S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Dept. of Communication (언론정보학과) Theses (Master's Degree_언론정보학과)
Self-interested Reporting by Mainstream Media: A Study of How Broadcast News Covered Media Policy
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- 사회과학대학 언론정보학과
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 대학원
- Self-interested reporting
- 학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 언론정보학과, 2016. 8. 윤석민.
- This study examined the role of self-interest among mainstream media in reporting related to media policies. Ideally, the press is objective and impartial. However, this is not always the case, and the most damage could result when the press practices biased reporting regarding public policies that could significantly affect society. This study addresses this phenomenon in the Korean press, specifically focusing on broadcast news reporting where objectivity and impartiality are especially required.
To that end, the study examined how rival broadcast companies in Korea reported on media policies that were closely related to their self-interest. Major terrestrial broadcasters and general programming channels, Koreas major rival media groups, were selected for examination. News reports on the gross cap regulation of advertising time for terrestrial broadcasters, and re-approval of general programming channels were selected for analysis. These media policies are closely related to the interests of both terrestrial broadcasters and general programming channels. Furthermore, the policies have the potential to show biased reporting given that terrestrial broadcasters and general programming channels have distinctly different interests in regards to the two policies. Therefore, it can be reasonably expected that news reporting of terrestrial broadcasters and general programming channels differs on the policies.
Additionally, the study explored how stations belonging to the two broadcasting groups reported on the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) for the period when they covered the debates around the gross cap regulation of advertising time for terrestrial broadcasters, and re-approval of general programming channels. The study hypothesized that there would be less criticism of the KCC, the government regulatory agency that governs the adoption and implementation of media policies related to terrestrial broadcasters and general programming channels, by a media company that supported the adoption of media policies in line with its self-interests.
Finally, the study looked at the quality index for both terrestrial broadcasters and general programming channels. The quality index measured which broadcast companies aired more factually-based news reports despite the potential for biased reporting derived from mainstream medias self-interest. If a news report was more factually based, the score was closer to +1, and if a news report was less factually based, the score was closer to –1. Means to calculate the quality index were created in the study.
The study results were significant in two ways. First, most of the hypotheses regarding self-interested reporting were supported, which means that self-interested news reporting practices do exist in Korea. Specifically, the results showed that media firms reacted sensitively to media related policies and were likely to practice biased reporting that fit their self-interests. Second, the result showed that a public terrestrial broadcaster (KBS) demonstrated a higher quality index than a general programming channel (TV Chosun), which means that a public broadcasting company was more likely to practice factual news reporting than a private broadcasting company, which has more concern about economic profits. However, this study has limitations in that it only confirmed the existence of mainstream medias self-interested reporting in Korean journalism rather than systematically explaining how related factors interacted and influenced the generation of biased news. In other words, it focused more on the final news product than the processes that led to that product.
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