News sources depend on financial support in order to source andreport news. The process of finding and editing news is not as simpleas it appears it is a procedure that requires a lot of investment.For instance, news sources must use the best equipments in order topresent their news eloquently. As such, funding is important.
News sources are funded in different ways. In some countries,governments fund some of their news sources. For instance, in anarticle published in the BBC, it is anticipated that the governmentwill invest millions every year in BBC. The money is aimed atimproving services BBC provides globally. The funds are to assist instrengthening the international broadcast of BBC’s services bothlocally and internationally. Also, the money is aimed at enhancingaccessibility to news for audiences, which will facilitate the targetof broadcasting to half a billion individuals internationally. Itmarks the largest rise in news sources funding ever made bygovernment (BBC News).
Individual investors are another source of news sources funding.Some of these investors include George Soros through the Soros FundManagement and Tides Foundation. Soros has given millions to the USNational Public Radio. He is as well said to have ties with othernews sources that include “The New York Times, Washington Post, theAssociated Press, NBC and ABC” (Gainor 1). Media Matters is themain receiver of funds from Tides Foundation. Soros has also declaredinterest in funding Media Matters (Martosko 1). Some of theseinvestors like Tides are not mandated to report on how they use theirmoney, which makes it easy to fund news sources.
According to Doughton and Heim, a different individual investor thathas actively funded news sources is the Gates Foundation (1). Thefoundation contributes to for profits as well as nonprofit newssources. The investor aims at ensuring that once funded, the mediahouses can promote information that relates to international health,education and developmental issues. The objective of funding newssources is largely to ensure that they meet the demand for news in anapproach influenced by the donors.
Most of the income for news sources is obtained through advertising.For instance, newspapers are increasingly reliant on money theyobtain through advertising in order to continue with their objectiveof presenting news (Beder 204). News sources like television collectbillions of money every year, which they make from chargingadvertisers (Beder 204). However, funds obtained through advertisingdiffer from the individual investors and government. Inadvertisements, the groups of individuals interested in paying foradvertisement ought to be attracted to the news source. For instance,an individual that wants to advertise their products will choose topay for the advertisement to an already established and famous newssource.
Impact on What and How News Sources Report
The widespread reliance on funding makes it difficult for newssources to present news that is fair. Organizations and individualsthat fund them always have their hidden agendas. It would almost beimpossible to invest in an organization, like media, where theinvestor does not experience direct benefits. Nevertheless, most ofthese benefits are normally attained indirectly, and meet therationale for funding news sources.
In the case of the increase in government funding towards the BBC,the article notes that the funding is a form of soft power.Considering that the major objective for such massive funding is tomake it possible for BBC to meets its agenda of reaching billions. Byreaching billions, it means that more individuals get to learn aboutthe country as a result, improving the status and influence globally(BBC News). Also, government funding acts as a way ofcontrolling what the media chooses to broadcast or not. Owing to thelarge amounts of funds obtained from the government, it is highlyunlikely that the news source will present any news that tarnishesthe government. The fear of losing funding influences what BBCreports about government.
Funding by individual investors is seen as an indirect way ofguaranteeing that news sources support the propaganda of investors.Most of these investors are influential individuals that have vestedpolitical interests in their country. Gainor (1) provides theillustration of Soro, who in 2004 invested millions in an endeavor topush for the defeat of President Bush. Soro is a liberal and byfunding many news sources, he ensures that liberal ideas are reportedand minimal concentration given to non-liberal news. Gainor (1)further notes that the technique of funding journalism acts as apowerful manner of influencing American public. This is because themedia will present news that favors the ideals of investors. It is atechnique Soro has been using widely in US and international media.
In the case of the Gates Foundation, the organization funds newssources in order to encourage the covering of international health,growth and education topics, which the foundation is engaged in.Thus, it is possible to conclude that funding affects what the mediachooses to report. This probably explains the increasing coverage ofissues affecting developing nations, like coverage on poverty andillness (Doughton and Heim 1). The direct funding of news sources isan approach employed by the globe’s major foundation to influencewhat the audiences listen to, view and read (Doughton and Heim 1).
