CNN might have pioneered the cable news template, but Generation X preferred to get its updates from a different breed of anchors.
In between music videos, MTV became known for providing legitimate and reliable news about world events, pop culture, and everything in between. Although the network’s news division has remained a part of the company in the decades since then, that’s about to change.
Paramount, which owns MTV, has announced widespread budget cuts that will spell the end of MTV News.
What made it special
Instead of the stuffy, formulaic news broadcasts that became synonymous with their parents’ generation, teens and young adults in the ‘90s found more relatable hosts with Kurt Loder, Sway Calloway, and others.
Young journalists managed to offer a mix of facts and context that spoke to MTV’s core audience without condescention.
Some credited the MTV News, at least in part, for mobilizing young voters who helped elect Bill Clinton in 1992. He returned the favor two years later when he showed up for a town hall event and took questions including one about his go-to style of underwear: “Usually briefs.”
Then there was the music-related news, which was unsurprisingly the network’s specialty. From celebrity feuds to the untimely deaths of entertainers like Tupac and Kurt Cobain, viewers could always rely on MTV for the latest.
A lasting legacy
MTV News might be coming to an end, but its impact on the overall news culture will certainly live on. It proved that young people actually cared about the news and wanted trustworthy journalists to deliver it to them in a compelling way.
Alternative news sites that don’t take themselves too seriously and even certain segments on platforms like CNN probably wouldn’t exist in their current form without the trailblazers at MTV News.