Television news cycles have changed drastically since the advent of 24-hour news cycles. News broadcasters once had a limited number of minutes to present their agenda to the public. Now 24-hour news cycles enable news broadcasters to bring instantaneous news to our homes. The news has always been held in high regard by viewers. Now, with instantaneous news cycling on the rise, viewers who may not understand how the news media now works are left questioning the media’s intent.
As events unfold, news broadcasters now pass along information as they receive it. This is not what I consider to be an improvement. I remember watching the news as the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy unfolded. The news stations with their instantaneous reporting were passing misinformation on to the public. Instead of taking the time to get the facts in order news broadcasters were spewing whatever information came to them and their viewers were taking it all in as fact. It’s no wonder there are so many conspiracy theorist questioning whether this incident actually took place.
Instantaneous news cycles account for one of the many changes in which one watches television. Technologies have changed our relationship to television as well. Streaming Internet television, satellite and cable providers now allow for instantaneous viewing of movies, documentaries, and television shows. No longer does one have to be tied to a broadcasters time slot. American culture as represented in this medium is one of instant gratification.
The future of American culture and television will follow along the same path it has adopted with instantaneous viewing. Currently, people do not typically view things at the same time anymore. In the next decade people will continue to adopt technologies where external schedules will not be imposed. I would not be surprised to see external schedules for viewing television come to an end. It will be exciting to see broadcasters adapt as change continues in the viewing habits of American culture.