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Independent media refers to the type of media that has no government or corporate influence in its operations (Kumar, 2006, 4). An example of such a news agency is The Minnesota Independen, which is an online news magazine that mainly covers political issues in the US. The editorial part of the magazine is reserved for political issues, where journalists express their freedom by delivering critical and unbiased information to the readers. Most importantly, this section is free from government scrutiny due to the independence of the magazine (The Minnesota Independent, 2011, 1).
The magazine is funded by the American Independent News Network. It was launched in 2006 and has since then improved and won a commendable reputation in the American media. Their main distribution channel is through the internet. The Internet use has risen from 44% of the population in 2000 to 77% in 2010, thus covering a large reader population. It is quite a high number taking into account that the population has also increased over the same period. The audience therefore has risen to cover all ages, especially people who like politics. The main audience of the magazine is the politically interested people. This group of people is very large, including both high- and low-income folks (The Minnesota Independent, 2011).
Corporate media differs from independent media mainly by the external involvement of other parties (Fillmore 2010). Corporate media is biased in its reporting and might end up giving only one side of the story to create the public impression that is favorable in its business, while the government-controlled media reports what is favorable to the government, treating people with dissenting ideologies as criminals and the government loyalists as friends (Cohen 2005, 16). On the other hand, independent media gives all sides of the story, analyzing and giving concise and well-researched arguments to ensure that the correct and real message is passed to the public. Croteau & Hoynes (2006) argue that corporate media is profit-based and targets the group of potential clients, while independent media targets everyone, since it is driven by the provision of the correct information to all.
The main similarity between the two media houses is that they are both required to report to their clients in a manner that is within the law (Harumi 2011).