Lowered barriers to entry mean back to the future for the Media
Reader comment on: On Media Bias, Trump Has a Point
Submitted by Lyle (United States), Feb 27, 2017 00:16
Until the 1860s most newspapers were explicitly partisan and in many cases sponsored by political parties. It was the invention of the steam press, the development of department stores (who along with classified paid the bills) that lead to the less biased media (all though biased in the case of Hearst) of the latter part of the 19th century, and the first part of the 20th century. The very high barriers to entry into the TV news business in the 1950s (including the fairness doctrine of the FCC) meant that for a long time TV news had to provide balanced coverage (did not apply to published media however). As entry into the media space got easier the media reverted to its original form. Today there are some barriers to entry on cable (witness the demise of Al-Jazerra America) but very few on the web. Since you don't have to make the department stores happy you can be more partisan. (IMHO at least in Houston in the 1980s it was the local department stores that kept the papers in business, buying most of the space in several sections, with car dealers on Saturday home builders on Sunday etc)
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