Leaning Forward in a New Direction

The class I am required to write this blog for meets twice a week to discuss issues in mass communication. Once a week, someone makes a joke, condescending comment or humorous remark about Fox News Channel.

Everyone does it. Fox is the butt of most jokes dealing with political bias in the news.

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But they aren’t the ones changing their media strategy for the 2016 Election.

Out of the three major network news channels- Fox, CNN and MSNBC- MSNBC has the lowest number of viewers.

This is, in part, because of their political commentary to reporting ratio.

Yes, MSNBC, not Fox, received the largest discrepancy in the amount of opinion to facts they aired according to a study conducted by Pew Research Center.

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In attempt to increase ratings, NBC plans to report less on political opinion and more on news. Not by simply leaving out bias, but literally reporting on politics less often.

A CNN blogger said this would be harder than they might think. They want to attract new viewers but keep their loyal liberal following.

I think the change is an interesting decision. It is definitely daring- to overthrow your entire network strategy is no easy task. They will have to hire new personnel, fire political commentators and rebrand themselves in less than a year. Something that, to me, seems impossible but perhaps necessary.

However, if MSNBC is able to pull this off I think network news will greatly benefit.

Currently, MSNBC acts as a counterweight to Fox’s conservative commentary. If the liberal balance to Fox were to disappear, bias from the competing network would not need to be as extreme. If MSNBC can truly become more moderate and report more than it comments the industry will begin to move in the right (as in correct, not right-wing) direction.

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