Who decides what is news and what is not news?Eduardo De Jesus Hernandez HerreraMsEd Information TechnologyBA, Political Science
AbstractThe following research includes: a) A description of the theory behind news coverage ina democratic society, b) The function of the media in a democratic society c) Commercialinterests pressuring the media’s function of providing unbiased news coverage, c) A caseanalysis in which the following actors are involved 1) Mass Media 2) Big corporations 3)A variety of news networks owned by the same entity 4) Journalists fighting for a honestnews coverage against a big corporation 5) The judicial branch of the United States 6)The United States agency FDA, responsible for creation and executions of politicalpolicies of human health. The purpose of analyzing a concrete case is to test therationality behind the theory that states that the Mass Media can not perform its moralobligation and social function of informing the public in a impartial way due to itscommercial role and nature in the market place.
Introduction In democratic societies the role of the media is to keep the public informed inorder to promote political participation, social integration, transparency of governmentalacts, awareness of public needs, political action in public policies and social justice. If theMedia performs a biased role informing the public, society will have an inaccurateperspective of the reality. Public policies can not be performed if the public does notknow real issues that threat democracy. The Mass media needs to be one of the mosthonest and trustable sources of information in a democratic society. If there is aconcentration of power and monopoly of information and news coverage, public opinioncan be easily controlled and manipulated, public policies can be shaped, public consentcan be addressed to satisfy the needs and demands of the powerful elite that decideswhat’s news and what is not news. The following research presents democratic doctrine of mass media and real caseanalysis that shows that our economic system needs to be challenged and addressed inorder to follow those principles in which a democratic society was founded.
Thesis Statement and Literature Review The US Mass media is systematically biased in favor of big corporations andpolitical interests because its commercial role of market competition, agenda setting andincreasing their profits takes priority over its social function of keeping the publicinformed. The Mass media works with financial resources earned by advertisements paid bybig corporations such as Wal-Mart stores, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, General Motors and soforth. The Mass media as a business needs to have profits in order to function. The Mass Media is constrained and pressured by the economic system showingpositive news coverage supporting big corporations. Big businesses are the main entitiesthat provide financial sources to the Mass Media by buying advertisements. If the MassMedia presents news that damage the image of its clients (big businesses) the MassMedia might lose the companies that pay for advertisements. Big business will not payfor advertisements from those companies that present a bad image of them. The MassMedia needs to be biased in favor of big companies in order to be competitive, keep theirmain source of finances and keep its business going. Walter Lippman states that Democracy can not rely on newspapers at all. InNewspapers he states that newspapers have no objective standards on choosing whatnews need to be shown to the public. The main priority of a newspaper is to keep thereader engaged and entertained for a certain amount of time rather than educate orinform. In our economic competitive market the newspaper that keeps the reader more
engaged is the most successful newspaper. Walter Lippman states that news and truth arenot the same thing. The function of the truth is to signal an event and the function of thetruth is to bring to light hidden facts. Linda L. Putman in News coverage of environmental issues explains how themedia establishes the framing in which conflicts are conducted. She collects data from avariety of conflicts using the NEWSBANK database, the Texas Natural ResourceConservation Commission (TNRCC) and contributions from stakeholders interviewed inthis study. Her work illustrates that the media needs societal conflict to function and itprofits from the continuation of the conflict and how the media forms images of thenature of the dispute. Michaels in Why democracies need an unlovable press states that journalists areconstrained in