The Incredible News Cycle

By Shepard, Alicia C. | The World and I, June 1998 | Go to article overview

The Incredible News Cycle


Shepard, Alicia C., The World and I


Long ago, before there was an Internet and even before there were 24-hour cable news networks, most journalists lived the easy life. They didn't think so then. But they de now.

Back in those not-so-distant days, a White House correspondent needed only to report what happened that day and write it as a news story for the next day's paper or that night's television news broadcast. It was all so straightforward: "Yesterday, the president of the United States said such and such about taxes or foreign policy or the state of the economy."

Then in 1980, an upstart cable news channel, known among the wags as Chicken Noodle Network but better known as Cable News Network, or CNN, came along and revolutionized journalism with its regular diet of news around the clock.

Anyone old enough to watch television in January 1991 remembers when CNN skyrocketed to fame with its 17-hour, uninterrupted broadcast from Baghdad as war broke out between Iraq and the allied forces. No other major U.S. television network provided the same coverage, and it paid off: For the first time in its history, CNN beat all the other networks in ratings for a 24-hour period. CNN became a contender.

In the last three year's, there's another new player: the Internet, which now provides an avalanche of information. Just dial into the Internet and at one's fingertips are World Wide Web sites hosted by 500 major daily newspapers, three major television networks, and three 24-hour cable networks, plus hundreds more sites feeding news junkies tantalizing news tidbits.

Journalism's new dimension

News is no longer reported once in the evening, on television, and again, in the morning, in newspapers. CNN and its around-the-clock cable successors, MSNBC and Fox News Channel, along with the Internet are dramatically recasting how journalists do their jobs by shortening news cycles down from daily to hourly to sometimes 10minute cycles.

Gone forever are the days of reflection, when a journalist could spend a whole day thoroughly reporting a story. Now, in the midst of news gathering, journalists are challenged with making sense of hourly updates from cable channels and Web sites.

The remarkable ability of personal computers to provide news instantaneously via the Internet, combined with the influence of nonstop cable news networks, has jacked up the pressure on all journalists to get it first and fast--not so much first and right. The unfortunate casualties in this new and highly competitive marketplace are sometimes accuracy, fairness, and balance.

Indisputably, the proliferation of means of getting information is a boon to the general public. No longer must citizens rely solely on local newspapers and television stations for news. They now have the ability to go as deep into a story as they want.

No longer must Joe or Josephine Q. Public depend on a White House reporter to learn what President Clinton said in a speech to cattle ranchers. They can tap into the Internet and get the speech and read it themselves. They can peruse original sources.

Those living in Idaho or Iowa, who might never have easy access to Washington newspapers, can now read the latest over the Net. They can even glean every bit of gossip, innuendo, and rumor out there in cyberspace.

Nowhere did this relatively new pressure created by the Internet and all-news television stations play out better than in the Monica Lewinsky story, which grabbed the nation by the throat and refused to let go for much of the first three months of 1998.

It wasn't just major television networks and newspapers driving the story. For the first time during a major political crisis, the Internet and 24-hour news channels also pushed the story.

"You feel like you're swatting away gnats in the swamp sometimes," said CNN bureau chief Frank Sesno at a National Press Club forum on the media in April, describing the pressure he feels from all the information flooding off the Internet. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Incredible News Cycle
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.