The 2016 presidential race thus far strongly indicates this will be a change election due to the surprising success of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as anti-establishment candidates as well as the remarkable failure of the mainstream media to cover their campaigns responsibly. Trump continues to dominate the coverage on the Republican side which now includes heated debates about the role commercial media, especially TV news, is playing.
Pulitzer-Prize winning historian of the press, Doris Kearns Goodwin, considers the coverage of Donald Trump a journalism fiasco. Supporters of Bernie Sanders have complained for many months about both the lack of coverage of his campaign as well as the general quality.
Sanders regularly criticizes the commercial TV networks for their relentless focus on personal attacks instead of serious issues like income inequality, campaign finance reform, inadequate healthcare and family leave, our crumbling infrastructure, and the rising cost of higher education.
Since the commercial TV networks profit handsomely from the costly political ads they air while continuing to cover candidates as celebrities to boost their news ratings, there is a great opportunity this election season for citizens to consider the general failure of our commercially driven media system to adequately cover the significant issues they will be voting on. There is a profound connection between the lack of media attention to issues American citizens care about most and the gross imbalance between commerical and public media.