professional culture, dependent on official sources narrowing publicdiscussion and diminishing democracy. Therefore the people who make the news and theaudience who reads and watches news are middle upper class individuals. There isstratification in the ways in which news are delivered to the public. The Mass Media triesto reach clients that have enough financial resources. Those clients are the ones who havethe economic capacity of buying products that the Mass Media shows in itsadvertisements and commercials. Therefore, the Mass Media is not interested in directingits news coverage to the lower economic class. There is a biases way of conducting newscoverage. Everett M. Rogers and James W. Dearings work of Agenda-Setting Research:Where has it been, where is it going? is focused on how different interests play animportant role setting the media agenda, the influence of the media on perceptions and
attitudes towards the public, and what issues politicians need to address in relation withpublic opinion. It explains the importance of distinguishing an issue from an agendawhen people take into account political issues. Their work demonstrates that the mediaimpacts federal policymaking and implementation by either speeding up positive issuecoverage or slowing down the process with negative coverage. The mass media needs to keep their business going. Legally and economically themain goal of a business is to increase its profits. In order to succeed in the market placeMass Media businesses needs to identify the wealthiest advertisement buyers. Thosewealthiest advertisement buyers are the most important clients, and the Mass Medianeeds those wealthiest clients in order to succeed and compete in the market place. Inother words, the Mass Media needs to have wealthy commercial buyers in order tofunction and exist. Even though keeping the public informed is a moral obligation of themedia and a principle of journalism to present unbiased and impartial news, the role ofthe business takes priority over its moral obligation. As Noam Chomsky states: “the powerful are able to fix the premises ofdiscourse, to decide what the general populace is allowed to see, hear, and think about,and to “manage” public opinion by regular propaganda campaigns, the standard viewof how the system works is at serious odds with reality” Increasing profits remains the main goal of the Mass Media. The way in whichconflicts are presented to the audience will attract more audience. Therefore, journalisttend to be sensationalist and melodramatic in order to increase newspaper sales, toincrease the audience in T.V. shows, and gain more audience in news coverage in orderto compete with the other Mass Media T.V. channels, radios and newspapers.
Linda L. Putman explains in News Coverage of Environmental Issues how themedia establishes the framing in which conflicts are conducted. She collects data from avariety of conflicts using the NEWSBANK database, the Texas Natural ResourceConservation Commission (TNRCC) and contributions from stakeholders interviewed inthis study. Her work illustrates that the media needs societal conflict to function and itprofits from the continuation of the conflict and how the media forms images of thenature of the environmental dispute. Furthermore, Delli Carpini in Constructing PublicOpinion Michael and Bruce discover how television viewers interact intellectually withtelevision during discussions as much as they were members of the environmentaldiscussion, and such interactions were not limited to talk shows or environmental newscoverage. Their work illustrates that those TV viewers have a limited autonomy when itcomes to dealing with environmental issues. TV viewers in the report admitted the needto distinguish the dramatic elements from the more factual bases. If many channels carry the same message the greater the possibilities are that theaudience will have limited autonomy creating their own opinion about news coverage,political issues and economic lifestyle. McQuail in The influence and effects of mass media points out that the morechannels that carry the same message the greater the possibility of acceptance, stating thatthe whole society is affected by the social power of the mass media. Farnsworth in TheStruggle over shaping the news explains that journalists coverage can determine winnersand losers in the political arena. The fight over who decides what news should bepresented to the public becomes severe when financially powerful sectors competeagainst powerful political actors for media support. Journalists seek controversial
