Tag Archives: cable

News is Entertainment… Editorial by Alex Chow

How important is news? News keeps us informed of the changing of events, issues and characters that provide citizens information to make the best possible decision about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments. Even though news is factual and boring, people still keep abreast of news as they take it as a responsibility. When people have the right to vote and obligation to pay taxes, they will feel this responsibility. Who could be appropriate representative of them, how taxes are spent and so on, news helps them to figure out these questions. The government is the keeper of the powers while journalism is the guardian of the powers that prevent the misuse of powers. However, the guardian goes astray since people do not care about boring news.

“Everybody wants to be entertained by the news,” says Todd Gitlin, a professor of sociology and journalism in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. It is hardly surprising that people prefer entertaining news like ‘The Daily Show’ than a serious and in-depth news report.

Fox "News"?... Channels like Fox have more opinion pieces for entertainment than actual news
Fox “News”?… Channels like Fox have more opinion pieces for entertainment than actual news. Photo by: Washingtonian

People are intellectually lazy, they are reluctant to investigate any issue; rather, they are eager to be told something as simple and interesting as a joke. Media will lose audience, unless they turn news into entertainment. News should reveal the truth, sadly truth does not matter now, only fun is important. According to the Pew Research Center, 10 % of ‘The Daily Show’ viewers are watching the half-hour show for its news headlines, 2% for in-depth reporting and 43% for entertainment. Obviously, a soaring number of people care entertainment more than facts.

Moreover, media is a business, and the purpose of news is making money more than exposing the corruption. To be honest, running a news site costs a lot of money, and when corruption can no longer catch people attention, the media has to change their strategy such as making entertaining news.

Media tycoons... Station owners like Fox's Rupert Murdoch control vast amounts of the news
Media tycoons… Station owners like Fox’s Rupert Murdoch control vast amounts of the news. Photo by: Forbes

More entertaining the news is, more audience they have, more advertisements they get and more money they earn. Fox news is known as entertaining news, and Fox is Basic Cable’s Most-Watched Network for 17 Months, and has far more audience than other serious news. Fox News is ‘successful’ as it has a considerable revenue, whereas a news channel that exposes corruption cannot be defined as successful.

Also, the media tycoons themselves may share the same interests with certain politicians. These tycoons could be part of the corruption, so how could you expect them to reveal their tactics? They cannot get much viewership anyway. If they keep exposing corruption between the government and big companies, the big companies will not be stupid enough to subsidise an enemy. Speaking of profit, news should be entertaining instead of exposing corruption that nobody cares so as to be profitable.

What is going on in the society? Corruption is becoming untraceable since the news is trying to cover it instead of exposing it. Politicians work for the big companies instead of the citizens, they vote according to the orders from their ‘boss’. News is no longer a news, people are entertained and fooled at the same time, and the government is corrupting is due to the civic ignorance.