ARTICLE: Four ways to control media by government funding

Picture: untitled by Freddie Collins, licence CC0 1.0

“Regulation, legislation, physical attacks, and threats against journalists or media owners are effective methods used to capture the media. But funding is arguably the most effective method of all”, Marius Dragomir, of Central European University (CEU) in Hungary, argues.

The article describes trends in how governments use funding to control media, directly and indirectly. There are four main categories of financial strategies and tactics that authorities use:

  • public funding for state-administered media
  • state (or official or public) advertising
  • state subsidies
  • and market-disruption measures.

The last category can include laws designed to financially hinder media, decrees to underwrite debts of supportive media or state guarantees to secure private loans for friendly media companies.

The author goes through a variety of means to capture the media, giving examples from countries around the world. At the end of the article, Dragomir offers solutions for increasing transparency and changes in policy.

The article “Control the money, control the media” was published in Journalism and is available online (abstract free).

Picture: untitled by Freddie Collins, licence CC0 1.0

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