Rinallo and Basuroy (33) make it clear that the main source of moneyfor media is advertisement and not reporting of news. The authors’progress to note that advertisement money derives from the initiativeby marketers to advertise their products and services via newssources outlets. The increasing reliance on advertisements makes newssources susceptible to meeting the news coverage demands ofadvertisers. Thus, what is reported and how it is reported must be insuch a way that it gratifies the interest of advertisers. Due to theincreasing need for advertisers, media may feel more compelled togratify the advertisers’ interests in order to continue makingmoney from advertisements.
Demorest (1) claims that news is likened to a business, which relieson high ratings as well as advertisement to survive. Theadvertisements are made by individuals or organizations affected bythe stories a news source covers. Assuming that an advertiser is anorganization involved in corruption, the public has the right to knowabout widespread corruption in the company. However, due to the newssources reliance on funds from advertising the company’s products,the issue of corruption may never be disclosed. Hence, fundinginfluences what to report and how.
News sources receive funding from government, individual investorsand advertisers. The financial support is crucial in guaranteeing thecontinued existence of news sources. Funding in turn affects what andhow media reports. Media must report news that favors the interestsof their financial supporters.
BBC News. BBC World Service gets Funding Boost fromGovernment, 23 Nov. 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. <http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-34902244>
The article informs on the government’s decision to fund BBC News,in ensuring that the news source is able to reach a wider audience.Further, the article makes it clear that the funding acts as a formof soft power, whereby BBC indirectly promotes the country.
Beder, Sharon. Moulding and Manipulating the News. Controversiesin Environmental Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress, 2004.
The author notes that media seems to get its earnings fromadvertisements. An illustration is newspapers that heavily rely onadvertisers. Hence, media creates news that meets advertisers’interests to maintain their source of income.
Demorest, Julie. Corporate Interests and their Impact on NewsCoverage. The Institute for Applied and Professional Ethics,27 Jul. 2009. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.
Demorest refers to news coverage as business. The author implies thatthere are many influencers to news coverage, which affect how andwhat media reports.
Doughton, Sandi and Heim, Kristi. Doe Gates Funding of Media TaintObjectivity? The Seattle Times, 19 Feb. 2011. Web. 23 Nov.2015. <http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle- news/does-gates-funding-of-media-taint-objectivity/>
The authors introduce Gates Foundation as a source of funding fornews sources. It also explains how the foundation influences whatstories media reports.
Gainor, Dan. Why Don’t we Hear about Soros’ Ties to over 30 MajorNews Organizations? Fox News, 11 May. 2011. Web. 23 Nov.2015. < http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/05/11/dont-hear-george-soros-ties-30-major- news-organizations.html>
Gainor introduces Soros as a major supporter of media throughcontinued donations to difference media sources. The article explainshow the funding facilitates media’s support for Soro’s liberalideas.
Gainor, Dan. Why is Soros Spending over $48 Million Funding MediaOrganizations. Fox News, 18 May. 2011. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. < http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/05/18/soros-spending-48-million-funding-media- organizations.html>
The article questions the hidden agenda in Soro’s interest infunding media, which makes it possible to understand how the fundinginfluences what news sources report.
Martosko, David. Left-wing Foundations Lavish Million on MediaMatters. The Daily Caller, 17 Feb. 2012. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. <http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/17/left-wing- foundations-lavish-millions-on-media-matters/2/>
Martosko highlights some of the famous organizations responsible forfunding news sources. Further, the article expounds on the motivesbehind the funding.
Rinallo, Diego and Basuroy, Suman. Does Advertising SpendingInfluence Media Coverage of the Advertiser? Journal of Marketing73(2009): 33-46.
The article introduces advertisers as a significant source of incomefor media. The authors continue to explain how the need for fundsfrom advertisement affects news reporting, in that news aligns withadvertisers’ interests.