About The News Media

About The News Media

Practically every question about any media coverage can be answered this weay…

…Profit!

Media companies are, with few exceptions, for-profit corporations. They have investors, stockholders, and as with any for-profit, their first responsibility is to provide a return on investment to their investors.

Media companies, with few exceptions, generate revenue by selling airtime for commercials. The amount of money they make from these commercials depends greatly on how many people are watching.

Therefore, there is a direct link between profit and number of viewers. So, a media company will seek to maximize viewers and thus maximize profit.

Media companies employ news directors. One of their main functions is to decide which news to run, for how long, and to what depth. They will decide how much factual reporting is included, and how much editorial/opinion is added.

Media companies get viewership statistics from cable and streaming companies. They can overlay viewership to the content that is being presented and get a fair estimate of how popular a given story or type of story is.

The news director will use that information to decide future programming, thus maximizing viewership, thus maximizing profit.

It is their experience that bad news is more popular than good news. Bad news is very often breaking news, a tornado, a shooting, whatever. And people are more interested in breaking news rather than a re-hash of a good day on Wall Street. People also tend to prefer bad news because it often makes their own situation look a little better. So, that’s what makes it on the air. It has always been this way, going back to early broadcasting days.

There is a newer trend relating to political coverage. Media companies have discovered that people prefer news with a liberal or conservative twist far more than neutral coverage. This biased coverage often supports what viewers think, and the viewers find the coverage validating. So, this has led to certain medias leaning liberal, others conservative, in order to attract those viewers. Why? Because more viewers equals more profit.