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Week 4 – Who pay for Journalism, is it all about the money?

May 26, 2011

We all need money to do our businesses, whether it is a commercial company or Non-profit organisation. Likewise, media companies need a lot of money to run a story – from the journalists’ payroll to the distribution of the story itself. It is almost impossible to sell a story without the help and support of funding sources, such as advertisers and/or government subsidy.

However, with the rapid growth of people switching to online news subscription, this has also changed the advertisers to go online rather than traditional (Schultz, 2008).  Some of the main reasons are perhaps the declining traditional media’s consumption and audience levels (eMarketer, 2009), the convenience that online news provide and the amount of news covered in mainstream media. With Internet mobile phones, people now can easily access the news from their mobile at anytime anywhere.

Moreover, audiences are aware that the media has been bombarding the audience with claims and counter-claims from political and other vested-interest groups, leaving the community with a poor understanding about what choices ‘the little people’ can make to influence public life (Romano & Hippocrates, 2001, p.166). Advertisers can easily proposed the editor to publish an advertorial story in exchange for money. This is especially true in news company like FOX news or the Straits Times, or any other media corporation where advertisers and government hold a dominant force in the business. They can use the media to convey certain messages and/or to sell their products. In one case of Today paper where they write an article to start saving when you’re young, but is eventually turned out that POSBank was involved in the article. And as we all know, The Straits Times and MediaCorp are still heavily controlled by the ruling government, which also indirectly affect the way they write their stories.

However, in my opinion, journalism is not only about the money, but also about credibility and objectivity of the writing, which contribute to the channel’s reputation. News’ function is to report fairly without personal comments and should not propagated by the government and/or their relationship with their advertisers. This will affect its reliability and People might simply switch to other news channel if they soon realize that the news program that they are watching/reading are being corrupted.

Reference:, 2009, Media Used by US Internet Users, 2006-2008 (% of respondents), viewed 24 May 2011, <>

Romano, A & Hippocrates, C, 2001, ‘Putting the public back to journalism’, Journalism: Theory in Practice, Oxford University Press, Australia, pp. 166-185.

Schultz, J, 2008, Traditional Media v.s. New Media, viewed 24 May 2011, <>


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  1. Hi Nadia,

    I agree with you that journalism is about objectivity and credibility, not just the money.

    However, I am to a certain extent quite skeptical about the news that we read today. As personal opinion, I don’t think that there is neutrality in any news channel that we turn to. What do you think?


    • I am thinking the same too.since everything has went through considerable editing, audience in the end will the ones suffering. And again it depends on journalists’ integrity 🙂

  2. Hi Nadia. I second the idea that government and big companies interventions affected the quality of a news a lot, and people can nowadays hardly trust what they are reading. But as professional journalists working in those huge news companies – who definitely learned about journalism ethics and all, why do you think they still write one-sided news and fool the audiences? threatened by the government? But really, after doing readings on this topic, I start questioning if i should still apply job in journalism field. :/

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