In 1960, presidential candidates and future presidents John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon appeared on the first televised presidential debate. For the following 35 years tv was the main outlet through which average people were connected to the world and to politics. Then in 1995 the internet became public and commercialized, and people started using the internet to obtain news. Presidential debates however, have stuck to tv and have not made the adjustment to be covered on the internet as well. This is a huge issue as many Americans cannot afford cable tv and as a result are cut off from the presidential debates and therefore are limited in their political knowledge. This can lead to them not being able to make an informed decision on which candidate best represents their interest as well as which candidate they should vote for.
According to a CNET article titled “Cord Cutters Cut off from presidential debates,” young adults are the main demographic of people missing out on the debates. In fact, during the republican debate on October 28th on CNBC, 73% of their viewers were over the age of 50. Max Taves, the reporter who wrote this story, cites two reasons why younger people aren’t buying cable. The first cause that Taves stated was that the price of cable tv is simply too expensive for many people. Cable prices have risen dramatically to 23 dollars a month, this is an 88% increase from 1998 costs. This rise in prices has surpassed inflation over this time period and has led many Americans to cut their cable in order to save money. Many young Americans, who can barely pay rent, can’t afford the luxury of a cable subscription.
The second cause of why young adults aren’t buying cable packages is because younger people use youtube, netflix and other streaming providers to get their news, entertainment and information. The fact is that although 55% of Americans support streaming the debates and yet the debates are not getting streamed online. This is a major issue as many young adults rely on these streaming outlets to receive their news, and if the debates are not online, then they are out of luck.
America thrives when each American voices and advocates for their opinion. However, with the limited coverage of the presidential debates it is harder than ever for young adults to get informed on the presidential candidates. The issue is not complicated, and the debates should be streamed online.