Advertisers effect on news coverage

Money from advertisers pays for the media’s ability to cover the news.  So what effect do advertisers have on what news we cover and how we cover it?    Advertisers sometime will express their concern when they learn a reporter is covering a story that might negatively affect them, but rarely will they try to interfere.  Most recognize the value of unbiased reporting.  News managers resist interference.   In all instances I have known during my time at WSB-Television, station management has insulated the news department from the sales department and advertisers.  There appears to be less insulation in smaller markets.   Often, a reporter, a time sales person and the manager are all the same person.    It’s a tough balancing act to report consistently unbiased news and keep enough advertisers happy to stay in business.  If you’re not in business, you don’t cover the news at all. 

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