CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, among other news programming, benefited in a big way when it came to TV viewership, and, in turn, higher advertising sales.
Now what? Can TV news networks and local TV station news programming do what many believe was unthinkable -- continue to find new viewers, in non-major election periods?
Here’s one way those outlets can benefit, capitalizing on the backlash from digital media sites that run “fake news.” Big digital players Facebook and Google have addressed this issue recently -- claiming such content will be eliminated.
The bigger questions is whether consumption of -- ah hem -- real news now grows.
To be sure, the heavy opinionated cable TV networks aren’t perfect -- there is lot of content that isn’t straight ahead news reporting.
But versus “fake news” stuff? No contest.
Many believe it could drive consumers back to electronic media -- but especially print media like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. All the major newspapers have had their businesses endure ups and downs in recent years.
Next step: Traditional TV news media should market this new awareness, positioning itself as a viable source, combating the negative reaction to fringe, pseudo news content.
Consider all the fact-checking issues that arose during the recent presidential election. Consumers need to question the credibility of the news media -- and the news itself. The downside: TV news consumers might need to do more work. But who has the time?
Some investors have noted traditional media stock prices -- print and some TV station groups -- have been rising since the election: The New York Times is up 11%; Tronc (Tribune newspapers) adding 12%; and Tegna improved 22%.
Still, active “misinformation” is rampant. What will consumers do about it?