Mainstream media’s demise continues as CNN shuts down all operations in the Philippines
02/02/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

Yet another nail has been hammered into the coffin of the mainstream media with the announcement that CNN will be closing its operations in the Philippines after nine years in business.

In a press release on their website announcing the closure, they explained: “The decision follows significant financial losses sustained over the past years, despite rigorous efforts to adapt and innovate in a rapidly evolving and challenging media landscape.”

Effective January 31, the outlet, which is considered a franchise of CNN International and operated by the Nine Media Corp, will cease news and production operations across all media platforms. CNN Philippines started airing as part of a licensing deal with Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific back in 2015.

The outlet cited years of financial losses as driving the closure. Variety reports they’ve accumulated losses exceeding $89 million and their licensing agreement was not scheduled to expire until the end of the year. A total of 300 employees will be impacted directly by the closure, along with an unknown number of suppliers and contractors who work with them.

CNN Worldwide commended CNN Philippines for its award-winning journalism in a statement and directed viewers to CNN International, which will remain available in the country. The Philippines is known for being a dangerous country for journalists as numerous governments there have interfered with media outlines and journalists who are overly critical of them.

Mainstream media is falling apart

What happened at CNN Philippines is just the latest example of the mainstream media falling apart before our eyes. The Los Angeles Times recently cut 20 percent of its newsroom, while Time slashed 15 percent of its unionized editorial workforce. Business Insider gave 8 percent of its staff its walking papers, while layoffs are expected soon at publications like the New York Daily News and Forbes.

On one hand, media cuts anywhere are bad for the industry as a whole, and society benefits from staying informed about what is going on in the world. Moreover, part of the reason cited for many recent media outlets shuttering is the growing tendency of the public to get their news from unreliable sources like Facebook and TikTok, especially younger generations. None of this bodes well for the future.

At the same time, however, it is hardly surprising to see mainstream media outlets losing readers and revenue given their increasingly glaring biases – and they will only become even more eager to tailor their reporting to suit the preferred narratives of their corporate sponsors as their revenues continue to drop. This willingness was on full display during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the mainstream media refused to publish anything that painted vaccines in a negative light, and went out of its way at times to disparage doctors and other experts who discussed preventions and cures that don’t profit Big Pharma.

There are countless other examples of the media's liberal bias, from the coverage of Russiagate and January 6 to George Floyd, the Israel-Hamas War, Roe v. Wade and Hunter Biden’s laptop. The mainstream media has been criticized for dangerously dividing the country, stirring up hatred and violence.

A poll conducted last year by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights found that nearly three fourths of American adults believed the news media was raising political polarization in the U.S., while just under half reported having little to no trust in the media being able to report news accurately and fairly. A different poll, this one by Rasmussen, found that 58 percent of American voters felt that bias in the news media was getting worse.

Independent journalism has never been more important than it is right now, as people increasingly reject the divisive nature of the agenda-driven mainstream media, whose reporting is largely dictated by corporate and government sponsors. At a time when a major news organizations like CNN with billions of dollars and experience behind it cannot stay afloat in countries like the Philippines and top newspapers in big cities like Los Angeles lose readership and have to make huge staff cuts, it is clear that society has had enough of what the mainstream media is peddling.

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