He who pays the piper calls the tune. If you own the news organisation then you determine the news agenda. Not day by day and piece by piece of course, but generally and powerfully. Most recent example:
Campbell’s crusades irked TV3 bosses
Pike River mine victims’ spokesman shocked coverage might have contributed to axing.
MediaWorks management viewed Campbell Live’s crusading journalism as a liability that stretched audience patience, company sources say.
The show’s ongoing coverage of Pike River, where 29 men died in a 2010 explosion at a West Coast coal mine, was specifically singled out by management as having led to viewer “fatigue”.
The review by management – which concluded on Thursday with host John Campbell leaving the network and the show facing replacement within the next six weeks – also considered Campbell Live over-emphasised charitable fundraising and coverage of the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, GCSB spying and child poverty.
Campbell Live focused on issues that annoyed its bosses at Mediaworks, so out it goes, despite its recent surge to (usually) most popular show. Mediawork’s CEO Mark Weldon happens to be good buddies with John Key – which could of course be a coincidence, but probably isn’t. In short:
…the writing was on the wall as the show was rumoured to be too pink in its persuasion by friends of John Key, high up in the echelons of MediaWorks.
This is consistent with National’s track record in manipulating the media from the top. It happens in the context of many other warnings about control of the media both internationally and in NZ, see:
The political right are getting more and more open about controlling the shape and the substance of the media world that we all live in. The political left needs an answer.