Welcome to the United States

A Media landscape that is rooted in capitalism, industrialism, and technology.

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”
Thomas Jefferson

The media landscape of the United States is distinctly recognized by its use of massive industrialism ever since the creation of the printing press.

During the industrial revolution, newspapers were recognized as having some of the biggest manufacturers and companies in the country.

This effect then carried over to where we are now with Los Angeles being the home of the music industry, movie industry, television industry, advertising industry among other forms of media.

When the media landscape of the country was first being formed, a strong balance existed between newspapers, and their investment in newsrooms for the sake of honest journalism.

At this time, objectivity was the focus of journalism, which made it grow in size and influence.

Most news companies refused to identify with a particular party, or a particular way of thinking.

Instead, the companies told the story as accurately as possible and then let the people decide for themselves.

As history dissolved, more integrity of the journalistic system got lost along the way due to the evolution of the economy, technology and politics.

In the 21st century, all of these industries have somewhat merged into one massive industry that finds power in cooperation due to a lack of government regulation.

Social media also contaminates the media industry further with the rapid development of sites like google, twitter, and Facebook.

facebook-application-icon-147413
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

 

The relationship that exists between social media monsters like twitter, Facebook, and google and the lack of government regulation is unique.

Because the social media companies maintain that they are not media producers but rather creators of technology.

This complex dynamic has led to an inefficient ability of the government to regulate a lot of content that exists on the internet today.

However, the business model that companies like Facebook rely on is advertisements to generate profit.

Advertisements have made Facebook billions of dollars in the United States, and they have also made Facebook a great place to receive misinformation.

By disguising advertisement content as legitimate news and factual information, Facebook has misinformed a great number of people for the sake of profit.

Tech producers have gained more scrutiny in recent years due to an increasing amount of scandals, including, but not limited to interfering with the 2016 presidential election.

In recent times, the newspaper industry, broadcasting industry as well as magazine companies have been forced to reduce the size of their newsrooms by a significant amount.

This death of honest journalism was caused primarily by economic struggle and a lack of government support.

america-ancient-architecture-art-532820
Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

 

During this time, people transitioned over to the internet which has created a space that has merged previous industries that were successful on their own into one.

Journalism, politics, entertainment and just about everything else you can think of can be found online.

Dating back to 2016, Americans took a poll stating where it was that they received their news.

57% of Americans admitted that they receive their news through some sort of television broadcast with another 38% saying that they received their news on current affairs online.

The interesting fact remains that internet media accounts for nearly 40% of advertisement revenue and television follows closely behind at 32%.

Radio, Print journalism, magazines and other news sources makeup the other 28% of advertisement revenue in the United States

New media companies have done away with their old reputation as places for honest media due to increased social and financial pressures.

Mediums like the radio, the news on television, and digital media organizations now find themselves in favor of one political party or way of thinking over the other.

Because media companies rely on generating profit from a particular demographic, and capitalism is key, media has had more difficulty with maintaining integrity in the United states.

This relationship destroys journalism at its core because it takes away the people’s ability to create public opinion based on facts.

person-dropping-paper-on-box-1550337
Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

 

While the larger media corporations may not directly state that they support one political opinion over another, they cater to their viewers which tend to be shifted one way or another.

Journalists now face the pressure of; a reducing amount of jobs, a greater demand for audience engagement to generate more money for companies, a greater amount of political one sidedness and a lack of public support.

Surveys show that most journalists who existed in the 70s and 80s were able to write as they please as they had nearly complete freedom in choosing stories to publish.

A more recent study that took place in 2013 came to the conclusion that just over 30% can report a similar level of freedom in todays society.

The border between being a professional who produces a story for a company which has an agenda while you have your own individualistic goals can be defeating.

As a citizen journalist who is trying to uphold democracy, the current journalism market can be more than difficult to navigate.

The United States government has done less to influence media systems when compared to other countries.

Because of the 1st amendment right guaranteed by the United States Constitution,

 “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The American society is built on principles of a free market which requires little to no government intervention.

Press subsidies as well as other forms of government regulation have existed, but this was primarily in the early stages of Journalism.

Before the corruption of the internet and the broke boundaries between politics, economy and journalism there was a place for honest journalism in America.

The first amendment has been interpreted many different ways in the Supreme Court, and it is this fundamental law which inhibits regulation of media in the way that it is regulated in other countries.

This law prevents government from intervening even in the case of hate speech or manipulating the outcome of elections.

As far as media broadcasting goes, there are two separate laws which aim to somewhat regulate the industry.

person-holding-brown-card-311716
Photo by Miguel Constantin Montes from Pexels

 

The Communications Act of 1934 trustee ship model, gave licensees primarily to commercial enterprises to use the airways in a way that supported both “public convenience and necessity.”

This act requires media outlets to seek periodic renewals but since the 80’s, the industry has become significantly underregulated and the license renewal has become ineffective.

Libel and Defamation laws do exist but at a state level only to be reviewed by the federal government if necessary.

Laws for defamation and libel are largely left up to the state’s discretion, and the federal government rarely takes on this form of civil case.

Nearly 30 states have passed a form of legislation which gives some form of protection to journalists for keeping their sources and information confidential also known as shield law.

In 1967, the Freedom of Information Act gives citizens the right to access federal government information and it also creates a layout for how to go about doing so.

This act is used primarily by investigative journalists and it does help keep journalism honest on some level.

States also have their own respective laws which differ in policy an effectiveness respectively, however, The United States does not host press councils.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is responsible for renewing your communication license, but the reasons to contest communication licenses have decreased over the years.

The FCC is an independent agency that plays the role of regulating media by applying the current law.

Although it has 5 commissioners that are appointed by the president and confirmed by the state, they cannot implement new policies through the president or anyone other member of the government.

Government broadcasts are limited in the states while other forms of government intervention that could help support and regulate the media industry as demonstrated in other countries are also neglected and nonexistent.

Public broadcasting in the states only consists of two media networks, PBS andNPR.

The Food and Drug Administration regulates pharmaceutical advertising which is LEGAL in the United States.

This relationship can be questionable because the FDA generates a hefty profit off selling drugs and pharmaceuticals.

They are also responsible for telling the public which drugs are safe for them to consume so there becomes an issue of profit over public safety.

Optimization for Google has created a trend that result in a larger proportion of traffic originating news searches and from Google Chromes new browser which shows personalized sight recommendations.

person-using-laptop-computer-during-daytime-196655
Photo by Picjombo from Pexels

 

2019 also proved to be a positive year for technology as it has been recognized as a tool which can use to uncover the truth with the use of statistics.

This cognization has inspired researchers to look at media trends to find relationships which may be beneficial to society.

Another positive as far as new media is the fact that publishers who have re-focused on reader payments are growing in success.

The New York Times currently has 4 million subscribers, with 3.1 million of them being digital.

The companies slogan interestingly enough is that, “ every piece of content is worth paying for.”

Magazine and news consumption are going digital with 90% of Americans having a television in their home and with most people admitting to having more than one.

There is also an increase in people buying videos on demand and getting digital access to content with the unleashing of streaming services.