New Directions, New Challenges
Edited By Stephen Cushion and Richard Sambrook
Chapter 21: The Evolving Format of US Cable News and the Proliferation of Opinion
← 268 | 269 →CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE
The Evolving Format of US Cable News and the Proliferation of Opinion
In the cable boom of the 1990s, television became the primary medium by which Americans got their news. During the cable expansion, channels carved out niches for themselves by catering their news coverage to particular partisan audiences. Today, cable remains important as it is one vital component of a much larger and ideologically fragmented media system. In an effort to distinguish itself from the competition, cable news channels became partisans and the partisanship of American cable news now extends from television to radio and the internet in a media system that is ideologically reinforcing. It allows Americans to select the politics of the news they receive as it affords political elites the ability to hone a message without contest or question.
Politicians use cable news now to selectively deliver their politics to a receptive segment of the voting public who willingly adhere to their preferred partisan brand while eschewing conflicting opinion. There are great consequences for this kind of specified news content and distribution, to include increasing polarization and an overall distrust of the media and of politicians. This chapter examines the place of cable news in modern American politics as it looks ahead to what will likely emerge in the constantly-changing media landscape.
THE GROWTH OF CABLE NEWS
When cable first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s...
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