A new era in news media was initiated on June 1, 1980, when Ted Turner established CNN with the objective to telecast news 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This new idea did not catch on in the beginning, and the company took a hit financially. Some called it “Chicken Noodle Network,” but Turner’s determination and money kept it going.

Until the time of the Persian Gulf War, the main sources of news nationally were the three major networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, which aired the news every evening. The competition for ratings was mostly among these three networks.

But the culture of receiving and telecasting the news from different news outlets changed dramatically in January 1991. It was at that fateful moment when a contingent of reporters from CNN took up residence in a hotel in Baghdad to report live action of the war to a mesmerized audience in the U.S.

Live video of the war was being aired through the satellite with dramatic reporting by CNN journalists, who were at the same time trying to avoid being killed by a stray bomb. This action-thriller was watched by millions of Americans all over the nation, and overnight, CNN became the main news channel, leaving its competition in the dust.

During the Vietnam War in the 1960s, journalists reported news from the battlefield as well, but by the time it was aired, it had already became an old item. First the news item was filmed; audio was incorporated, edited, censored and then flown to the U.S. via Japan. Even then, the daily barrage of tragedies of war shown on television immensely swayed public opinion in the country.

Since this first chapter in the history of live television with 24 hours of news reporting, things have changed in the character and attitude of the people who are responsible for running these news channels. The temperament of news anchors and their producers has changed, so that there is less news and more opinions. Almost every personality on these news channels has become like a spin doctor.

During President Barack Obama’s tenure, Fox News had the highest rating because of its programs, which were in opposition to that government, and now CNN has better ratings due to its opposition to the present administration. The sad reality is that whoever makes the reporting of the news more vindictive wins the ratings game.

All this rancor in 24-hour news has created a misfortune that will affect millennials the most. Nobody is reading the newspaper anymore, and one by one they are vanishing due to financial loss that they cannot endure anymore. Almost all the time, newspapers vet and scrutinize whatever news they print. Most of the stories in the newspaper are news, and a small portion of its stories are opinion columns.

If one has to learn about the news, then it is better to read a newspaper than to listen to a show on a 24-hour news channel, as this will make one more literate than indulging in drama.

(7) comments

jwhamann

Funny he didn’t mention cable tv.

DickD

Say what you want about fake news and the all news channels, but it was very interesting the other day when MSNBC was discussing all the lies our POTUS has said about the affairs he had. They played one tape where Trump said one thing and then another tape where he was lying the first time or this time. Naturally, all of the investigators are looking at the foolish remarks our President is saying too. And he is using Faux News and Hannity for his lies to be disseminated.

des21

I do loathe the constant bombardment of often scurrilous and nonsensical "information" (as well as the Braves) that TT set loose on us but i must admit i was transfixed watching video of the first Gulf War on CNN. (Also, following the fall of the Soviet Union in real time was something else.) Like most things, a mixed blessing.

Mickey7

Fair and balanced? I think what we need is factual documented news. Fox News is responsible for fake news.

jsklinelga

Syed,
This is one of the best columns I have seen for awhile. Personally I cannot watch cable news. Objectivity has surrendered to commercialism. I tried to listen to Meet the Press Sunday but switched it off within a minute. Unfortunately newspapers are being forced to follow similar paths simply to survive. Let us hope someone in the near future will recognize the economic possibilities and actual present "fair and balanced news." Then others will be forced to follow.

bnick467

Jsklinelga, I wish for the same thing. But unfortunately, people don't want "fair and balanced", people want news that bolster their own stance on the issues. Fair and balanced news would present facts that might conflict with their views and force them to reconsider their position. The vast majority of the public tends to reject facts that points out the flaws in their views, that's why the term "FAKE NEWS" has become so popular recently.

olefool

Isn't it odd that we never had "fake news" until we had a fake president?

Maybe we could learn from history: On the night of February 27-28, 1933, a mentally disabled Dutch citizen set fire to the German parliament building (the Reichstag). Hitler and his propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, presented the incident as the prelude to an armed Communist uprising and persuaded the aging President Paul von Hindenburg to establish what became a permanent state of emergency. This decree, known as the Reichstag Fire Decree, suspended the provisions of the German constitution that protected basic individual rights, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. The decree also permitted increased state and police intervention into private life, allowing officials to censor mail, listen in on phone conversations, and search private homes without a warrant or need to show reasonable cause. Under the state of emergency established by the decree, the Nazi regime could arrest and detain people without cause and without limits on the length of incarceration. https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005686

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