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  Report: The content industry

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  Content Choice and Selective Reporting

Media as today's main information sources unarguably have the power to influence political agenda-setting and public opinion. They decide which topics and issues are covered and how they are reported. Still, in many cases those decisions are not primarily determined by journalistic criteria, but affected by external factors. The importance of shareholders forces media to generate more profit every quarter, which can chiefly be raised by enlarging audiences and hence attracting more advertising money. Therefore the focus of media's programming in many cases shifts towards audience alluring content like entertainment, talk-shows, music and sports.

Further pressure regarding the selection of content occurs from advertisers and marketers, who often implicitly or explicitly suggest to refrain from programming which could show them or their products and services (e.g. tobacco) in an unfavorable light. Interlocking directorships and outright ownerships can moreover be responsible for a selective coverage. Financial connections with defense, banking, insurance, gas, oil, and nuclear power, repeatedly lead (commercial) media to the withholding of information, which could offend their corporate partners. In totalitarian regimes also pressure from political elites may be a reason for the suppression or alteration of certain facts.

browse Report:
The content industry
-3   The Concept of the Public Sphere
-2   The Role of the Media
-1   Media Control and the Influence of Public Discourse
0   Content Choice and Selective Reporting
+1   The Cassini Case
+2   "Project Censored"
+3   Commercial vs. Independent Content
Digital Commercial Content