Study: More Gov't Funding Of The Press, Less Political Corruption Reporting

from the questions-abound-however dept

There’s been some talk of having the government bail out newspapers or somehow fundamentally support newspapers. Of course, for good reason, that scares a lot of people who believe that news organizations (not just newspapers, mind you) play an important role in acting as a government corruption watchdog. So it’s interesting to see a new study that found that the more government support the press gets, the less they covered government scandals. Of course, this is a correlation — so it’s entirely possible that governments that support the press are simply less corrupt and less prone to scandal. However, the study did look at the timing of gov’t funding as compared to press coverage which suggests that there might be a causal relationship, as the lower incidence of press coverage for gov’t scandals tended to lag funding slightly. There are still some questions, but this certainly suggests that if you believe news organizations are important in holding government accountable, pushing for gov’t support may not be a good idea.

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Comments on “Study: More Gov't Funding Of The Press, Less Political Corruption Reporting”

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Pwdrskir (profile) says:

Bad idea

“…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” would take on a whole new meaning. Companies would lobby congress to suppress stories related to their company. Can you imagine the increase in lobbying this would bring.

Congressional representatives would hold the power of the purse over news organizations which is a built in “check” mechanism for congress to hold those receiving funds accountable. Checkmate.

Sean T Henry (profile) says:

Re: Bad idea

“Companies would lobby congress to suppress stories related to their company. Can you imagine the increase in lobbying this would bring.”

At least their time and money would be well waisted, there are worse things they could be lobbying for/against. Also if they would do that to suppress stories in that way the main stream media will suffer and internet based news will more easily push to the forefront.

Jerry (user link) says:


Exactly. And not only do they speak Spanish in Argentina, but it’s in the southern Hemisphere ~

And, the BBC.

And, not only have the broadcast companies always gotten their frequencies nearly free, but now the FCC doesn’t even enforce the requirement that they provide a public service or be of general benefit to the people. No, do not conceptualize print independent of broadcast; it has not been for nearly 100 years.

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