The media has a lot to answer for

The media has a lot to answer for

On Nov. 9, Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States of America, and everyone seems to be asking “How did we get here?”

Most pre-election polls placed Clinton ahead by several points. These miscalculations rocked media outlets and fostered a sense of mistrust in news. Many believe media networks ignored the voracious following Trump managed to amass throughout his campaign, too caught up in the elitism of East Coast newsrooms to look into the disgruntled rural populations that Trump attracted. 

Trump himself attacked major news outlets throughout the campaign, including the New York Times, for biased reporting. At one point he even threatened to sue media outlets for running false articles. Trump claimed a rigged election from the very beginning, depicting a liberal media that stacked the odds in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

However, the media may actually have helped Trump win. According to a poll conducted by Pew Research Center, 75 percent of registered voters thought Trump received too much attention from news outlets during the primaries. Trump received an estimated five billion dollars in free advertising by the end of the 2016 election cycle, simply because television news networks ran an almost endless barrage of Trump-related pieces. Back in March, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News all broadcast thirty minutes of an empty Trump podium as they waited for him to speak. 

The focus shifted from policy debate to dissecting the latest scandal.

Facebook has drawn fire for their role as well. About 62 percent of Americans receive their news from social media platforms, a notoriously unreliable source. Fake news sites run rampant, spreading conspiracy theories and opinion as fact. Facebook and Google have reacted to the problem, trying to better filter out stories from fake sources.

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Authored by: Hannah Addis

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