Philip M. Napoli
For more than a century scholars, critics, politicians, and advocacy groups have argued about the influential role that the news media owners play in determining what news the public receives. The extent of this influence, as well as the means available to owners to influence news content, has been the subject of extensive debate and inquiry. They have implications not only for understanding the role of news media in a democracy, but also for our understanding of the nature of the First Amendment, the ethical dimensions of journalistic practice, and policymaking related to the media industries. These issues become further complicated when we also consider the variety of forms and structures that the ownership of news outlets can take, and how these have changed over time. The earliest incarnations of news media in the United States were the heavily partisan newspapers of the early to mid-1800s. They were financed primarily ...