Can the News Media Rebound in 2022?

Because Donald trumpthe chaotic departure from the White House in early 2021, and as COVID fatigue only increased throughout the year, the appetite of the American public for the news fell sharply. Perhaps some decrease was inevitable, given that a once-in-a-century pandemic, mass protest movement calling for racial justice, and a controversial presidential election sparked intense media interest and engagement in 2020.

Still, the drops for some media outlets have been steep, with Axios describing the engagement in the news as ‘fallen off a cliff’. Prime-time cable audiences on weekdays, for example, fell 38% on CNN, 34% on Fox News Channel and 25% on MSNBC, according to data tracked by Nielsen. Although some major events in 2021, such as the end of the war in Afghanistan, the Derek chauvin The trial, and Trump’s second impeachment, likely sparked inordinate engagement, such heightened interest proved fleeting. The more mainstream Biden administration is deviating significantly from the controversial Trump years that provided endless fodder for cable producers. As a professor of journalism at the University of Maryland Tom rosenstiel recently told the AP: “You become, to some extent, a prisoner of the public that you have built.”

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With networks striving to bring viewers back into the New Year, Fox News host Jesse watters suggested on Monday that more conflicts on the left would benefit his network. “I work at Fox. I want to see the dismay on the left. It’s good for America, ”Watters said, adding,“ It’s good for our ratings. While the idea of ​​media companies stirring up national disputes to boost ratings isn’t entirely shocking, Watters made it clear that it drew criticism from a competitor. “It’s the quiet part, he said the quiet part [out loud]”, CNN commentator HE Cupp pointed out Tuesday morning. “I never imagined calling Jesse Watters a scholar, however, I think what he just did is really articulate the three pillars of the new American right…. He talks about wanting to see disarray on the left, as if he also doesn’t want to see disarray in America, and not just in a political party, but wants real pain in the streets. Cupp went on to say that conservative media networks prioritize “reviews by- above all. ”That’s true at Fox, where the odds certainly seemed to trump public health and safety as well as the facts.”

In the first few weeks of 2021, Fox News lost its place at the top of the cable news hierarchy, as One America News Network and Newsmax apparently siphoned off some of its viewers, leading MSNBC and CNN to skip Fox for a brief. period. But the network has since reclaimed its top spot in the rankings, a rebound that the Fox News CEO Suzanne scott underlined in his year-end statement. “Not only were we the only network to increase our audience share,” she said, “but we did it while changing our programming and transforming the entire late-night television landscape, ensuring our momentum continues for many years to come. “

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