Cable News Is COLLAPSING as a New Network Society RISES!
Posted by Steve Turley ● Mar 15, 2021 11:15:13 PM
‘The Post-Trump Cable-News Apocalypse has Arrived – CNN Hardest Hit’!
This headline from Hot Air references a report on the imploding audience for the so-called Big Three cable networks. Fox News – which has experienced a dramatic drop in viewership since its election night fiasco – has managed to hold the decline down to single digits of late. Ratings for Laura Ingraham’s show are down 9 percent; Sean Hannity is down 12 percent; Tucker’s down 5 percent.
But that loss hardly compares to the audience decline for CNN and MSNBC. The audience for CNN’s Don Lemon is down 32.5 percent; Anderson Cooper is down 32 percent; Chris Cuomo is down 29 percent. The viewership for MSNBC’s Chris Hayes has fallen 17 percent; Lawrence O’Donnell is down 18 percent; Rachel Maddow is down 9 percent!
Interestingly enough, this ratings collapse has hit Newsmax as well! Just a few months back, Newsmax’s Greg Kelly beat Fox News host Martha MacCallum with the coveted key demographic of 25- to 54-year-olds, the demographic so valuable to advertisers. Unfortunately for Newsmax, those days appear to be over! When measured against their viewership high in mid-November, Newsmax has actually lost about half their audience!
As we can see above, the channel hardest hit has been CNN, and obviously this goes way beyond not having President Trump to kick around anymore. The integrity of the channel itself has been so compromised, it appears that even liberals are abandoning it. Erik Wemple, media critic for the Washington Post, appeared on Brian Stelter’s ‘Reliable Sources’ over the weekend to discuss the media coverage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his mounting scandals. Wemple called out the utter hypocrisy of CNN:
I would be remiss, Brian, if I didn't mention CNN's own huge media story here with Chris Cuomo, the anchor at the nine o'clock hour, who covered Andrew Cuomo and had all these wonderful love-a-thon interviews with him, more than ten of them. [CNN] suspended the conflict of interest rule for Chris Cuomo for those interviews, yet all of the sudden they've enforced it again now that Andrew Cuomo is in the midst of a historic scandal in the Albany State House. So, I think that is a major black eye for CNN…. it is a major black eye for this network.
While we can see how CNN’s ratings plunge is in many respects a self-inflicted wound, something much deeper is going on here with ratings collapsing across the border for all cable news channels! Something far more fundamental is happening than simply disappointed audiences.
The truth is that the days of cable news are rapidly coming to an end, and that’s because cable news is the product of a society that is quickly fading away! Cable news comes out of a social order known as Mass Society, and this is the kind of society that arose in the 19th and 20th centuries. Organized around densely concentrated urbanized populations, it is within this Mass Society that the days of Big Media were forged over the course of last century. NBC in Rockefeller Plaza, the CNN building in Atlanta, New York bureaus for Wall Street and DC bureaus for Capitol Hill.
The problem for Big Media is that scholars recognize we’re moving away from Mass Society and moving instead toward what’s called a ‘Network Society’. If Mass Society related us to one another by virtue of our proximity to these massive urban centers like New York and LA, the Network Society relates us to one another by virtue of the internet! With telecommunicative networks, space has effectively collapsed, enabling us to transcend our spatial proximity and localized frontiers.
And this societal shift is radically affecting the way we do news. For example, you’ll notice that virtually a hundred percent of the initial video documentation of any significant event of late is not coming from news cameras or from satellite trucks; the on-the-ground, in-real-life video capturing any significant event comes from eyewitnesses who were present at that event recording it on their smart phones! Welcome to the Network Society! It’s a new social order that’s decentralized and disestablished, and it’s one that the legacy Big Media simply cannot compete with anymore!
This is why the future of news is independent content creators who are able to communicate their own perspectives on what we can all see and hear via the Network Society. In Mass Society, the media controls what you can see, but in a Network Society, we can bypass the Big Media in a manner comparable to the way email or texting or instant messaging bypasses the old post office! And as the current ratings crash shows, the Network Society is no longer a little brush fire here or there that Big Media can try to stamp out; it’s now blazing all over the world. And there’s nothing that Big Media can do about it!