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