Serving the public and serving the market: A conflict of interest?

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 7 (4):196 – 208 (1992)
If a news organization serves the market well, does it also serve the public well? Yes, say the leaders of the news industry, market forces improve journalism. This article uses market theory microeconomics to test the executives' assertion. The analysis concludes that news is a peculiar commodity, what economists call a "credence" good, that may invite fraud because consumers cannot readily determine its quality, even after consuming it. News, by definition, is what we don't yet know. The article also contends that advertisers seek public attention for their products rather than public education about current events. Thus advertiser-supported news media following market logic compete not in a news market, but in a larger market for public attention. This attention market may value entertainment more than information, leading to a conflict with journalism's norms of public service.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1207/s15327728jmme0704_1
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Bastiaan Vanacker & Genelle Belmas (2009). Trust and the Economics of News. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 24 (2 & 3):110 – 126.
John H. McManus (1997). Who's Responsible for Journalism? Journal of Mass Media Ethics 12 (1):5 – 17.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

32 ( #100,267 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #231,316 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.