David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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.
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References found in this work BETA
Manuel G. Velasquez (1988). Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases. Journal of Business Ethics 7 (8):592-604.
Citations of this work BETA
Jane B. Singer (2006). Partnerships and Public Service: Normative Issues for Journalists in Converged Newsrooms. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 21 (1):30 – 53.
Charles Davis & Stephanie Craft (2000). New Media Synergy: Emergence of Institutional Conflicts of Interest. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 15 (4):219 – 231.
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.
G. Stuart Adam, Stephanie Craft & Elliot D. Cohen (2004). Three Essays on Journalism and Virtue. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 19 (3 & 4):247 – 275.
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Lawrence Souder (2010). A Free-Market Model for Media Ethics: Adam Smith's Looking Glass. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 25 (1):53 – 64.
Rutger Claassen (2011). Communication as Commodity: Should the Media Be on the Market? Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (1):65-79.
David Schmidtz (1993). Market Failure. Critical Review 7 (4):525-537.
Matthew C. Ehrlich (1995). The Ethical Dilemma of Television News Sweeps. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 10 (1):37 – 48.
Davis Merritt (1998). Public Journalism and Public Life: Why Telling the News is Not Enough. Erlbaum.
Pamela Taylor Jackson (2009). News as a Contested Commodity: A Clash of Capitalist and Journalistic Imperatives. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 24 (2 & 3):146 – 163.
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