scandals of famous political actors in order to increase their profits and political actors tryto influence the media with their power. This illustrates different levels of power thatdifferent political actors have in the political arena in contrast with different ranks ofpower that journalists and the media have in the economic and social sphere. The press should keeps the public informed about important issues in society inan impartial way. Society needs to be objectively and well informed in order to have afunctional democracy. On the other hand, there is subtle principle of stratification of thelanguage in which news are conducted. If only the college educated middle upper classhas an understanding of the news, there is a marginalization of the uneducated sector ofsociety, excluding them from the political arena. Michael Schudson in Why democraciesneed an unlovable press concentrates his work on how journalists have a clear andlargely secular, college educated, upper middle class vision that excludes different sectorsof society from exercising their freedom of expression. Schudsons essay shows thatjournalists are constrained in a professional culture, dependent on official sourcesnarrowing public discussion and diminishing democracy. Furthermore, the majority of the population including audience with collegeeducation and audience without college education relies on soft news offered bytraditional media. Mathew A. Baum in How Soft News Brings Policy Issues to theInattentive Public discusses how news broadcasters discovered how real life humandrama attracts a larger audience than fictional drama. Cheap framing and real life dramaof soft news has successfully been accepted by the majority, explaining and informing thepublic about complex economic and political issues. Soft news tend to reach more of thepublic than academic complex news, and that the inattentive public appears to be a
majority of the audience. MaQuail in The influence and effects of mass media focuses on general behaviorin society such as buying, donating to charity, portrayals of immigrants, attitude and soforth. If the Mass Media is controlled by big corporations, there will be a biased tendencyto try to influence the public to spend money on goods produced by big corporations. Frank C. Erwin Jr.in What moves public opinion? is a specific study concentratedon media impact on a variety of opinions about public policy issues before and afteraudiences have been exposed to a variety of news. The study of Frank Erwin and Shapirodemonstrates how television affects, influences and shapes public opinion about publicpolicy. Their work discovers an intrinsic and inherent connection between the way inwhich news are presented and public opinion. The study suggests that TV newsinfluences short-term and long-term opinion change in issues such as rising educationallevels, cohort replacement, racial migration, and alterations in the family. Gilliam in News Coverage Effects on Public Opinion about Crime illustrates howcertain groups of society avoid neighborhoods and contact between specific racial groupsthat are criminalized by news coverage. Their work illuminates the focus of the study onmedia and politics, illustrating that there is a connection between news exposure tospecific racial group perpetrators and support of more punitive justice policies, and howsemantic and visual stimulation conditions public attitudes about crime. Thomas E. Patterson in The Miscast Institution argues that the news media fills apolitical role that political parties ought to play. He explains that the function andprinciples of the media differ with political values and principles that guide elections in ademocratic society. He affirms that the United States is the only democracy that
organizes its national election campaign around the news media. Candidates use themedia to reach voters and they are forced to follow commercial goals instead of moralprinciples of democracy. The work of Patterson questions the role of the mass mediaduring election campaigns and delegating more responsibilities to political partiesengaging voters with democratic processes and challenging our current political systemsefficiency and legitimacy. Timothy E. Cook in The Uses of the News: theory and (Presidential) Practiceestablishes that the media should be the forth branch of the government. He believes thatthe more control the government has over the media the better that public policies can beexecuted and the more participation that society can have in the government. Timothyexplains how different forms of government can be applied, challenging our system ofgovernance, the