The State of Modern American News


Journalism is an essential element to the survival of democracy. For democracy to thrive the people must be informed. The people, however, have fallen victim to greedy news outlets that value clicks over information.

Between seemingly random paywalls, clickbait-y headlines, and simply following whatever is trending, large news outlets show no goal to further public knowledge.

To begin, our democracy has been plagued by greed, not limited to the news, for decades on end. Companies like Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Apple have near-monopolies on their respective sides of the Market. Who’s to say this greed should not also apply to the news industry? When government funding causes bias, news outlets are forced to turn to the people for money. While this in and of itself is not a bad thing, news outlets exist in a society that perpetuates and rewards greed. This has led news outlets to turn to headlines like: “Why do some people seem unable to catch COVID? Scientists are looking for answers.” from USA today;  Subheaders like “He’s a real tactical genius, isn’t he, folks?” Said Vanity Fair, in reference to a statement from former President Donald Trump; and “When asked about Ukraine, Trump ranted about windmills,” from CNN.

News outlets have taken obvious partisan bias especially post Donald Trump’s presidency. His presidency was extremely polarizing and created a split in the country. When news is used for entertainment, a partisan bias is not a problem, but when it’s used for information, it is unacceptable to have such an evident lean toward one party or the other. CNN has countless articles bashing the former president, whereas Fox News does the same with President Joseph Biden. The bias can clearly be seen between these two of many examples.

Why, then, must news outlets turn to the same corporate greed as other industries? Simply put, because it’s easier to have the staffing if you can pay your employees and have quality reporting. Often, news reporting requires on-site interviews and spectating. Travel costs, equipment costs, and labor costs mean news outlets become hungry for funds. The US government cannot pay for the news and the people won’t. This forces news outlets into a corner where they have to put paywalls on almost all articles. Once one gets a taste of the amount of money this can earn, despite blocking poorer people from getting the information they need, news outlets succumb to even more greed. This then leads to a cycle of greed. Those on top gain more and more money while those on the bottom get less and less.

Modern American media has fallen to the same greed as other larger companies. News outlets are rapidly approaching the corporate giants which abuse their workers. Between clickbait, obvious partisan bias, and outright greed, the news is yet another machine to put out content into which the people funnel their money. If this is not stopped soon, our democracy is bound to crumble, as we will lose the American people, and without the people, there is no democracy.