In today's society, there is growing skepticism about the objectivity of the media. What engenders this skepticism is a feeling of unease and uncertainty about the objectivity of news coverage. As the media and entertainment industry merge into fewer and larger global corporations, the concentration of control over the media raises serious issues about credibility and bias. Although different people have individual theories of media bias, the consolidation and control of the media by larger corporations make claims of institutional and economic bias theories resonate with critics.
The institutional bias theory (IBT) is based on the belief that the media only reflects the views and biases of those in power. The theory is based on the connection between the media, reporters, and the sources that the media uses to obtain information. To function effectively, the media needs a wide variety sources to both acquire information and to check or verify the veracity of the information. The sources can take many forms, including people, data, research, and personal observation. Depending on the story, the credibility of the source will vary. What is important, however, is that information gathered from a wide variety of sources provides not only a more complete picture of a story, it also provides the necessary "checks and balance" to help insure that the information is accurate. If reporters were unable to find several sources for their stories, then their confidence in the validity of the story would be reduced. In addition, reporters understand that the public generally prefers their news to be objective and factual. By relying on and identifying sources and authorities, the media is able to ga...
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...most every element of the media and entertainment industry, including the record business. The initial coverage of Napster painted the company as one that threatened the economic vitality of the record business and raised serious concerns about the protection of any intellectual property rights in light of the rapidly expanding e-commerce revolution. For example, the media always championed an unregulated Internet. But once the Napster controversy threatened more traditional and financially rewarding forms of entertainment, the media raised "serious questions" about the unregulated and free exchanges of information and "downloads" on the Internet. Although proving the EBBT is often difficult without more serious analysis, the linkage between the media and entertainment industry and the treatment of Napster make a strong case for credence being given to the EBBT.
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