way in which Mass Media works and questioning current legalinstitutions that are considered democratic. Karen M. Kedrowski in How Members of Congress Use the Media to InfluencePublic Policy explains in the major findings of four case studies how the Congress usesthe media to influence public policy creation and execution. This essay illustrates that themedia has an enormous amount of power over political policies. Further study should bemade in order to determine which strategies should be applied in order to improvedemocratic participation and unbiased news coverage over public policies. Stephen J. Farsworth and S. Robert Lichter in The Struggle over shaping the newsexplains that journalists coverage can determine winners and losers in the political arena.The framing of issues in which there is political conflict determines the influence ofpolitical movements. Doug McAdam Strategies of the American Civil Rights Movement
explains that civil rights movements have learned to take advantage of situations in whichthe government appears to be undemocratic because public support in favor of thedictatorial policies declines. Martin Luther King Jr. attracted media coverage ofundemocratic actions and mobilized public support constraining social influence ofsegregation groups. This essay shows that the media can increase or decrease the powerof different political sectors, and political actors can strategize planning on how to gainpower through the media to pursue their political goals. EVIDENCE
In order to test the hypothesis that The US Mass media is systematically biased infavor of big corporations and political interests because its commercial role of marketcompetition, agenda setting and increasing their profits takes priority over its socialfunction of keeping the public informed a case analysis will be conducted in which thefollowing actors are involved 1) Mass Media 2) Big corporations 3) A variety of newsnetwork owned by the same entity 4) Journalists fighting for a honest news coverage 5)The judicial branch of the United States 6) The United States agency FDA who is theresponsible entity of creation and executions of human health political policies. The case of Akre and Wilson Reported that they lost their jobs at Tampa’s Fox-owned WTVT when theyrefused to change their news report about a product of Monsanto. Both reporters visiteddairies factories and found out that bovine growth hormone (BGH) a product ofMonsanto that was injected to each cow in the region. The product was present in all thestate’s milk products. The hormone product affected the health of the cows, making themsick and stimulating production of bacteria into the milk.Jane Akre states that: “….With Monsanto I didn’t realize how effectively a corporationcould work to get something into the market place, the levels of coordination they had tohave, they had to have university professors into the fold, that had to have reporters intothe fold, and they had to get the FDA into the fold… and they did that, very, very well”Jane Akre states that the product was not properly tested on humans in order to verify ifwould be harsh to humans. Jane Akre says that the federal government only did studies on rats for 90 days.Canadians scientists did not approved the use of BGH was extremely dangerous and
harmful for humans. Robert F. Kennedy Jr says that: “In various studies BGH has beenlinked to cancer, New Zealand, and the entire European community. Akre and Wilson’sreport said that Monsanto had been accused of fraud in connection with information ithad provided to the EPA concerning dioxin, published deceitful statements about foodsafety, and funded favorable studies about the product from tame scientists. The newscastalso reported on allegations that Monsanto had attempted to bribe public officials inCanada” Jane Akre states that Fox news was afraid of showing negative news ofMonsanto’s product BGH because it was afraid of loosing advertisement dollars.Therefore, they only wanted to show positive news about Monsanto. Jane Akre says thatRupert Murdock who owns 22 television stations was afraid of loosing advertisementdollars of all Monsanto products in all the televisions stations. Jane Akre and Steve Wilson explained that Dave the Director of Fox news, tried tochange the report of Jane Akre and Steve Wilson into a positive way favoring Monsantoproduct: “…..we will tell you what the news is, the news is what we say it is” SteveWilson affirms that Fox news tried to bribe his wife and him in order to prevent themfrom publishing the news that would show bad implications in health for humans andcows. David Boylan fires the reporters in December 1997. Jane Akre and Steve Wilsonsued Fox news. Robert F. Kennedy points out: “In August 2000, following a five monthtrial, a Florida jury awarded Akre $425,000 under Florida’s private sector whistle –blower’s statute, which prohibits retaliation against employees who threaten to discloseemployer conduct that is “in violation of a law, rule or regulation”
