What constitutes “news”?

According to a recent poll conducted by the Public Policy Polling suggests that Fox News is the most trusted source of news in the country.  According to the survey,

49% of those surveyed believe Fox is trustworthy, with only 30% stating their distrust of Fox.

In contrast, less than 40% of those surveyed trust CNN, CBS and ABC, and NBC.  Check out the poll for the specifics.

The question this poll does not adequately address is what constitutes news.  Beck, Oberman and Blitzer and their 24 hour networks provide politically skewed entertainment that cannot truly be said to be actual “news”.  It is impossible for this or other polls to deliver a true verdict on what news network is most trusted when the difference between news and entertainment is so blurred.

So what does this poll tell us about Fox News? Considering that 74% of those that said that the network is trustworthy self-identify with the GOP, probably the same thing that I’d say about the Daily show; that Fox News’ entertainment simply fits their political ideology the best.

If negatively skewed political commentary bent on tearing down political enemies is what American’s want, no wonder we have an anti-incumbent atmosphere in this country!

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2 Comments on “What constitutes “news”?”

  1. RA Says:

    Producers must sell their products. It seems that all news programs are scripted and edited to attract a consumer niche? Whatever captures the short attention span of viewers will sell. If it sells it is considered successful. I yearn for the likes of Walter Cronkite when news was more facts than editorial, comment and entertainment. Walter would comment:”And that’s the way it is..” Its challenging to know what is from what is presented to sway our belief in “what is.” Is there a preferable way? Any suggestion?? BBC? PBS? How about a “watching guide” to know how to filter facts from promotion of certain ideologies. What is “news”? Certainly the deliver of news is no longer an “amoral” or “unbiased” endeavor. Can you help us struggling commoners to sort out the “truth?”

    • jayen6 Says:

      Thanks for bringing up the BBC, because that would be one alternative. Here’s a description of the bbc’s charter:

      The BBC has operated since its creation in 1927 under a Royal Charter as a public corporation. The Charter decreed that the BBC’s views be entirely independent of any private or governmental influence. It is thereby required to be free from both political and commercial influence and answer only to its viewers and listeners.

      While the US does have public news agencies in Reuters, AP and PBS, none of them are as credible or as mass marketable as our cousin’s news service across the pond. But even if PBS were given billions of dollars and expanded, the 24 hour news networks would still exist because people do want them.


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