Posted by: lindsaym88 | October 16, 2014

The Funneling of News Media

News reporting is conducted through a funnel effect. Key stories are selected based on, according to Pamela Shoemaker and Stephen Reese, how they fit into predetermined categories: Prominence and importance; Conflict and Controversy; The Unusual; Human Interest; Timeliness; and Proximity. Beyond this, they are subjected to a “gatekeeper”, or someone who has a vested interest in the content produced by the agency, who may be concerned about the potential to upset sponsors and lose ad revenue. Such steps are necessary, especially in today’s hyper-connected global arena, however it reduces the “news” to a select few, highly moderated pieces.

With these factors in mind, it is then necessary to understand what influences are involved in the news we read. While that isn’t always easy, I think it’s best to get a rounded few of events. Because of this, I am often tempted to seek out multiple articles on the same event to enable a cross comparison of reporting styles and details, often with telling results.

It’s not a perfect system, but at least with the rise of social media and the increased ability of the consumer to interact with their news, with the vastness of information available to the public there is a check and balance system in place. Like I said, it’s not perfect, but it is an ever evolving field and an integral aspect of our postmodern society.

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