Last Updated 17 Aug 2022

News Media and Nonmarket Issues

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News media and marketed issues

The news media is.. The "fourth branch" of government (Thomas Carlyle) In the American political system, the fourth branch of government refers to a group that influences the three branches of governance defined in the American Constitution (legislative, Judicial and executive) Such groups can include the press (an analogy to the French Fourth Estate), the people, and interest group.

The "Fourth Estate" (Edmund Burke)

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The Fourth Estate (or fourth estate) is a societal or lattice force or institution whose influence is not consistently or officially recognized. Fourth Estate" most commonly refers to the news media; especially print Journalism or "The Press". Editors and Journalists are the "officeholders" of the institution. An office-holder is a person who has an important official position in an organization or government

The Role of the News Media in Marketed Issues

Identifying marketed issues:

  • Placing issues on the agendas of firms In addition to serving as an arena in which marketed issues are addressed, the news media lays an important role in identifying marketed issues and placing issues on the agendas of firms.
  • Alert the public, activists, interest groups, and government officeholders to marketed issues
  • Raise concerns about the policies and practices of firms
  • Provide information about the likely effects of alternative courses of action
  • Reduce the costs of collective action
  • Enhance a marketed strategy by conveying information provided by a firm or interest group
  • Represent interests and principles consistent with the news media's perception of its role in society


The news media:

  • Guards its independence
  • Is careful to avoid being used as part of a marketed strategy
  • The news media has incentives to cover an issue which is of interest to viewers and readers
  • Forms of treatment:
  • A straightforward presentation of facts and description of events
  • Interpretation of the facts and events
  • Exploration of their potential significance and ramifications
  • Advocacy of a course of action

A Theory of News Media Coverage and Treatment

  • Explanatory variables
  • Intrinsic audience interest in the issue
  • An issue's societal significance as perceived by the news media
  • Intrinsic Audience Interest
  • The principal predictions of the intrinsic audience theory are that
  • Coverage increases with audience interest
  • Treatment will be chosen to appeal to and retain an audience

Societal Significance

The societal significance perspective views coverage and treatment as a reflection of the news media's perception of the significance of an issue to society. This perspective reflects the media's role in serving democracy by providing Intrinsic Audience Interest and Societal Significance.

News Media and Nonmarket Issues essay

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