Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Media coverage - as a public good or bad
As the Pew researchers said in their report:
"Ratings for local TV news have remained steady in recent years,
suggesting that the public's increased criticism of the media is directed
more at national news organizations than at local news establishments."
Now, this seems to be counter-intuitive. At least from the view of competitiveness. How is it possible that national news (with several different strong actors) can be ranked lower than local tv news (with fewer media outlets and less competition). Maybe Cochran and Ornstein are mixing banans and apples when they are referring to the Pew study. Is it really fair to compare local level tv news with national politics both in terms of coverage and real impact on personal life - especially when the Pew study includes 90 stations in 44 cities (of different sizes)?
The crowding out effect (as well as the logic of collective action i.e. the farther away from the impact (political cost) of a political decision you are - the less will you be inclined to get involved in the real issue) also makes for interesting verifications of such a study. And maybe this is what Cochran and Ornstein really ought to be debating. Well, it's just a thought.