Is The Mainstream Media Dying?

CNN News Studio - Photo by DougRatings at CNN, MSNBC and Fox News have all been plummeting in recent years, and newspaper ad revenues are about a third of what they were back in the year 2000.  So is the mainstream media dying?  Despite what you may have heard, the mainstream media is certainly not completely dead just yet.  The average American watches approximately 153 hours of television a month, and as I pointed out in a previous article, about 90 percent of the “information” that is endlessly pumped into our heads through our televisions is controlled by just six gigantic media corporations.  However, there are a whole host of signs that things are changing – especially when it comes to news.  More Americans than ever are losing faith in the establishment-controlled media and are seeking out alternative sources of information.  Is this a trend that the big media companies are going to be able to reverse at some point?

For years, the “news business” has been dominated by CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.  But now all three channels are rapidly losing viewers.  According to a recently released Pew Research study, the number of prime time viewers for all three networks combined fell by 11 percent last year…

In 2013, the cable news audience, by nearly all measures, declined. The combined median prime-time viewership of the three major news channels—CNN, Fox News and MSNBC—dropped 11% to about 3 million, the smallest it has been since 2007. The Nielsen Media Research data show that the biggest decline came at MSNBC, which lost nearly a quarter (24%) of its prime-time audience. CNN, under new management, ended its fourth year in third place, with a 13% decline in prime time. Fox, while down 6%, still drew more viewers (1.75 million) than its two competitors combined (619,500 at MSNBC and 543,000 at CNN).

And the decline is far more dramatic when you look at just the key 25 to 54-year-old demographic.

From November 2012 to November 2013, CNN’s ratings for that demographic dropped by a staggering 59 percent, and MSNBC’s ratings for that demographic dropped by a staggering 52 percent.

Is this a sign that Americans are finally getting fed up with the endless propaganda being spewed by those establishment mouthpieces?

A recent survey conducted by a liberal polling firm would indeed seem to indicate that this is the case.  That survey found that only 6 percent of Americans consider MSNBC to be their most trusted source for news…

NBC News and sister cable network MSNBC rank at the bottom of media outlets Americans trust most for news, with Fox News leading the way, according to a new poll from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

In its fifth trust poll, 35 percent said they trusted Fox news more than any other outlet, followed by PBS at 14 percent, ABC at 11 percent, CNN at 10 percent, CBS at 9 percent, 6 percent for MSNBC and Comedy Central, and just 3 percent for NBC.

And of course it is not just the big mainstream news networks that are in decline.

A recently released Pew Research study discovered that the decline of America’s newspapers continued in 2013 as well…

The Newspaper Association of America has stopped compiling quarterly reports on advertising revenue. According to its annual numbers, which were released in April 2014, overall revenue for newspapers in 2013 was $37.6 billion, a decrease of 2.6% from 2012. Within that total, combined print and digital ad revenue decreased by 7%—to $20.7 billion.

Seven percent may not sound like much, but you have to realize that these declines have been happening year after year.  When you look back over a longer time frame, it really puts the massive decline that we have witnessed in advertising revenues in perspective

It took a half century for annual newspaper print ad revenue to gradually increase from $20 billion in 1950 (adjusted for inflation in 2013 dollars) to $65.8 billion in 2000, and then it took only 12 years to go from $65.8 billion in ad revenues back to less than $20 billion in 2012, before falling further to $17.3 billion last year.

Even when revenues from digital advertising and other categories described by the NAA as “niche publications, direct marketing and non-daily publication advertising” are added to print ad revenue (see red line in chart), the combined total revenues for print, digital and other advertising last year was still only $23.56 billion in 2013 dollars, which was the lowest amount of annual ad revenue since 1954, when $23.3 billion was spent on print advertising alone.

Yes, you read those numbers correctly.  As you can see from this chart, newspaper ad revenues are now about a third of what they were back in the year 2000.

That is not just a “shift” – that is a massive tsunami.

Needless to say, the big newspapers are quite distressed by all of this.

For example, “the Grey Lady” herself is essentially in a state of panic at this point.  Just recently, a 96 page internal New York Times report was obtained by BuzzFeed that basically skewers the company’s current strategy when it comes to the Internet…

A 96-page internal New York Times report, sent to top executives last month by a committee led by the publisher’s son and obtained by BuzzFeed, paints a dark picture of a newsroom struggling more dramatically than is immediately visible to adjust to the digital world, a newsroom that is hampered primarily by its own storied culture.

But they still don’t understand the true cause of their decline.

It isn’t the fact that they haven’t adapted to the Internet very well that is the primary reason for their decline.

Rather, it is the fact that the American people are losing faith in the New York Times and other similar establishment mouthpieces.

