Open your computer, search any major mainstream media news outlet, and look at their most prominent headline. CNN — “Trump says he knew Flynn lied to FBI.” Fox News — “Trump Will Take Care of It: HR McCaster says the president will have to handle Kim’s North Korea.” Over the course of the last year, the trend across media outlets has been to overload on coverage of President Donald Trump, a strategy that bolsters viewing, but harms the reputation of journalism.
Historically speaking, all forms of media, whether it be the radio, television or newspaper, cover topics that appeal to their average reader. However, in light of the 2016 elections, media patterns have taken an extreme shift. With the brash rhetoric of Trump, the United States became appalled, but also intrigued, by at the time presidential hopeful. Wanting to take advantage of this spark of interest, media outlets flocked to cover these scandalous and never before heard statements by this now “politician.”
Thus began the constant, unwarranted coverage of Trump. Despite Trump’s claims of “fake news” and media bias against him during the presidential campaign, data collected by the Washington Post argues otherwise, claiming that in a study from eight major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Fox News, that 14,924 headlines included Trump’s name from July 1, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2016 while presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s name was found less than half that amount.
Yet, even after the presidential campaign, stories surrounding Trump still continue to be the most prominent. Journalists, knowing that they are under attack from the Trump administration as their work is deemed “fake news,” seem to only fuel Trump’s foolish statements by continuously providing media coverage on him. And because Trump bashes liberal media, according to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Republican adults who trust national news organizations has dropped to 11 percent in 2017 in comparison to 15 percent in 2016. If liberal media outlets want to be able to regain their reputation as legitimate sources of news, they must put an emphasis upon covering the news objectively, not abusing headlines and not giving Trump more negative coverage than what is warranted.
Sadly, even once the issue surrounding excessive coverage of Trump is solved, journalists still have one area they have yet to address — the rest of the world. While newspapers such as the New York Times and magazines like The Economist continue to spotlight and cover issues from all around the world, when it comes to mainstream televised news, the global community is overshadowed.
From the mass slaughter of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, to the continual distress of Venezuelans living under the control of President Nicholas Maduro, mainstream media does not provide its audiences with a means to learn about other parts of the world. And while mainstream media of course has the obligation to first cover what is most important to its viewers, national news, in order to live up to being a proper journalist, the United States media needs to start putting forth more holistic news coverage.