Media, public opinion, and public policy Slide 2 The public in public opinion Slide 3 Slide 4 Slide 5 Slide 6 The medias position Slide 7 What kind of media do we want? Under the law, broadcasters, who hold valuable licenses to use the public's airwaves, are considered public trustees. I thought, and still do, that responsible worldwide network news coverage, which is costly, is an obligation to be borne by the network broadcasters as a loss leader if need be. Lawrence K. Grossman, http://www.asne.org/index.cfm?ID=888 http://www.asne.org/ideas/codes/sanjose mercurynews.htm http://www.asne.org/index.cfm?ID=888 Slide 8 What kind of media do we want? "That Amendment rests on the assumption that the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public, that a free press is a condition of a free society. Surely a command that the government itself shall not impede the free flow of ideas does not afford nongovernmental combinations a refuge if they impose restraints upon that constitutionally guaranteed freedom. Freedom to publish means freedom for all, and not for some. Freedom to publish is guaranteed by the Constitution, but freedom to combine to keep others from publishing is not. Freedom of the press from governmental interference under the First Amendment does not sanction repression of that freedom by private interests. Associated Press v. United States No. 57 Argued December 5, 6, 1944 Decided June 18, 1945 Slide 9 What kind of media do we want? We demand zero tolerance of violence against journalists and press freedom. But today more subtle threats to freedom of expression come from within media as a result of media concentration, globalization and a culture of greed within the industry. International Federation of Journalists, May 2001 http://www.democraticmedia.org/issues/mediao wnership/chart.html Slide 10 What kind of media do we have? http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/report s/1999/top10.shtml http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/julydec99/uncov ered_news_12-27.html http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE _ID=21206 http://www.journalismjobs.com/ownership.cfm http://www.democraticmedia.org/resources/filings/TVCon centration.html Slide 11 Blurring boundaries in the media Welch's priorities were entirely different. He made it clear that he would judge NBC News no differently than any other GE division. News would be expected to make the same profit margins they did. Welch was disdainful of any other approach. The news division, he said, had no greater obligation to provide public service than those GE lines that manufacture refrigerators, light bulbs, or jet engines. For Welch, as one critic put it, the financial perspective was the only one that mattered. That tunnel vision helped produce an era of network news that focused more on nonfiction entertainment than on the information citizens need about a dangerous and vulnerable world. Lawrence K. Grossman, a former president of NBC News and PBS http://www.cjr.org/year/02/1/grossman.asp Slide 12 Blurring boundaries in the media The new boys in town -- the Disneys, the Warners, the GEs -- the news divisions are cash cows, but in order to make money, they have to bring large numbers of people into the tent. And the fact of the matter is that humanitarian stories, foreign stories, are not of great appeal to most American viewers and readers. They don't get the ratings and therefore they don't get much attention. Barrie Dunsmore, Journalist http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec99/uncovered_news_12-27.html Slide 13 Brent Spar: blurring boundaries in the media http://archive.greenpeace.org /~comms/vrml/rw/text/def/bre nt.html http://archive.greenpeace.org /~comms/brent/apr30d.html http://www.ee/lists/infoterra/1 995/06/0057.html http://archive.greenpeace.org /~comms/brent/poll.html Slide 14 Blurring boundaries in the media http://www.demon.co.uk/eurojo urnalism/storywk.html#brent http://society.guardian.co.uk/gi vinglist/story/0,10994,579454, 00.html http://www.flipside.org/vol1/oct 98/oc98w609.htm http://www.esemag.com/0197/ 0197ed.html http://archive.greenpeace.org/ ~comms/photos/photo01.html Slide 15 Questions What is the character of the media? Are all preferences created equal? Will new technologies compromise or contribute to democracy?