In what should have been an ideal time of massive audience attention for prominent right-leaning news websites — prior to the summer lead-in into the fall election year — many such right-leaning, conservative news websites lost significant reader share to both mainstream media competitors and fake news purveyors. While it may be too soon to declare the death of conservative news websites, there is a distinct undertone, “It looks like” the conservative “watch dog” models may be in for a rough time in the years ahead. Let’s look at some of the ways in which conservative news websites could potentially meet the untimely demise of their favorite pricks.
As the volume of search traffic to right-leaning news sites spikes, a new phenomenon emerges: conservative users start searching for conservative topics online — even if they’re not interested in the subject! In effect, search engines begin punishing the top news sites based on their own inherent political bias. Google is even getting in on the act, as evidenced by their recent updates to their algorithm that prioritized content above noise. As a result, some of the most popular right-leaning sites on the internet have seen their search traffic drop, while those that remain dominate the search results. The resulting search traffic drop-off has dampened revenue for the larger right-leaning websites, while the smaller ones to find themselves struggling to maintain their profits as their credibility among potential customers erodes.
As the volume of news increases, another new phenomena emerge: conservative “journalism” sites begin to appear on the front page of major search results. In effect, the most-sought conservative content is relegated to the front pages, and the rest becomes filler or click-bait. What’s more, the growing number of such right-leaning news websites means that the diversity of views on the actual news becomes increasingly blurred. While a search result may show two liberal news stories, a search of the same news topics will reveal conservative views or conspiracy theories, further muddying the waters and potentially sowing seeds for a future controversy. The bottom line is that when it comes to right-leaning news, there’s simply too much of what could be called “fake news” floating around on the internet to rely solely on traditional media.
The increasing overlap of conservative websites with politically motivated news stories has become all too apparent. Many websites share articles and content — in essence, acting as a newsroom for a specific political party. Many websites also allow donations and other activities that further boost their political leanings.
Websites catering to a right-leaning political agenda carry similar tendencies. Many offer content loaded with right-wing or conservative ideas, stories and opinions. Some will also feature stories that portray the media as biased or newsworthy against a conservative viewpoint. This tactic, used to trick viewers into clicking on stories, can backfire when conservative viewers realize they are reading stories that don’t support their beliefs.
News websites that provide poor information are at risk of being shut down. Many news organizations are looking for ways to provide quality information while still maintaining a broad readership. If the information provided is not current, then viewers who seek it will flock to other, more trustworthy sources. Many sites that have run afoul of the law have had to close up their operations because of their poor-quality information.
Websites that simply re-sell conservative ads are in danger of being shut down. Gaining a reputation as a “spam site” could cause advertisers to steer clear. Advertisers are finding it difficult to advertise on Internet sites that openly discuss political and social issues. It could turn off potential customers to consider visiting a site that carries advertisements.
Content is important to ensuring that conservative interests are represented, but so is accuracy. Many conservative news websites have published stories that were misleading or flat-out wrong. They have also published stories that expressing a negative opinion about a candidate without providing a good alternative. Readers should be wary of sites that only focus on a particular party or candidate, as well as ones that only offer left-leaning content.
Conservative news websites are the backbone of information in this country and you can hear or watch them daily with their own headlines. Without them, we would not know what the latest news is or where to go for it. All across the country, you will find radio stations, television networks, newspapers, magazines and online sources that cater solely to your needs. With all of these resources available, what makes a conservative news site even more valuable than the others?
The fact that conservative news sites cater to a specific subject or headlines matters. When you have a local newspaper, chances are they have stories on your city or county. You may not always have the news you want, but at least you will get some of it. Radio stations can give you stories as well, but they mainly specialize in conservative news.