Readers: Mainstream media really blew it this election
Say major news outlets should have seen Donald Trump's win coming
November 10, 2016
People will debate for years to come why Donald Trump’s victory was seen as such a stunning upset in this week’s presidential election.
Some will blame the pollsters, whose methodology has rightly been questioned after Trump’s electoral triumph.
Others will say Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which was better organized and funded, gave the appearance of being on a winning track but was in fact out of touch with voters and lacked a compelling message.
Many will blame the media.
They’ll argue that it wasn’t actually an upset at all. The signs were there, but the mainstream news media completely missed them.
A large number of media planners and buyers agree with this assessment, according to a Media Life survey inviting readers to weigh in on Tuesday’s election results.
That media outlets were so stunned by the victory confirms these readers’ belief that the media is utterly out of touch with everyday people.
Many also believe the media is blinded by its own liberal bias, which carries with it a kind of arrogance.
“They completely missed the growing discontent of many Americans,” wrote one person.
Wrote another: “I believe the media twists things to suit their agenda and is out of touch with the public.”
And yet another: “The liberal elite media has underestimated the average American, who is tired of being told what to do by people that look down upon them. Is true journalism dead?” wondered another.
Opined another: “True journalism does not exist anymore, all biased and politically minded.”
Trump’s winning formula: Dominate the mainstream media
Asked why Trump was able to pull off a win, buyers had a wide range of responses, many of them related to media, as you would expect.
Right up there was Trump’s ability to draw endless attention to himself as the ultimate showman, and in the end it never really mattered whether it was good attention or bad attention. The cameras were always on him.
“As biased as the media may be, because Trump just said so many off-the-wall things, the media continued to cover him ad nauseum. He had so much airtime via interviews (did he ever turn anyone down?),” wrote one reader.
But media buyers also think Clinton could have run a much better campaign.
“She was great at the conventions, but I think she used her media dollars poorly,” one reader opined.
Readers said Clinton’s ads focused too much on Trump’s shortcomings and not enough on why she was the better choice to go the White House.
In the end, that’s probably what cost her the election.
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