News magazines are also experiencing a dramatic multi-year decline.  Ad revenues are way down across the entire industry, and any publication that can keep their yearly losses to the single digits is applauded for it

For a third year in a row, news magazines faced a difficult print advertising environment. Combined ad pages (considered a better measure than ad revenue) for the five magazines studied in this report were down 13% in 2013, following a decline of 12.5% in 2012, and about three times the rate of decline in 2011, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Again, hardest hit was The Week, which suffered a 20% drop in ad pages. The Atlantic fell 17%, The Economist 16%, and Time about 11%, while The New Yorker managed to keep its ad pages losses in single digits (7%).

Mainstream media executives appear to be optimistic that they can reverse these declines at some point, but they simply don’t realize that there has been a fundamental paradigm shift when it comes to the news media in the United States.

The general population has lost a tremendous amount of faith in the mainstream media.  They are increasingly becoming aware that it is deeply controlled by the establishment.

At this point, the charade is so out in the open that even reporters are talking about it.  For example, former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson says that the “influence on the media” by political and corporate interests is “unprecedented”

There is unprecedented, I believe, influence on the media, not just the news, but the images you see everywhere. By well-orchestrated and financed campaign of special interests, political interests and corporations. I think all of that comes into play.

Wow.

Remember, this is not just some outsider that is saying these things.  Attkisson worked in the industry for more than 30 years.

And the American people know that they are getting very little truth from the establishment media these days.  A recent Gallup survey found that only 23 percent of Americans have a great deal of confidence in the mainstream media at this point.  Increasingly, Americans are turning to other sources for news and information.

This is fueling an unprecedented alternative news boom, and more Americans than ever are relying on the Internet as their main source of news.  If you doubt this, just check out this chart.

30 years ago, you would have never been able to read this article.  It never would have gotten past the gatekeepers that had almost total control over what Americans read, watched and listened to.

But now things have changed.  The Internet has allowed ordinary Americans to communicate with each other on a scale that has never been possible before.  As we share information with each other, we are increasingly becoming aware that we don’t need the mainstream media to define what reality is for us after all.

If the mainstream media really wants to keep from dying, they should at least try to start telling us the truth.

Unfortunately, that simply is not going to happen.  The political and corporate interests that control the big media corporations have way too much to lose.

So we will have to continue to learn to think for ourselves and to share news and information with each other over the Internet.

In the end, we will all be much better off being unplugged from “the matrix” anyway.

7 Things About The Mainstream Media That They Do Not Want You To Know

7 Things About The Mainstream Media That They Do Not Want You To Know - Based On A Photo By Doug WaldronHave you ever wondered who controls the mainstream media?  In America today, we are more “connected” than ever.  The average American watches 153 hours of television a month, and we also spend countless hours watching movies, playing video games, listening to music, reading books and surfing the Internet.  If someone could control the production of all of that media, that would make them immensely powerful.  They would literally be in a position to tell people what to think.  Well, what if I told you that there are just six enormous media conglomerates that combine to produce about 90 percent of all the media that Americans consume.  Would that alarm you?  It should alarm you.  The truth is that our attitudes, opinions and beliefs are greatly shaped by what we allow into our minds.  After all, they don’t call it “programming” for no reason.  Even those of us that realize that we are connected to “the matrix” probably greatly underestimate the tremendous influence that the media has over us.  We live at a time when it is absolutely imperative to think for ourselves, but most Americans are being absolutely overwhelmed with information and seem more than content to let others do their thinking for them.  Sadly, this is greatly contributing to the downfall of our society.

And of course the mainstream media desperately does not want you to look at “the man behind the curtain”.  They just want you to stay plugged into the “programming” that they are feeding you without asking any questions.

Fortunately, a growing minority of Americans are waking up and are starting to reject the mainstream media.  An increasing number of people are beginning to recognize that the mainstream media is the mouthpiece of the establishment and that it is promoting the agenda of the establishment.

So why is the mainstream media so bad?  The following are 7 things about the mainstream media that they do not want you to know…

#1 The Mainstream Media Has Very Deep Ties To The Establishment

Did you know that the president of CBS and the president of ABC both have brothers that are top officials in the Obama administration?

The big news networks have developed an almost incestuous relationship with the federal government in recent years.  But of course the same could be said of the relationship that the media has with the big corporations that own stock in their parent companies and that advertise on their networks.

This is one of the reasons why we very rarely ever see any hard hitting stories on the big networks anymore.  The flow of information through the corporate-dominated media is very tightly controlled, and there are a lot of gatekeepers that make sure that the “wrong stories” don’t get put out to the public.  As a result, many of the “big stories” that have come out in recent years were originally broken by the alternative media.

#2 The Mainstream Media Gets Things Wrong Very Frequently

Even prominent members of the mainstream media admit that this is the case.  For example, during a recent speech at Quinnipiac University CBS anchor Scott Pelley confessed that journalists in the mainstream media “are getting big stories wrong, over and over again”

“Let me take the first arrow: During our coverage of Newtown, I sat on my set and I reported that Nancy Lanza was a teacher at the school. And that her son had attacked her classroom. It’s a hell of a story, but it was dead wrong. Now, I was the managing editor, I made the decision to go ahead with that and I did, and that’s what I said, and I was absolutely wrong. So let me just take the first arrow here.”

