Bits and Pieces

Thursday, April 01, 2004

News Ratings Dip

A few people have been talking about Nielsen ratings suggesting that cable news is losing viewers. CNN, for example, has lost half its viewers since last year. Of course more people watch the news during wartime than at other times, so the numbers don't necessarily prove that this decline is part of a long term trend. I wouldn't read too much into the report.

James Joyner raises some interesting points about viewing habits, though. My own perspective may be skewed by the fact that I spend so much time on the Internet myself, but it does seem that more and more people are getting their news from the Net nowadays. I can't remember the last time I watched any news report that wasn't regional. There's no point, as by the time the nightly news comes on I've already known every piece of news they'll show for a good few hours. And don't get me started on the repetitive cycles of the 24-hour news channels. We don't have to wait for the cycle to go full circle if we miss a story. We can just log on.
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