Media — news versus profits


Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:56

Originally written: 20 March 2005


There is more than enough evidence to support the belief that the media provides heavily biased coverage. The nature of the profit-motivated enterprises which comprise the media, guarantees a bias strongly in favour of capitalism. Writer Tom Fenton, a retired CBS News foreign correspondent, comments upon the profit driven nature of the media.

Fenton’s analysis is generally correct, but incomplete, superficial, and nationalistic. Fenton unintentionally provides some support for the socialist position that the news industry is in business to make money, not to present an honest view of the world. Profit comes first, and the news is presented when it is profitable.

The following is extracted from an article in the Houston Chronicle, TV news focus turns myopic

TV news focus turns myopic

Networks put profits
ahead of better broadcasts

By TOM FENTON
Copyright 2005 Newhouse News Service

Editor’s Note: Tom Fenton is the author of Bad News: The Decline of Reporting, The Business of News, and the Danger to Us All and a retired CBS News foreign correspondent. He wrote this article for the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.
Profits first
How could network news have strayed so far from what was really happening in the world? The answer lies in how the corporations that own the news see us, the viewers. They treat us as consumers, not citizens, and put corporate profits before the welfare of our nation.

If the corporate owners believe they are simply putting on the air a show that has to make money and compete with entertainment alternatives, then what CBS or ABC or NBC has been doing with the news in recent years makes sense. They can get away with closing news bureaus and getting rid of experienced correspondents, by outsourcing the actual gathering of news and video to news agencies and packaging it to create the illusion that they are covering the world.

All this while devoting much of their newscasts to the lighter fare they believe will attract more viewers.


 
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