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Communal Experiences Crushed by Modern Media
An Essay by Kevin ('KJ') James
When I was a kid, each metropolitan area in the United States had a handful of TV stations and a buch of radio stations. Life was simple when we didn't have the internet. We huddled around the TV to have common experiences centered around watching certain TV shows, and interacting with fellow audience members. Each time we watched an episode, we shared the communal experience. Just like having a favorite radio station, we were part of one or more viable media groups. But today, it is different, and the experience is not the at all the same. In fact, the experience of being part of a media-generated social group practically does not exist -- at least not in the same way.
Let's take WWE, for example. If someone is a wrestling fan, they will need basic cable, satellite, or an internet-based programming platform like Hulu or Sling to see the organization's flagship weekly shows, Raw and Smackdown. Granted, these are live, and therefore can provide the platform for a shared entertainment experience. But that is where the commonality of community ends.
Now, let's take an even more specific look at someone who, for whatever reason (though probably financial) does not have a way to see the Raw or Smackdown. They can try to piece together the shows by watching clips on YouTube, the WWE channel (at cost), and viewing more on their website. But, these viewing options do not present the same viewing experience that is shared among audience members seeing the productions 'live,' at the same scheduled time and date. The communal experience is time-and-experience-delayed (or at least, not in sync with others experiencing the media event), and therefore emotionally defused in the mutual participatory impact. It's just not the same as seeing the 'main event' along with everyone else. But, where is this all going? And why is the fragmentation of the mass media potentially more problematic for conservatives?
Right now, it's estimated that (depending on the demographic and the locational market), between 50-and-60-some percent of the American population has access to and/or watches (at least occasionally) the major news networks of CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Of those (and as of recent), Fox News has drifted into 1st place, CNN has tenaciously hung onto 2nd place, and MSNBC has continued as an also-ran 3rd.
Even with that, significant amounts of audiences do not watch one show all at the same time. According to a March 11, 2019 article in The Wrap, "Tucker Carlson's 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,' averaged nearly three million viewers per episode" -- between 40-and-120-some-percent more than MSNBC and CNN respectively for comparable show episodes in the same time-period. For comparison, the Hollywood Reporter states that for Wednesday, April 10, 2019, the top-ranking show of that night -- CBS' Survivor, garnered over DOUBLE the audience numbers than the cable/satellite news shows. Essentially, this means that people are still needing that 'communal experience' provided by the mass media, but everyone is willing to let their eyeballs drift to additional media experiences. This is where RightWingMedia.net comes into play.
As stated on our website, RightWingMedia.net aggregates, creates, unifies, positions and presents the best of written, visual, audio and graphic conservative social and political content via links on our site for the purpose of news reporting, criticism, and comment beyond the mainstream mass media is often willing to do. As you probably know, our goal is to bring together the best conservative and even pro-right minds, along with links to their writings, radio shows, and videos. We are not attempting to replace the common experience that the patrons of ANY of these news or political entities are putting forth, but we are trying to add another 'plank' in the buffet-table of human experience, so more people and more ideas can be entertained. Of course, the news we gather is the 'conservative best' of what we can find, and our talk show hots and producers some of the engaging conservative pundits, burgeoning journalists, and provocative talkers you've ever heard! Best of all -- this is all part of the RightWingMedia.net COMMUNITY -- YOUR Conservative Community...on the Internet, AND on the Air!
Kevin ('KJ') James has a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism and Production, and has studied communication theory, semiotics, propaganda, advertising, and website design. He has also been a published freelance writer and media producer. KJ is the founder and managing director of Right Wing Media.