The Positive and Negative Effects of 24-Hour News Networks on American Viewers
America was introduced to the twenty-four hour news network when Ted Turner founded Cable News Network, or CNN, in 1980 (Ted Turner Biography, 2013). Surely, the news networks of today are not what Ted Turner had in mind when he came up with the idea thirty-two years ago. Every ten minutes, a breaking news story replaces another breaking news story that we have already forgotten about – let alone even cared about. There are three major news channels: Microsoft and the National Broadcasting Company (MSNBC), Fox News Channel (FNC), and CNN. There is a news correspondent for every viewer – from liberal Keith Olbermann; to conservative Bill O’Reilly. For a while, even the far-right evangelicals had Glenn Beck. Whether you love them or hate them, today’s twenty-four hour news networks are here to stay – positively and negatively affecting Americans everyday.
Twenty-four hour news networks provide viewers with mostly accurate information, so that Americans can stay current on the happenings of the world. CNN, MSNBC, and FNC allow viewers to instantly turn on the television at any time of the day or night and discover news events that are occurring at that very moment. We no longer have to wait for the local five o’clock news to come on – we can now get the news as it happens. Newspapers are no longer the primary source of information for the majority of Americans, as the information contained inside the newspaper are dated, compared to the instantaneous information provided through the major news networks. Instead, newspapers are now used as a source of commentary, allowing writers to report on the news and share their opinions on a particular news event. If the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School happened over 30 years ago, the majority of people would not have learned about the school shooting until the next day. But, with all of the technology available...
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