Media Bias and Summary News Consumption
By Teddy Murphy | February 28th, 2017
There is bias in the media, and as upsetting as it is, it is just one of those things that cannot be helped. We forget that the news channels are owned by companies that must drive shareholder value. Where there is a profit motive there is a reason to attract an audience and consumers, in this case, consumers of news. After all, capitalism dictates that a company the main goal of making money.
I know it is shocking, but sometimes we overlook the fact that media companies need to make money and we get upset when we see any bias in their produced content. Whether it is Fox Entertainment Group (Fox News) or Time Warner (CNN) their main priority is not delivering the news as completely objective information, their priority is to make a profit. The only true mechanism they have at their disposal is to tell people what they want to hear. They know their market and how to target information in a way to entertain and engage their audience.
What I’ve done is accepted that I’m not going to change Rupert Murdoch’s mind about the direction he is taking Fox. I can change how I absorb this news.
In speaking with other 18-24 year old students at my university, they echo how I’m consuming news. I have three news apps on my phone, CNN, Fox News, and MarketWatch (This is just statistics about the Stock Market with no perceivable bias). What I have learned is that the two to three sentence blast each media outlet sends is generally free of bias, slant, or angle. Most news headlines I receive are about President Trump’s cabinet. Interestingly, when the news outlet only has a few sentences to grab my attention they generally don’t push an agenda in this title. I’m speculating, but it seems rather than alienate me or another reader of that headline, their is still objectivity found in the headlines so as to maximize their potential reading audience. Basically, don’t be polarizing in the headline or you may lose my click.
So how does this relate to Share of Voice or Media Monitoring? In reflecting on how my demographic consumes new, I realized that these quick news blasts are now the main way I get news. The good news is that my age group is, in fact, consuming news. After talking to other people in the 18-24 range we all agreed on this same tactic. As bad as it sounds we don’t take the time to even go into the app to read the whole article, we just grab the headline. Those two or three sentence are all we need to learn what happened and then talk about it with others, if it is of any importance. For those developing the next media monitoring tools, like Universal Information Services, summary consumption will soon be a primary way to deliver information to the masses (or clients).
This really came into focus when I was home for Christmas break. Even though I am the oldest of the grand kids, I am still stuck at the kids table. When George Micheal died I knew about it before anyone at the adult table because I was attending to instant news as opposed to timed news delivery. The irony in this is that they all knew the song’s of George Michale, where I may have heard one song once in my 19 years of life.
This has been another post by Teddy Murphy. I’m keeping my eye on what’s next.
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