When I was a youngster growing up in rural Waukesha County my parents subscribed to the Milwaukee Journal, Waukesha Freeman and Lake Country Reporter. All print media with the most recent news from their self described bailiwicks. News also arrived via the radio and TV. We didn’t watch the evening network news per se, but the local 10 PM newscasts were a don’t miss. These would be the main stream media of their day. When I got older I added the Wall Street Journal when I had an extra 15 cents.
But now it’s 2018. The Milwaukee Journal no longer exists independently and is barely a newspaper. I haven’t seen a Freeman or Reporter in years. I am sure that they are pale reminders of their pasts. Local TV news isn’t really news anymore.
In 2018 we still have a few significant newspapers that are nationally known and carry some weight…but with a limited audience. The New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, LA Times, etc. And they are probably overshadowed by their on line presence. But even then their audience is probably smaller than in the past…just because they are real news and commentary…and it takes an effort and time to read and understand their content. Something that fewer and fewer people have the patience for.
But I often envision them as being the main stream media when the president and his toadies rail against the main stream media. And of course the NYT and WaPo are often the targets of the president’s scorn but in 2018 are they actually the main stream media. (and I bet the president’s base probably has never even seen these venerable grey ladies)
I think not. I think it’s fair to say that the cable stations are today’s main stream media. CNN, MSNBC and FOX. And no matter how much FOX rails against the MSM…considering the viewership in the White House and the public at large…and how many times they are quoted and how often linked to in social media…FOX and MSNBC and CNN are the mainstream media.
So who else? Huffington Post? Feels like they’ve been and gone. Breitbart? Too small too biased? The old line major networks? shrug…not sure.
But it just feels odd to me that the engines of contemporary news and commentary don’t recognize themselves in their mirrors as the main stream media. Look out FOX, YOU are the mainstream media!