Akre and Wilson decision was reverted by the Florida’s Court of Appeals and theCourt decided that they had to pay $1.7 million in legal fees to Fox in 2003. In 2003 JaneAkre and Steve Wilson won the “Nobel Prize for grassroots work”Who owns the Media?11 Taken from http://live.freepress.net/ownership/chart/main
General Time Warner Walt Disney News CBSElectric Corporation Network: the Disney Media Networks: Fox, Networks: CBSTelevision CW (a joint Networks, a Fox Business Network,networks: NBC venture with company whose Channel, STAR ShowtimeNetworks, CBS), Kids holdings (satellite Networks, Inc.Telemundo WB, include: television in (SNI) owns Telepictures Asia), Fox Showtime, theCable: A&E, Productions, The ABC Movie Movie Channel,History Home Box Television Channel, Fox Flix, ShowtimeChannel (part), Office, Inc. Network: ABC News Channel, Too, ShowtimeNBC (HBO, Entertainment, Fox College Showcase,Entertainment, Cinemax, HBO ABC Daytime, Sports, Fox ShowtimeNBC News, Sports, HBO ABC News, Sports Extreme,NBC Sports, Pay-Per-View, ABC Sports, Enterprises, ShowtimeNBC HBO Video, ABC Fox Regional Beyond,Television, HBO Television, Sports ShowtimeNBC Independent ABC Kids, and Networks (14 Next,Universal, Productions, Touchstone owned and ShowtimeCNBC, CNBC HBO Television. operated), Fox Women,World (Arabia, Multiplexes, Sports En ShowtimeIndia, Asia, HBO on Cable Espanol, Fox Familyzone,Europe), Demand, Networks: Sports Net, Fox TMC XTRA,MSNBC, Cinemax Sports Net Bay Showtime HD,Bravo, Sci Fi Multiplexes, ESPN, ESPN2, Area (40%), the MovieChannel, Cinemax on ESPN Classic, Fox Soccer Channel HD,Sundance Demand, HBO ESPNEWS, Channel, Fox Showtime onChannel (part), HD, Cinemax ESPN PPV, Reality, Fox Demand,Trio, HD, as well as ESPN Deportes, Pan American SundanceTelemundo, HBO channels ESPN Sports (38%), Channel (jointUSA, and around the International, Premier Media venture, SNIWeather Plus world), Court ESPN Classic Group owns 30%), TV (50% Time Sport Europe, (Australia Showtime PPV,Production and Warner, 50% ESPN Latin 50%), Premium CBSdistribution Liberty Media), America, ESPN Movie Entertainment,companies: TBS, Asia, ESPNU, Partnership CBS News,NBC Universal Boomerang, ESPN2 HD, (Australia CBS Sports,Television Cartoon Disney Channel 20%), Cine CSTVStudio, NBC Network, (cable and Canal (Latin Networks, Inc.Universal Cartoon satellite), America 23%),Television Network International Telecine (Latin CBS NetworkDistribution Europe, Disney America 13%), consists of 27 Cartoon Channels, Toon FUEL TV, FX, stations.26 television Network Latin Disney, Nationalstations, owned America, SOAPnet, ABC Geographic Programming:
under the Cartoon Family Channel (US CBS Television“NBC Network Channel, JETIX 67% and Distribution:Universal” Studios, Europe, JETIX Worldwide CSI: Crimedivision. These Cartoon Latin America, 50%), SPEED Sceneinclude NBC Network Asia A&E Television Channel, Investigation,affiliates, Pacific, Networks National Sports Survivor,Univision Cartoon (37.5% equity; Partners, Everybodyaffiliates, and a Network Japan includes A&E, National Lovessmall number (70% share), the History Advertising Raymond,of NBC/Turner, Channel, the Partners, My Jeopardy!, Theindependents. Williams St. Biography Network TV, Oprah Winfrey Studio, New Channel, Fox Television Show,International Line History Studios EntertainmentChannels: Television, International, Tonight, The13eme Rue Turner Classic A&E In the United Early Show, 60(France), 13th Movies, TCM International), States, News Minutes, 48Street Europe, TCM Lifetime Corp. owns 35 Hours, Face the(Germany), Asia Pacific, Entertainment television Nation, CWCalle 13 TCM Classic Services (50% stations. Network (50%(Spain), Sci Fi Hollywood in equity; includes with TimeChannel UK, Latin America, Lifetime Satellite Warner), CBSStudio Turner Television, Television: Paramount TV,Universal Network Lifetime Movie Europe: SKY CSTV(Germany), Television, Network, Italia includes Networks,Studio Turner South, Lifetime Real Sky Sport, MountainWestUniversal TNT, TNT HD, Women, Calcio Sky, Sports Network(Italy), TNT Latin Lifetime Radio Sky Cinema, (50%),Universal America, TNT for Women, Sky TG 24; SmithsonianChannel (Latin CNN / US, Lifetime