For years mainstream News has proven itself to be unreliable, uncreative, and generally liars. From the big 24/7 networks down to the local news they distort the narrative to fit their viewpoint.
Headlines like "College Student Arrested with Small Quantity of Drugs in Park" doesn't sell ad time like this would "Woman Caught Selling Drugs near Kindergarten." The second headline sensationalizes the news in order to grab viewer/reader attentions. Although the truth story is somewhere included, usually at the bottom or in a future retraction hidden on page 30, the headlines are misleading.
This over sensationalism has driven American trust in news agency to lows. In a study by the Trafalgar Group, reported on by the Washington Times, of respondents (Democrats and Republicans) only 23.7% said they trusted the news media. The study also found that 76.3% of respondents said "the primary focus of the mainstream media’s coverage of current events is to advance their own opinions or political agendas."
No wonder alternative news sources such as Drudge Report, Joe Rogan, and Zero Hedge are becoming so popular. These new sources are providing viewers and readers something the stale news either forgot how to provide or are willfully neglecting to do.
However, new data from Similar Web shows that Google has positioned itself as the frontrunner of news services. Since Google is the most commonly used search bar, it would follow that they direct traffic for news to their own site rather than other sources. The following chart shows that Drudge Report has been able to take a pretty big chunk of the market share in December, rounding out the top 5 news providers.
*Image provided by Drudge Report.
Also of note is that Zero Hedge has been able to best the likes of ABC News, CBS News, and the LA Times. Raw Story, a hyperpartisan left-leaning outlet, has also risen in popularity; with right leaning hyperpartisan outlet Newsmax gaining popularity but still struggling at the bottom of the list.
Unfortunately, as American trust in mainstream News media wanes, there are not many alternatives. Many news agencies are owned by only a few umbrella corporations. News Corp owns Fox, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal; Clear Channel owns 80% of radio stations; Time Warner owns Time magazine and CNN. There are very few corporations which run every news agency, and furthermore most websites just run the same story repeated over and over, including Drudge Report, which is just a news aggregator. This means, try as one might to find alternative news sources, they are all sourced back to the same few articles by the AP or Reuters.
Hence the distrust of the news media by Americans.
If mainstream News wants to remain relevant they must adapt to the times, learn from Joe Rogan and others, and begin to once again provide news coverage of important items. Not because they fit their agenda but because it is newsworthy. They need to do it in an honest and reliable way or they will continue to see their ratings plummet as Joe Rogan etc continue to soar in popularity.