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All the News That's Fit to Sell How the Market Transforms Information into News

ISBN-10: 0691123675
ISBN-13: 9780691123677
Edition: 2004
List price: $37.50 Buy it from $16.75
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Description: That market forces drive the news is not news. Whether a story appears in print, on television, or on the Internet depends on who is interested, its value to advertisers, the costs of assembling the details, and competitors' products. But inAll the  More...

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Book details

List price: $37.50
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 4/2/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

That market forces drive the news is not news. Whether a story appears in print, on television, or on the Internet depends on who is interested, its value to advertisers, the costs of assembling the details, and competitors' products. But inAll the News That's Fit to Sell, economist James Hamilton shows just how this happens. Furthermore, many complaints about journalism--media bias, soft news, and pundits as celebrities--arise from the impact of this economic logic on news judgments. This is the first book to develop an economic theory of news, analyze evidence across a wide range of media markets on how incentives affect news content, and offer policy conclusions. Media bias, for instance, was long a staple of the news. Hamilton's analysis of newspapers from 1870 to 1900 reveals how nonpartisan reporting became the norm. A hundred years later, some partisan elements reemerged as, for example, evening news broadcasts tried to retain young female viewers with stories aimed at their (Democratic) political interests. Examination of story selection on the network evening news programs from 1969 to 1998 shows how cable competition, deregulation, and ownership changes encouraged a shift from hard news about politics toward more soft news about entertainers. Hamilton concludes by calling for lower costs of access to government information, a greater role for nonprofits in funding journalism, the development of norms that stress hard news reporting, and the defining of digital and Internet property rights to encourage the flow of news. Ultimately, this book shows that by more fully understanding the economics behind the news, we will be better positioned to ensure that the news serves the public good.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Economic Theories of News
A Market for Press Independence: The Evolution of Nonpartisan Newspapers in the Nineteenth Century
News Audiences: How Strong Are the Public's Interests in the Public Interest?
Information Programs on Network Television
What Is News on Local Television Stations and in Local Newspapers
The Changing Nature of the Network Evening News Programs
News on the Net
Journalists as Goods
Content, Consequences, and Policy Choices
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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