Home British Sky NetworksAmerica), CNN Airport Entertainment), Broadcasting (90%).CNBC Asia, Network, CNN E! Networks (37%) includesand CNBC International, (39.6% equity; Sky News, SkyEurope CNN Headline includes E! Sports, Sky News, CNN Entertainment Travel, SkyProgramming: Headline News Television, the One, SkyNBC Network in Asia Pacific, Style Network), MoviesNews, NBC CNN Headline Buena VistaUniversal News in Latin Television, LatinGlobal America, CNN Walt Disney America:SkyNetworks, en Español, Television Latin AmericaNBC Universal CNN en DBS PlatformsInternational Español Radio, The ABC include BrazilChannels, The CNNj, CNN+, Television (Sky BrasilToday Show, CNN Turk, Network has 50%), Irect TVNBC Nightly CNN-IBN, 226 affiliated Latin AmericaNews with CNNfn, CNN stations Asia:Space TV
Brian Williams, International, reaching 99 (India DBSDateline NBC, CNN Mobile, percent of all 20%), PhoenixMeet the Press, CNN U.S. television SatelliteEarly Today, Newsource, households. The TelevisionCNBC, CNN Pipeline, company owns (38%),Squawk Box, CNN to go, and operates ten Hathway CableMad Money, CETV (China), ABC television and DatacomTim Russert, n-tv (German stations in the (26%), ChinaCNBC World, news network; nation’s top NetworkCNBC Arabia, Turner owns markets. Systems (17CNBC-India interest), affiliated cableTV-18, BOING (family Programming: systems),Hardball with channel in Good Morning BSkyB (38%),Chris Italy; joint America, World DIRECTTV,Matthews, The venture with News with SKY Italia.Rita Cosby Mediaset) Charles Gibson,Specials Unit, World News United States:Morning Joe, Local cable Now, 20/20, DIRECTVMun2, Sleuth, news channels: Primetime, This Group (38%)A&E [part], Capital News 9 Week WithThe History Albany, George Programming:Channel Albany, NY; Stephanopoulos, Special Report[part], The MetroSports, ESPNU with BritSundance Kansas City, Hume, FoxChannel [part], MO; News 8 Report withShopNBC Austin, Austin, Shepard Smith,(27%), Ion TX; News 10 On the RecordMedia Now — With Greta VanNetworks, Syracuse, Susteren, FoxUniversal HD. Syracuse, NY; News Sunday, News 14 The O’Reilly Carolina- Factor, Hannity Charlotte, and Colmes Charlotte, NC; News 14 Carolina- Raleigh, Raleigh, NC; NY1 News, New York, NY; R News, Rochester, NY; Urban Cableworks of Philadelphia (joint venture
The case of Jane Akre and Steve Wilson shows how corporate interests play a bigrole in the decision making process in which news needs to be presented, which newsshould not be presented, and how they have be presented to the public. Jane Akre Janestated that Rupert Murdock was afraid of loosing advertisement dollars of Monsantoproducts in the 22 television televisions stations that he owns. In this case the thesisstatement The US Mass media is systematically biased in favor of big corporations andpolitical interests because its commercial role of market competition, agenda setting andincreasing their profits takes priority over its social function of keeping the publicinformed is proven right. Rupert Murdock had to make the decision of supporting Foxinterests of increasing profits. If Rupert Murdock had chosen to show the news report thatwould demonstrate to the public that BGH is a very harmful product to human andbovine health, he would have lost Monsanto’s advertisements dollars. Many countries prohibited the use of BGH including Canada, New Zealand, andthe entire European community. Akre states that in the United States Monsanto boughtthe approval of the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) in order to gain legal support forBGH in the marketplace. The FDA is an agency of the US department of human healthresponsible for safety and regulations of foods, biological products and so forth. FDA isone of the entities of the US government that is in charge of human health policies. KarenM. Kedrowski in How Members of Congress Use the Media to Influence Public Policyexplains in the major findings of four case studies how the Congress uses the media toinfluence public policy creation and execution. How Members of Congress Use theMedia to Influence Public Policy shows that the media has an enormous amount of powerover political policies. Therefore, if the Mass Media would have shown that BGH is a
