I smell a government rat in my news

As traditional media outlets close down, the relative importance of non-market players becomes more important.

Governments around the world were quick to see the opportunities for their news agencies. From Xinhua (China) to ITAR-TASS (Russia), from AFP (half of its budget comes from state subscriptions) to Voice of America, governments are trying to shape the world’s public opinion.

The coverage of Gaza by Al Jazeera is a case in point. They produced quality journalism no other outlet could dream of. Now, viewers should keep in mind that money for such newsgathering comes straight from the pocket of the Emir of Qatar. Believe me, I’m sure Al Jazeera’s journalists keep that in mind too.

To help you measure the amount of government-funded journalism, I built this little app, I smell a government rat in my news. Just type in any query and you’ll see the share of articles produced with state funds.

[iframe http://windowonthemedia.com/ismellarat/ismellaratSmall.php5 442 352]

Details about how it’s done and which sources are scanned are available at windowonthemedia.com.

by Nicolas Kayser-Bril

4 thoughts on “I smell a government rat in my news

  1. The Worst of Perth

    “0.8% of all articles about ufos were brought to you by the government.”

    Only 0.8% I’m smelling a rat in my rat detector. It’s been got at by the US govt hasn’t it?

    And 0% of stories about satan? Hooooooowee! There’s something not right.

  2. Chris Horrie

    This is brilliant. How did you make it? I am working on a potential project to make an app that works like digg in reverse – you bookmark pages that you think are propaganda, etc.

  3. Pingback: Stuff I’ve seen June 9th through June 13th | Podnosh

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