#3 The American Public Does Not Consider The Media To Be Very Trustworthy

Trust in the mainstream media has definitely been slipping.  In fact, a Gallup poll taken last year found that distrust of the media had reached an all-time high.  According to that poll, 60 percent of Americans “have little or no trust” that the media is reporting the news accurately.

A separate Rasmussen Reports survey found that only 6 percent of all Americans consider the news media to be “very trustworthy”.

Hopefully this trend will accelerate and a lot more people will stop trusting the media blindly.

#4 The Mainstream Media And The Politicians That They Worship Hate The Fact That They Cannot Control Internet News Sites

In the old days, the mainstream media had a virtual monopoly on the news.  But these days, anyone with an Internet connection can put up a news site, and this is driving the establishment absolutely bonkers.

For example, Barack Obama is known to have a great dislike for the alternative media.  The following is from a recent WND article

NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd says President Obama was making it “clear” at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner over the weekend how he feels about the rise of Internet news sites like Politico, Buzzfeed and … well, WND.

“He hates it.”

Appearing on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning following Saturday night’s media, politics and celebrity soiree, Todd explained the president’s disdain for independent online news sources was showing during his speech.

“It did seem … I thought his pot shots, joke-wise, and then the serious stuff about the Internet, the rise of the Internet media and social media and all that stuff – he hates it, OK? He hates this part of the media,” Todd said. “He really thinks that the, sort of, the buzzification – this isn’t just about Buzzfeed or Politico and all this stuff – he thinks that sort of coverage of political media has hurt political discourse. He hates it. And I think he was just trying to make that clear last night.”

#5 The Mainstream Media Is Extremely Liberal

When it comes to politics, the mainstream media is far more liberal than the general population is.

For example, one survey found that 41 percent of American voters believe that the average reporter is more liberal than they are, while only 18 percent believe that the average reporter is more conservative than they are.

A very disturbing UCLA study on media bias discovered that the vast majority of media outlets are “left of center”…

Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.

And even MSNBC has confirmed the liberal bias of the media.  According to MSNBC, mainstream journalists are far more likely to donate their own money to Democrats than they are to Republicans…

MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

#6 Six Mammoth Media Corporations Produce About 90 Percent Of The Media That Americans Consume

As I mentioned at the top of this article, there are six giant media behemoths that control almost all of the media that we consume.  These corporate giants own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, video game makers, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.

The media ownership chart posted below originally comes from a previous article that I authored entitled “Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read“, but it has been updated to reflect some of the latest information.  The power that these companies have is so vast that it is hard to put into words…

Time Warner

CNN
Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
TMZ
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
TBS
TNT
America Online
MapQuest
Moviefone
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
DC Comics
People Magazine

Walt Disney

ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
ESPN Inc.
Disney Channel
The History Channel
SOAPnet
A&E
Lifetime
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
277 Radio Stations
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books

Viacom

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
Logo
MTV
MTV Canada
MTV2
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Noggin
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
VH1

News Corporation

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
TV Guide
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Beliefnet
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
FX
My Network TV
MySpace
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
BSkyB
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
FOXTEL
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
ReganBooks
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
STAR
Zondervan

CBS Corporation

CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CNET
Showtime
TV.com
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network

Comcast

NBC
Bravo
CNBC
NBC News
MSNBC
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
Oxygen
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
Telemundo
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Hulu
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video

#7 The American People Are Absolutely Addicted To The Mainstream Media

In a previous article about the media, I noted that the average American watches 153 hours of television a month.

When you allow that much information to be downloaded into your brain, it is going to have a dramatic impact on how you think.

Americans are more “connected” than they ever have been before.  This is especially true of our kids.  They are constantly on one sort of electronic device or another.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent article by Daniel Taylor

According to a 2010 LA Times report, young people spend on average 53 hours a week watching TV, playing video games, and sitting at the computer.

Facebook users spend about 15 hours a month on the social networking site.

People are walking – and driving – blindly while texting, sometimes walking into fountains and even falling off cliffs.

If that Los Angeles Times report is true, that means that our young people are spending more than 200 hours a month connected to the media.

But we are only awake for about 480 hours a month.

When it comes to influencing the American people, nobody has more power than the big media companies do.

And until we can break this sick addiction to the mainstream media and get people to start thinking for themselves, we will never see widespread changes in our society.  As long as people are being “programmed” by the mainstream media, they will continue to express the opinions, attitudes and beliefs that have been downloaded into their minds.

Please share this article with as many people as you can.  It is crucial that we wake as many people up as possible while we still can.

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