David Westin -president of ABC(US) News- writes an editorial in todays Wall Street Journal entitled "Caveat Vendor". In the article Mr Westin discusses the changing environment of news feeds, and the undeniable fact that Newspapers and the Evening News telecasts are slowly losing readers and viewers.
Why is it that fewer people are getting their news from our major newspapers or from the broadcast evening news? It's certainly not because they've lost their value. Even with the declines we're seeing, both newspapers and evening newscasts still remain dominant news providers for many millions of Americans. Eight out of 10 Americans read at least one newspaper over the course of a week; more than half of all adults read a newspaper every day of the week. Nearly 100 million Americans watch at least one broadcast evening news program every week, and about 25 million watch every night.
And I don't think anyone can claim that the drop-off in newspaper circulation or evening news viewership is because of some decline in overall interest in the news. The fact that there are fewer Americans reading the Washington Post or watching World News Tonight with Peter Jennings doesn't tell us anything about the overall appetite of our audiences for news and information. To the contrary, over the past decade we've seen an explosion in the number of news outlets in this country -- from cable news channels to the Internet to more local television covering the news. We wouldn't have had this explosion unless there was an appetite out there for the news and information being provided.
No, the issue isn't that the size of the news pie is shrinking. If anything, it's growing. But it is being sliced into smaller and smaller pieces. And the primary reason is simple: convenience. People don't want to wait for their news, and they certainly don't want it to be out of date. They never have. A generation ago, we saw the virtual death of the evening newspaper in large part because people could get their news in the evening from television, which was putting the news report to bed minutes before broadcast, rather than several hours earlier.
Uh-huh. So the reason you are losing viewers is because people "don't want to wait" for the evening news? Interesting. Despite the fact that ABC and the WSJ have online versions of what they run on the evening news and the daily newspaper, the reason they are losing viewers is because Americans are impatient when it comes to their news sources.
This may be true to a degree, and there is no denying that the internet has greatly expanded the number of sources one can get news from. But there is something that has turned people away from the regular news sources, and this is where we get our compare and contrast for the day.
Perhaps you have heard of the recent scandal from NewsWeek-
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Newsweek magazine on Sunday said it may have erred in a May 9 report that said U.S. interrogators desecrated the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, and apologized to victims of deadly violence sparked by the article.
"May have erred"??? How about- "We really screwed up on this one, and our rush to denigrate the US Armed forces and the Bush administration using false and unverifiable information resulted in the deaths of 16 people and worse, has set back the progress the Administration had made in the Arab world."
What Mr Westin and the folks over at NewsWeek are apparently unable to recognize is that a majority of people elected Bush as our president. And as the press continues its Jihad against Bush and the Military, it is continually pushing away a large segment of the population by rushing to report the slightest offense perpetuated by either group. Our enemies in the Arab world are slicing peoples heads off while they are still alive, and instead of reporting on the numerous examples of these atrocities our own press is making up stories to harm the soldiers and the administrations reputations.
I'm afraid if you read the first article from the WSJ, you will notice that the press is unable to remove its head from its ass at this point, and look the truth in the face.
Roger Kimball has a question for those in the media wondering why they are losing audiences-
Why is it that all the stories you read in Time-Newsweek-The New York Times-The Washington Post-Etc. or see on CNN-The BBC-CBS-NBC-Etc., why is it that all their stories about Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, etc., why is it that the presumption, the prejudice, the predisposition never goes the other way? Why is it that their reporters always assume the worst: that we're doing dirty at Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., and are primed to pick up and believe any rumor damaging to the United States? Shakespeare knew that rumor was a “pipe/blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures,” not to be trusted. So why do these journalists, trained to sift evidence, to probe sources, to listen beyond the static of rumor: why do they only do so in one direction, so to speak? Yes, I know that's a self-answering question, at least in part, but it is worth pondering nonetheless.
Mr Westin, what do you think? Could it be more than just the increase in sources? Or are Americans increasingly frustrated by Media Enterprises who seem to continually side with our enemies?