Everyone is running through the ATN offices, which we’ve previously only seen for brief moments, and it looks like your standard 24-hour newsroom. Instead of cubicles, there are clusters of desks, and monitors everywhere display news from around the world. It’s kind of chaotic to experience on a normal day, let alone election night. At the other end of the massive newsroom is the studio itself, so breaking news can be delivered directly to the on-air presenters the moment it airs.
The need for up-to-the-minute reporting began with the advent of cable news in the early 1990s, though the general public was first transfixed during the OJ Simpson trial that began in 1994, as curious hearings they enjoyed getting immediate information. information instead of having to wait for Walter Cronkite that night. (Or, even worse, waiting for the next day’s paper.) Networks like CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and others discovered what their shadow newspapers like William Randolph Hearst had learned nearly a century earlier: sensationalism sells.
Elections are already rife with deceptive tactics, and they are a fertile playing field for news networks eager to do the bidding of politicians with whom they are aligned. That means manipulating the public by claiming election rigging, spreading rumors about the other candidates, and more. It’s nothing new in politics, but this type of propaganda has incredible reach when there’s almost always a television around and there’s a screen in every pocket.