Do these media trends contradict each other?

August 3, 2021

Two major media trends seem to be moving in the opposite direction. What does this mean?

A 2020 Nielsen Report says Americans are consuming more media than ever. The consumption rate was 7 hours per day in 1980, but it rose to 12.5 hours in 2020. This seems to suggest that our minds may be more controlled by media agenda setting than ever.

Yet cable news ratings are dropping!

  • CNN’s audience has plummeted 57% this year.
  • Fox News has declined by 42%.
  • MSNBC has dropped by 37%.

Do these media trends contradict each other?

Yes, and no.

Yes, TV news viewership is declining just as newspaper readership has decreased. No, because online news consumption may have increased. The Nielsen Report doesn’t tell us how much of online media consumption is news vs. entertainment, so we can’t know for sure. But here’s the question that’s really important…

Do these media trends mean that the establishment media’s agenda-setting power is declining?

We suspect not. Most online news still comes from major TV news networks and newspapers. And most of what gets discussed on Facebook and Twitter still reflects what the major TV news outlets are covering.

Do an experiment: Notice the subjects that have the longest threads on Facebook. It will usually be something that’s in the news. So…

Is the news covering the issues that matter most to you? And are your friends on Facebook and Twitter debating the most important ideas. If not then…

The media trends that matter don’t have to do with ratings

What matters most is mind-share! Who is controlling the American mind? It surely isn’t you. And it’s not people like you, no matter how much TV cable news ratings may be falling.

How do we change this?

Change starts inside our own minds

We start by changing ourselves. We start setting our own agenda, instead of having it set by others. So what does this mean in terms of practical action?

What specific steps does an Agenda Setter take?

Be conscious of what enters your mind and the unconscious impact it has.

When you post on social networks or talk to your friends, ask yourself — am I talking about what the Establishment cares about, or what I care about? Alter your focus to de-emphasize their desires in favor of your own interests.

Specifically, focus on talking to your friends about proposals that can cause real change. Agenda Setters provides you with an excellent set of examples. To put a finer point on this…

Focus on issues that will give you leverage.

We have tried to curate such issues for you. All of our campaigns are high leverage.

Focus on tactics where you may have an advantage.

Electoral politics requires majority support from tens of millions of people, whereas our tactics may require only tens of thousands.

Place YOUR PERSONAL FOCUS on Agenda Setters by Downsize DC.

Think about us daily. OPEN and READ our messages. We shouldn’t need click-bait subject lines to achieve a high opening rate. You should want the constant updates and strategic insight we provide. We truly believe there is no better use of your time in the freedom movement.

BOTTOMLINE: Human psychology prevents us from having nice things.

  • Cure yourself of subconscious media manipulation
  • Choose to focus on high leverage issues instead of the issues the media picks
  • Try tactics that can work with less effort instead of the ones that draw crowds
  • Commit to opening and reading all Agenda Setters’ messages instead of just the most “clickable” subject lines

Let’s start now…

If you haven’t reviewed and/or joined The 300 for all of our proposals, please go do that.

But, if you really need us to point you toward just one action, how about joining The 300 to End Judicial Findings, because it’s legal and encouraged for judges to sentence people for crimes of which they have not been convicted.

End Judicial Findings

Please also help us recruit more people. Contribute or start a monthly pledge.

Set your own agenda,

Jim Babka, President
Agenda Setters by Downsize DC

Today’s Action: Join ‘The 300’ End Judicial Findings


Help build The 300 with a one-time or monthly contribution.

Coming soon!

See the "300" Agenda Setters in your district

Don't subscribe ... a boring, inbox-stuffing newsletter. Get more!

See our Privacy Policy