A couple of bits of news. First, in the UK:
…record numbers of people are already abandoning the BBC, either giving up television altogether or migrating to more modern streaming services like Netflix and others, which offer a range of content at a lower annual subscription rate. Breitbart London reported in January that more than 860,000 viewers cancelled their television licence in 2017/18 — the equivalent to around 2,300 people a day.
Those dropping away from the corporation are often those the company needs most to sustain its long-term future — young people. The Times reported 44 per cent of males aged 16-34 watch no BBC TV whatsoever in a typical week, and British viewers aged 16-24 spent more time watching just one rival — Netflix — than every BBC platform including TV, radio, and internet combined in 2017.
And second, in the USA:
Polling proves that public trust in the establishment media has collapsed in every imaginable way during Trump’s presidency.
There is no doubt anymore that corporate media’s ongoing assault against President Trump has backfired in a way that journalists will never recover from.
An IBD/TIPP poll asked about “the public’s perception of the mainstream news media” and found that “fully half the country says its trust in the media decreased over the past two years,” while only eight percent say they have more trust in the media.
I can only speak for myself. And I have to say that I stopped watching television in 2010. I also stopped reading newspapers at about the same time.
Why did I stop? Because none of them spoke up for me.
With the UK smoking ban of 1 July 2007, I – along with about 13 million other people – was expelled from society. Nobody in the BBC spoke up for us smokers. Nor did any newspaper speak up for us either. We smokers simply ceased to exist in the UK mainstream media. And when they stopped listening to us, I stopped listening to them.
Antismoking is just like antisemitism. And being a smoker in the UK (and in fact more or less everywhere in the world) is now very much like being a Jew in Nazi Germany, prior to the Holocaust. We have been driven to the margins of society. We are treated with complete and perfect contempt. And some of us have done the same thing that many Jews in Nazi Germany did: they’ve emigrated to the dwindling numbers of countries where they’re still welcome (Greece, Austria?), and where the writ of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has yet to run.
Did the Jews in Nazi Germany read German newspapers or listen to German radio? Probably not. Or if they did it was only to find out what was going to be done to them next. Certainly none of them would have felt part of the wider German society of which they had once been members.
And that’s how it is with me also. I’m not interested in the debates and discussions that may or may not be taking place in the mainstream UK media. I only want to know what they’re going to do to us smokers next. If I haven’t left the country, and gone to live elsewhere, it’s because I’m an old man, a bit unsteady on my feet, and unwilling to travel.
And also I don’t believe there’s going to be a Smoker Holocaust to rival the Jewish Holocaust. It’s not that I think that the antismoking zealots in Tobacco Control are any better or any less murderous than their Nazi forebears – they’re not -, but simply because there are far too many smokers in the world (I estimate about 1.5 billion) to gas them all. And also they are a valuable cash cow for governments to rob with high tobacco taxes.
But once very large numbers of people are expelled from society, and stop paying attention to a mainstream media which no longer makes any attempt whatsoever to speak up for them, is it any surprise if they find that their audience is gradually vanishing, bearing in mind that there are other very large social groups (drinkers, fat people, climate change deniers, etc.) who are also treated with almost equal contempt in the mainstream media?
Furthermore, in the internet era there are multiple sources of news and debate and discussion. You don’t have to listen to the BBC to find out what’s going on in the UK. In many ways the 20th century was the only era of the monopoly megaphone broadcast media, and it was an era that came to an end with the arrival of the conversational internet. It is no longer possible for the mainstream media to shape public opinion as it once could, because fewer and fewer people are paying any attention to it.
I don’t live in the USA, but I find the treatment of Donald Trump in the US mainstream media to be utterly sickening. He is, after all, the duly elected President of the United States. So I’m not at all surprised to learn that the US mainstream media is losing customers at the same sort of rate as the UK mainstream media. They have no-one but themselves to blame.
The only real question is: How long will it take for the mainstream media to die?