In the last 100 years there has been a great trend towards newspapers
buying each other out to form groups of newspapers owned by a single individual
. Typically these groups own a single paper in each of the big cities
across the US and many national and international news stories
, feature articles
and even book reviews
written for one paper will be published in all of the papers. Economically
, this makes great sense
, an article written by a single person can be read be subscribers of many papers. From a diversity
point-of-view, however, this can be a very bad thing, since pressure groups
can force the much larger (and thus much juicer litigation target) to soften their stance on certain issues
Most of the big groups of papers cover themselves on national issues (such as abortion, the death penalty and politics by having many writers each writing from their own point-of-view.
Their coverage of small issues, however, is the real problem. Small issues and alternative approaches to big issues are typically covered from a single point of view and because the reporters involved are used to writing from their own point-of-view it's rare to see both sides of small issues and alternative approaches to big issues. This is particularly true in international news where the american media has been documented as showing a broad, persistent bias towards English speaking Christian and Jewish points-of-view and against non-English speaking Moslem and Hindu points-of-view.
Very similar effects happen with television coverage, but because of the relatively smaller number of television news channels and the transient nature of the broadcast it is much harder to get solid figures on the relative bias of TV news channels.
It could be argued that news coverage is biased because Americans are biased, but this is a circular argument. If news coverage weren't biased, Americans would be much less biased.
Alternative presses do what they can to present different points of view (that is to saying differently biased, since Everything you read is propaganda), but Alternative presses are increasingly under represented in library collections nationwide.
Commercial news and information sources include the following:
Commercial news and information sources do not
include the following:
- The BBC and other state-funded new organisations (they have another, different, set of problems)
- Most things listed at the Alternative Press Review http://www.altpr.org/