I worked in TV News during 2020. To understand why media is broken, here's what you need to know: : r/conspiracy


During 2020 I was a TV producer and on-air presenter for a lesser-known TV news network. 

(I left in early 2021 after Covid bullshit and exhaustion with, well, everything outlined here.)

A lot of people wonder, is the media purposely corrupt? Are they purposely spreading false information or government talking points?

Much of the media makes more sense once you realize it's a path of least resistance. Let me explain:

Most TV stations in the U.S. aren't literally getting marching orders from the government. It ends up looking this way because of corporate mentality to take the path a least resistance, to avoid rocking the boat.

A TV newsroom doesn't have vast resources. You have corporate decision makers and managers, then a handful of mid-level producers, and finally the "tradespeople" who get their hands dirty running cameras, sound boards, editing, etc.

The corporate level worries constantly about viewer numbers, revenue, and legal problems.

The producer level are often fairly fresh out of college, many in their 20s and 30s, and is mostly worried about their image and future career.

The trade level are worried about doing their job day to day, not getting yelled at, and what they're going to do on their day off.

Notice that nowhere in this hierarchy is **JOURNALISM.** In fact, there's shockingly little interest in doing any real hard-hitting investigative journalism or asking tough questions. Why?

Well, for one, it's time and personnel intensive. It might take hours and more likely days or weeks to actually dig into a topic with any real depth, and even then there's a solid chance it goes nowhere. Real investigative journalism is a long, boring process. Even if you had people at the TV stations interested in doing it, management would nix it as a poor use of resources.

TV News is a product, and that product is a video file about fifteen minutes long -- with maybe three hours of allocated time to produce it. The product gets churned out, then it's stale. Rinse and repeat. The concept of "minimal viable product" is key here. Get it done, move on.

Few people in TV actually want to do hard journalism. Again, many are in their mid 20s and fresh out of liberal colleges. They want to be on TV, they want to do slick things, they want to build their demo reel so they can go to the next bigger station in a year. Many don't have much experience or skepticism.

(Example: One on-air talent I worked with adored Gov. Cuomo, wanted him to be president, and didn't have any idea he was under investigation for sexual harassment or the nursing home scandals. This was a PROFESSIONAL NEWS PERSON who was blissfully ignorant of real news, because it didn't fit as part of her bubbly morning show.)

The result is, at best, fluff interviews with "experts" where the personality goes through the motions of "asking tough questions," but the whole thing is wrapped up in hours and they move on to the next thing.

Then there's the corporate fear of Rocking the Boat. If a hundred TV stations are saying generally the same things, there is a real fear of being the one station saying something different. What if advertisers pull out?

What if they're seen as far right, or far left, or kooks, or God forbid have a story flagged on Facebook? The path of least resistance is to be safe, repeat the major narratives, smile and nod and roll commercials. (CNN Evening News: Sponsored by Pfizer.)

Repeating the major narratives is incredibly easy, too, because most TV stations outsource their news content.

There are several major "providers" of news content. The big ones are Newsource (a division of CNN), the AP, and Reuters.

Those providers offer subscription-based turnkey packages of written stories, which are often read verbatim during a newscast, and video footage. Again, medium and small TV stations just don't have the manpower to personally cover stories, which are all over the state, country, and world. 

They end up being news REPEATERS, story replayers, mostly for practical and budget reasons. Path of least resistance.

The problem, of course, is that any spin, bias, or narrative built-in to the outsourced stories are also repeated.

If the AP declares "experts say X," a thousand news stations will report that. It isn't a conscious conspiracy, they're just going off of what the news wire says.

If CNN shows a particular edit of footage and describes an event a certain way, there's a very good chance the same footage will be shown the same way on the thousand "independent" stations which all subscribe to their Newsource service. 

(And yes, I've personally caught CNN mixing blatant misinformation and bias into the stories which are distributed to affiliates. Any story can be spun with editing.......) 

Again, it's don't rock the boat. If a TV station questions, pushes back, or reports differently than say the AP, they stick their necks out. They don't want to be that "kook station questioning the experts. Who doesn't trust the Associated Press?!"

It's a feedback loop, and echo chamber. 

This is amplified even more if two major wire services report the same thing. AP and Reuters could say aliens have landed on Uranus and you'd better bet it would get reported. "We're citing TWO major news agencies! Run it." Corporate can point to where the reporting came from and wash their hands of responsibility, because the chain of liability is off their shoulders.

All of this has existed for decades, it just reached a tipping point with COVID. Everything was turned up to 11, and nobody wanted to upset the status quo.

What to do about this? For one, turn off the damn TV. 

Be skeptical of all reporting, triple check from multiple angles when you can, and understand that just because an establishment gatekeeper says something, it doesn't make it magically, infallibly true