America upholds the press as an important part of how its democracy functions, even to the point of amending its constitution to include freedom of the press. The aim of a free press is for news reporting to be unbiased and politically neutral in order to accurately depict news events to the masses. However, Fox News as a media outlet actively undermines the ideals of a free press and therefore is not considered to be a news outlet.
Fox News actively spreads misinformation. An example includes Fox News providing misleading information surrounding the coronavirus pandemic by publishing supporting information to President Trump’s conspiracy theories around the treatment of coronavirus through taking certain drugs. The aim of integrity in news media is to protect the public from misinformation and its consequences, however, Fox News actively published incorrect information in order to gain views, influence people and earn revenue. This practice is heavily unethical within news reporting and is an important reason for why Fox News is not considered a news outlet.
Infotainment is an important issue with Fox News’ reporting style. Often Fox News catastrophizes information to create spectacle and entertainment for viewers. Its conservative viewpoint and significant bias further contribute to Fox News being seen as infotainment. Most importantly, the issue of Fox’s infotainment style is its curating of content for example taking content out of context or cropping content to create a viewpoint that furthers their narrative.
Specifically, this occurs during debates and with how Fox News structures their timings for speakers. It is known that speakers who offer the more liberal point of view are given significantly less time in order to better frame the conservative perspective of the argument. This strategy significantly influences audiences and has likely led to some people adopting conservative positions on hot button issues. Again, we see another unethical practice conducted by Fox News that is not seen in the typical news journalism reporting format.
Fox News’ most significant issue with why it is not considered a news outlet is because of its connection to the White House. It has the largest influence of any news organisations throughout the United States because it is the only network that reaches the president. President Trump has previously quoted Fox News within his speeches and Fox News has reciprocated with avid support of him. Arguably, Fox News should be seen as a propaganda machine for the Trump Campaign because of its influence in delegitimizing traditional media sources by following Trump’s lead and calling any news outlet against President Trump “fake news.” As Fox News has such a significant disregard for the truth, actively campaigns against news sources reporting against President Trump and because of its influence within the state Fox News is not considered a news outlet.
Fox News operates unethically with its approach to reporting news which is why it is not considered a reliable news source. It aims to actively mislead the public in order to profit and influence ideological thinking. Fox News actively reports biased and unchecked news media while campaigning to delegitimize traditional sources of news media which report against President Trump.