I think that a lot of todays news cycle is to influence public opinion at least in some part. News sources do not wish to simply inform the public, they all have an agenda, regardless of their intentions. Each news source's agenda is trying to influence public opinion so that they think the same way they do.
I believe the function of today's news cycle is to influence public opinion. To me, it seems as though most of the articles and pieces of news we receive tend to be biased and one sided. We rarely, if ever, get good reporting on any real topic anymore. Because of this, I believe it has been turned into a method of swaying the publics opinion.
Without a doubt, a large part of today's news cycle is designed to influence public opinion. Each news station or publication has its own political slant however small or evident. With that in mind, Americans read or hear these news pieces and are then swayed by them in varios manners.
The function of today's news is definitely to influence public opinion. This is why most news outlets are thought of as either conservative or liberal. If they were truly unbiased these labels would not apply. So these labels alone show that the media is trying to influence public opinion in ways that it shouldn't be.
The function of today's news cycle is not to influence public opinion. Most reasonable news is to tell strictly the facts without any influence on public opinion. The news media is out for mostly profits and can become corrupted with greed. The media does like to publish drama to increase sells and profit margins.