When Can a News Organization Lead Public Opinion? Ideology versus Market Forces in Decisions to Make News
Do news organizations purposefully lead the public to support a particular ideological agenda? When debating this question, many analysts draw conclusions from weak empirical evidence. We introduce a model that clarifies how a news organization's internal structure combines with market forces to affect when it can lead public opinion. We identify conditions under which liberal reporters or politically-driven media magnates can achieve ideological goals. We also illuminate important barriers that prevent many would-be public opinion leaders from ever satisfying these conditions. We show that internal structure and market forces are critical determinants of any news organization's power over public opinion. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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