Contemporary News Programs: A Critique

The increasing competition amongst various television networks has led to the emergence of programs that discuss more soft news, which is defined as lifestyle and appealing gossip stories instead of legitimate societal problems.

The increased prevalence of soft news shows is an alarming feature of the modern news telecasts, which tend to be slightly informative and biased.

Topics such as the latest fashion trends and celebrities’ personal lives are discussed on popular news networks such as ABC and NBC. to further reel the viewers in.

I have noticed that typically morning news shows, such as “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show” have become more focused on entertaining the audience rather than informing them of important issues across the globe.

This entertainment is derived from discussion about Congress members’ controversial personal lives, dressing styles, and even how their facial expressions may reveal their political inclinations.

Also, many news programs now have exclusive Twitter or Facebook pages where viewers can post comments and ask questions.

The tweets of a few extremely fortunate individuals will then be broadcasted during the program to be commented on.

This is clearly an effective participation technique meant to attract viewers. To me, this is analogous to a lottery system where one buys a ticket in the form of a tweet, and then follows the program for the sake of a reward—the recitation of that tweet.

Apparently, CNN.com deems it appropriate (and frankly, necessary) to post the following “top stories” on their main page, “World’s Ugliest Dog Dies,” “Mom: Get ‘yes’ text before sex,” and “Hunter nabs 772 lb. bear.”

While these stories may be humorous, they do not inform the American public of any kind of legitimate domestic or international occurrences that can affect our lives significantly.

Not only does this discourage political participation amongst young adults, but it also bears negative consequences for the national intelligence level.

In other words, such news stories make us stupider. Ironically enough, there is a major competition going on right now regarding the intellect of the American youth where the U.S. is competing with major world powers to make its young adults more knowledgeable.

One way to do this is standardized tests (or so thinks the federal government). Another possibility is to feature legitimate news stories.

In order to truly remain well informed, Americans must sort through the enormous amounts of information that they are surrounded by and discover the reality behind every piece of so-called news.

Rather than always following one particular news channel, viewers should try and receive news from various media outlets that have different views.

This approach may even present a variety of issues, which in turn will help viewers decipher between the bias and the facts of a particular perspective.

Go read a gossip magazine or turn on “E! News” for your dose of soft news. Hear that ABC?