harmful product against human health, the FDA should have changed its human healthpolitical policies due to the awareness of American milk consumers. The Mass Media hasa tremendous influence over political policies. The agenda setting of Fox news shapespolitical and public opinion. As Timothy E. Cook points out in The Uses of the News:theory and (Presidential) Practice the more control the government has over the mediathe better that public policies can be executed and the more participation that society canhave in the government. McQuail confirms in The influence and effects of mass mediathat the more channels that carry the same message the greater the possibility ofacceptance of the audience, stating that the whole society is affected by the social powerof the mass media. Rupert Murdock owns 22 big TV channels. Monsanto having the 22biggest TV channels of the United States promoting and advertising Monsanto’s productsrepresented a big and powerful business tool. In the case of Akre and Wilson the thesis statement of The US Mass media issystematically biased in favor of big corporations and political interests because itscommercial role of market competition, agenda setting and increasing their profits takespriority over its social function of keeping the public informed has been verified. The Foxmedia made a biased decision in favor of Monsanto not showing the negative aspects ofBGH. The commercial role of fox of market competition and increasing its profitsdetermined the decision of censoring the news report of Akre and Wilson. The agendasetting of Fox supported Monsanto’s product along with the FDA. The Social function ofthe Media of keeping the public informed of the harmful damages to human and bovinehealth was not a priority in Jane Akre and Steve Wilson. The table show that News Corporation owns the following network: Fox, Fox
Business Channel, STAR (satellite television in Asia), Fox Movie Channel, Fox NewsChannel, Fox College Sports, Fox Sports Enterprises, Fox Regional Sports Networks (14owned and operated), Fox Sports En Espanol, Fox Sports Net, Fox Sports Net Bay Area(40%), Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Reality, Fox Pan American Sports (38%), PremierMedia Group (Australia 50%), Premium Movie Partnership (Australia 20%), Cine Canal(Latin America 23%), Telecine (Latin America 13%), FUEL TV, FX, NationalGeographic Channel (US 67% and Worldwide 50%), SPEED Channel, National SportsPartners, National Advertising Partners, My Network TV, Fox Television Studios, In theUnited States, News Corp. owns 35 television stations. Satellite Television:Europe: SKY Italia includes Sky Sport, Calcio Sky, Sky Cinema, Sky TG 24; British SkyBroadcasting (37%) includes Sky News, Sky Sports, Sky Travel, Sky One, Sky MoviesLatin America: Sky Latin America DBS Platforms include Brazil (Sky Brasil 50%), IrectTV Latin America, Asia:Space TV (India DBS 20%), Phoenix Satellite Television (38%),Hathway Cable and Datacom (26%), China Network Systems (17 affiliated cablesystems), BSkyB (38%), DIRECT TV, SKY Italia.United States: DIRECTV Group (38%)Programming: Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox Report with Shepard Smith, On theRecord With Greta Van Susteren, Fox News Sunday, The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity andColmes. It means that if a decision was made in court supporting Jane Akre and SteveWilson more than 50 networks news coverage would have changed, public policy ofhuman health would have been affected and the profits of several multinationalcorporations would have decreased due to profits produced of BGH. Conclusion
The Mass Media tries to survive as a business in an aggressive capitalist system inwhich only the strongest companies can survive. The main economic goal of a business isto increase its profits. There are many big corporations that have merge in the past 20years in order to grow as a business. The bad side of the merging part is that there isoligopoly of the Mass Media. Concentration of power of the media leads to amisinformed public. In a democratic society there has to be a variety of companiescompeting to have the most impartial news coverage. In economic and democratic theorythe market place is responsible for encouraging journalist to cover news in a impartial anprofessional way. The invisible hand would regulate efficiency and quality of the newscoverage. In the United States there are a few powerful corporations who control theinformation, and they decide what are news and what are not news. There is a systematicbiased system that does not allow the media to be honest. We have to create new mechanism that will guarantee that news coverage will beproduced by trustful sources. Honest journalism is one of the bases of our democracy. There should be laws that would punish the mass media when presents wronginformation to the public. There is no legal punishment to the media for being dishonest.
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