Agreed. At this point, the problem is revenue streams. Advertising, as has been discussed so much, is absolutely wonky right now and something is going to crash. Me, I don't have enough of a finger on the pulse to say where, but it's a mighty high house of cards and the winds are blowing.
I guess it's US-centric (kinda has to be), but thinking about the tiers available there's broadcast, what was UHF and now I dunno what to call it - the available on-air digital channels, basic cable, and on up. Broadcast actually has the biggest audiences (aside from events like the Super Bowl, which are scheduled) during political seasons and crises. One aspect of 9/11 was folks glued to their sets; and that amplified the changes made during Gulf War One (like the news going from a 30 to 35 minute slot, now 37 minutes for NBC) that were never rolled back. And what is the one time they cannot charge for advertising? Yup.
That, I think, is a core to a lot of the problems, even things like perception of news coverage. As costs got pared down over the years things like news organizations slowly dwindled. Broadcast (CBS, NBC and ABC - I'm talking about just before the UPN appeared) then got a huge blow from cable, which grew up when CNN was a powerhouse with live reports from everywhere. Competition here, unlike in most business models, did not generate the best product. The advertising dollar began leading networks and news organizations around by the nose. Laws changed. We rarely see an ad for a bottle of booze or a local nail salon, but the spots for pharmaceuticals, weight loss, or personal injury attorneys simply never stop. It's just a hair short of holding audiences captive like Alex in A Clockwork Orange's end scene of brainwashing. From a psychological point of view, I would give much weight to this plethora of negativity being a causal factor in the general level of national agitation,
Okay, long post. 'nuff now.