Gannett Newspapers has instructed its newsrooms to reduce the number of opinion pieces and biased articles that are “repelling” readers and driving away subscribers. Gannett, the owner of USA Today and local newspapers in almost every state, has been rated “Left Center” by Media Bias / Fact Check. This means that readers don’t object to Gannett’s rare conservative viewpoint. They’re sick of being lectured.
DailyMail reports that a committee made up of editors from chain newspapers stated in April that readers don’t want them to tell them what they think. DailyMail said that they don’t believe we are qualified to give advice on all issues.
Readers this week responded to the news by telling media companies to hire writers that weren’t left-wing activists. This is due in large part to the left-leaning biases of many national newspapers and news networks.
Gannett isn’t worried about their audience losing faith in the media. It is lost revenue due to canceled subscriptions.
Washington Post: The committee stated that editorials and opinion columns are not only “among our least-read content”, but readers also cite them as a reason to cancel their subscriptions.
USA Today is the nation’s largest newspaper publisher. Its website USATODAY.com reaches seven million readers each day. It is huge that USA Today decided to stop giving opinions.
Gannet’s 250+ newspapers have already begun to reduce their opinion pages, and are removing endorsements from political parties except at the local level. Gannett seems to be learning the same lesson from CNN: that constant lecturing and bias don’t make people want your content. As Nick Arama reported in April, ratings-challenged CNN is undergoing its own retooling.
David Zaslav (CEO of Warner Brothers Discovery), who oversees CNN, said that CNN must be about truth and facts. He stated that if we have this, we can have civilized societies. “And without it, if it all becomes advocacy we don’t have a civilized society.”
The NY Post commented on Gannett’s bias crackdown with an editorial entitled “Corporate Media may finally be awakening to reality”.
The industry began to lose its credibility when it became convinced that its job is to tell readers what to believe, how to respond, and when. According to Gallup, the vast majority of Americans have lost faith in the media’s ability to accurately and fairly report the news.
A Gallup poll in 2021 found that the Post is correct:
All told, 7% of U.S. adults believe they have “a lot” and 29% say they have “a fair bit” of trust in news media, radio, and television. This is four points higher than the record 32% in 2016 during the divisive presidential campaign between Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton.
The media’s credibility was only increased by the pandemic. This is probably because those locked in their homes noticed that they were being constantly harangued, gaslit, and lied to:
— Candice Malcolm (@CandiceMalcolm) June 10, 2022
Gannett’s order is focused on eliminating editorials, letters to the editor, and national political endorsements. However, I believe the message they are sending is that straight articles must be less biased. It is no secret that the majority of mainstream newspapers are propaganda arms for the Democratic National Committee, and they ignore at least half of the country. America’s viewers and readers are awakenings to the possibility of real change.