at [email protected]

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “24-Hour News Is Ruining American Politics”

  1. Kelly Lane on September 16th, 2016 3:10 am

    Are you kidding? Please, tell me this opinion is a bad joke. While we get rid of he 24/7 news cycle, let’s also get rid of computers. And let’s return to buggies. Polio vaccines? Forget ’em. You suggest the impossible. Nice effort, but you might as well have written about why sand is a solid. That would’ve been more useful.

  2. Ryan Town on September 16th, 2016 1:17 pm

    Hey Kelly Lane, please tell me your comment is a bad joke. You provided no sound analysis to move the discussion further and only belittled the author. How about you learn the basics of debate and then get back to us before you start spewing nonsense again.

  3. Jeremy Marsh on September 16th, 2016 1:22 pm

    Hello Ms Lane,
    Do you have any legitimate criticisms of this article? It appears to me you did not even read the article nor understand it. I hope we can keep the comments section civil and discuss the work of Mr Price in a polite way.

  4. J Stewart on September 17th, 2016 2:45 pm

    Very thoughtful analysis by Mr. Price. I am impressed with his depth of knowledge on the role of the media in politics. I think, however, in a country that honors free speech and has a free-market economy, it may be hard to curtail the 24 hour news cycle and its influence on political campaigns. I agree with the comment above by Mr. Marsh in that we need to promote civil discourse in all aspects of American free speech. Thank you both for posting.

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