When you are introducing the reader to a brand new universe, likely set in a different time or dimension, you may need to catch them up on current events. The state of affairs in politics or current social tensions will often play into the narrative at some point.
A lot of this you can introduce subtly over the course of the story, but sometimes you want to get stuck into the action and move the plot forward. A common plot device for this is some form of news broadcast that can tell the reader, in fiction, exactly what is going on. How convenient!