Opinion: Thoughts on news viewership dropping in the post-Trump era – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Re “Dwindling public interest hurt news outlets” (Dec. 29): Two years of daily watching people being jabbed with COVID-19 vaccines and listening to “wear a mask, get vaccinated, stay sic feet apart” is it any wonder we’re all fed up with the news? It’s like watching Groundhog Day.

News outlets dwell on the most horrific and sensational news they can find. Only at the end of a nightly news show will you see a feel-good story like tossing a mint to a person after a bad meal. So pardon us if we turn off, tune out but enough is enough.

Liz Day

Scripps Ranch

Associated Press writer David Bauder’s item today treats the matter of declining public interest in news and news outlets with kid gloves, offering this or that minor explanation for lost subscribers. It would have been better had he called a spade a spade and said clearly why interest in them is flagging.

As wrong as he was about the mainstream media, our former president correctly described the right-wing shamestream media when he said hoax and fake news. They prospered off fake news then. They suffer now.

Those me-too news outlets of a couple years ago are losing customers today. That’s good — serves them right. We like news and mostly want news outlets to survive, but there are exceptions. The shamestream media lead the exceptions list.

Jim Varnadore

City Heights

Differentiate between news and infotainment

Re “Fox News viewers won’t miss Chris Wallace” (Dec. 25): The letter writer is right to acknowledge that there is a problem, but the problem is how people confuse journalism with opinion.

Every day on page A-2, the U-T prints corrections, retractions and disclosures as necessary. It does so because it is responsible for everything it publishes. The U-T has earned many awards for excellence in journalism, including four Pulitzer Prizes.

Fox News has won few prestigious journalism awards.

Rupert Murdoch built his wealth on the tabloid market; this is an entertainment industry that never has to correct anything it prints, including stories about two-headed babies who sing like Elvis.

In his book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” Gabriel Sherman reports that Roger Ailes’ business plan for Fox News was for a conservative point of view for people who want to feel informed, but don’t want to do the work to actually be informed.

Scott Wrisley


Glad to know others look for positive news

Re “Try to pick some positive news from the media menu” (Dec. 30): I want to thank Andrew Kleske for his commentary. For a while now, I have been “hope-scrolling,” but I didn’t have a name for it.

I, too, have found that my mental health requires that I not focus on all of the negative news, although I understand that it can serve the important role of helping “illustrate where change is necessary and action is required.” And, yes, it is critical to expose corruption and scandal. These stories serve the critical function of helping ensure we are an informed citizenry.

I know that I’ve also curiously followed bad stories, or doom-scrolling,” as Kleske calls it. However, I’m happy to know that as I increasingly scan over the negative headlines in search of what’s positive and hopeful, I’m not the only one. Now I have a name for it.

Nancy Farnan