Political talk shows aren’t news sources

By Avery Ballmann | Staff Writer

Political talk shows have taken viewers’ attention away from the unbiased nightly news. Shows such as “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “The Rachel Maddow Show” have increasingly divided Democrats and Republicans by only reporting low-impact stories and sharing their personal opinions. The standard nightly news needs to air later in the evening, so people who work are able to watch unbiased news and not political talk shows.

Political talk shows should have their place on cable; however, the time of day these shows air is a disservice to the working class and parents. According to Forbes, the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday is decaying. Since COVID-19 and the rise in remote work, people have become accustomed to their flexible hours and have even shown more productivity than before. The nightly news, such as NBC and CBS, air at 5:30 p.m. CST. This airing time is structured around the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday, which is becoming non-existent.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” airs at 8 p.m., and “Tucker Carlson Tonight” airs at 7 p.m. These times are more attainable for the working class and parents, but these talk shows are politically biased, which creates an echo chamber for viewers. This instigates a streamline of misinformation, which then discredits actual journalists reporting in an unbiased way. Political talk shows should not be Americans’ sole source of information.

The nature of these shows is not intended to spread false news; however, the issue lies with the airing time of these shows, compared to that of the nightly news. News stations need to readjust their airing schedules and accommodate the evolving post-pandemic workforce. If the nightly news can air at the traditional time of 5:30 p.m. and re-air at a later time such as 8 p.m., it could reach exponentially more viewers. News stations also need to accommodate different time zones and factor that in when deciding to re-air episodes.

For Americans who have the luxury of streaming services, they are able to watch the episode any time they please. But this eliminates the need to watch the news live, which may lead people to feel inclined to watch initially but end up not doing so. Streaming services’ ability to pick and choose which channels viewers can access also reinforces the echo chamber dilemma.

To combat the traditional workweek, news outlets have been making stories easily accessible for the on-the-go American through podcasts. Podcasts such as “NPR News Now,” “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” and “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” are all available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. There are also podcasts focusing on the economy, environment and health care to give the facts and updates on these sectors in the U.S.

With our fast-paced society and evolving workforce, it is important to stay informed with local and national news. Political talk shows are what they are — they’re just talk, and they’re not completely factual and are infused with the hosts’ opinions. If news outlets consider airing according to their cable viewers and Americans start to receive their news from podcasts, I believe the country would be less divided and more informed.