Noam Chomsky (1989), who has documented
a number of biases in the US media's treatment of foreign affairs,
points out that media corporations "are closely integrated with
even larger conglomerates" and like other business they sell a
In short, the major mediaparticularly,
the elite media that set the agenda that others generally followare
corporations 'selling' privileged audiences to other businesses.
It would hardly come as a surprise if the picture of the world
they present were to reflect the perspectives and interests of
the sellers, the buyers, and the product... (p. 8)
The owners of the media influence
the selection, shaping and framing of the news to attract advertisers"Proprietors
determine the target audience and general editorial approach to
that audience" (Windschuttle 1988, p. 264)but also to ensure
a favourable political climate for their media and other business
concerns. About a third of newspaper chain editors admitted in
a survey by the American Society of Newspaper Editors that they
"would not feel free to run a news story that was damaging to
their parent firm" (Bagdikian 1983, p 32).
Bagdikian, Ben H. 1993, The
Media Monopoly (Beacon Press: Boston).
Chomsky, Noam, 1989, Necessary
Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies (London:
Windschuttle, Keith, 1988, The
Media: A new analysis of the press, television, radio and advertising
in Australia, 2nd ed (Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin).