Why News Ownership Affects Free Press And Press Censorship Essay

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The importance of news media ownership has been both a contemporary and historical issue that has had significant effects on the way in which the press operates and influences society. This essay examines why the ownership of the news media is of importance to society. In order to examine this fully the essay will discuss why news ownership affects free press and press censorship, why it can be seen to change the nature of political communication, and why is it is important that it affects the circuit of communication and the ways in which the public receive news.

One reason why it matters who owns the news media is that is can be seen to affect the levels of free press within a state, determining therefore how regulated or censored information becomes. The freedom of the press is a factor that is highly influenced by the organisations and public figures that own the news media. Government ownership of the media, particularly authoritarian regimes, can be seen to limit the levels of free press a country has. Barker (2006, p. 5) argues that “authoritarian regimes regularly try to censor or control the mass media’s provision of vision and information”. His argument therefore suggests that if the state has a strong control of the news media, they are more easily able to alter the information that the public receive. For example in North Korea, newspapers, such as “the official party mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun, are all owned by the state” (BBC, 2011). This therefore allows the
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