Journalism over the years has been commercialized in that it has shifted to become a profit-oriented business. It has become a venture where the owner’s main aim is to maximize the profits they earn at the expense of the quality of news they air leading to deterioration of the quality of the news.
Many companies now edit their stories they air to the public as they strive to maximize views at the expense of airing real information. The companies try to edge out each other out the competitive market where entertainment news were discovered to generate more profits. It is done at the expense of releasing the initial news since they were considered to have less audience hence generating little profit (McChesney). Corruption has increased due to the shift of these companies’ aims. Many reporters of these journalism companies are bribed so as to alter the information they transfer to the media houses. They are used as channels by many ill-intentioned groups to air their views to the public and to attack their opponents which led to the publishers since they have control. The news about social norms were discouraged since they didn’t generate the intended income, thus conservative writers were not accepted. The companies shunned their work, and this led to the dilution of social norms in the society. Few academicians opposed their actions by writing books to criticize the fabrication of news to suit the companies’ needs. They sought to expose the partnerships between these companies and the corrupt politicians which interfered with the integrity of the news they released. Due to this partnerships the public was kept unaware of the ongoing activities like debates that did not suit the publishers’ needs. They also encouraged self-regulation opposed to government control thus they privately controlled the information they released to the public. The companies also avoided contextualization that allowed to them to release ideologically driven news in a way that the public did not realize their intentions. News about social issues like environmental conservation was shunned until demonstrations occurred, or even the companies decided to make a news story out of them, this has lead deprivation of important news from the public as they were avoided by the companies. Commercialization has lead limited entry of new media since there are barriers of entry to the market. The small independent publishing houses that used to release news to the public have been edged out since they were not able to compete for the limited money from advertisements in their publications to finance their publishing process. The existing companies assumed control of the market and assumed control over the news. The integrity of the news was interfered with since the channels to air conflicting information to the news aired were limited due to collapse of a small independent press. Monetary cut backs on the journalist houses by corporates have aided commercialization which lead to pressure on journalists as they now had to edit stories aired to suit the needs of the corporate owners hence this has affected the integrity of the news. The journalists have also started to cover news from certain areas for a certain compensation (McChesney).
Commercialization has led to negative effects on the current democratic society. The companies are profit oriented thus this had led to rise of ignorance of the public to the news they air. Many people now consider that these companies main aim is to make a profit from maximum views of the advertisements and the news thus they do not trust the integrity of the news (Papathanassopoulos). It has undermined democracy in that in the news aired susceptible to alteration by bad intentioned groups who pay these houses to air certain piece of news to the public. The public right of knowledge was undermined since they only received information that the groups want to air whether it is positive or not (Chapman and Nuttal). Deterioration of morals in the society has been on the rise in the current society as news that promote social norms are discouraged. The companies have realized that the entertainment news had more audience even though they encouraged immoral behavior in the society. Commercialization has led to a loss of focus on investigative journalism since its returns are high like from the other type of news which has led to a loss of variety of news that are important to the public. It has also led to monotony of the news where the news aired rely on the income they bring to the company. Journalists’ rights and code of conduct has been undermined. The journalists are not supposed to receive any reward from any person as a result of publishing or not publishing news. The journalist do not have control over what they publish as they are under orders from third parties who fund their activities thus breaking their code of conduct (Papathanassopoulos).
In conclusion, commercialization of journalism should be discouraged as it makes the companies focus more on the profit motive rather than the integrity of the news aired. The main aim of media is to inform the general public about the important information hence commercialization interferes with this aim in that they do not have total control over what they air as the parties that finance their operations order them to edit their news to suit their needs. This leads to deterioration of the quality and honesty of the news as the quality was interfered with. It also has led to deterioration of social norms as news that have a bigger audience tend to promote social immorality. In order to preserve social norms this commercialization should be discouraged.
Chapman, Jane and Nick Nuttal. Journalism Today: A Themed History. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Online.
McChesney, Robert Waterman. The problem of the media: U.S. communication politics in the twenty-first century. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2004. Online.
Papathanassopoulos, Stylianos. Media Perspectives for the 21st Century. London: Routledge, 2011. Online.