The Ethics of Newspaper Ownership

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bradl, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    We all know nowadays that if you control the media that people see, you control how they tend to act, and in lots of cases, vote. But how much leeway should owners of newspapers have when it comes to manipulation or influence when it comes to politics or even legal proceedings, especially if they are the only newspaper in town?

    I bring this up, because recently, the rather independent Las Vegas Review-Journal was purchased by a LLC owned by the son-in-law of casino mogul Sheldon Alderson, a major Republican mega-donor. Additionally, that change in ownership wasn't announced for months after the sale was made; The sale itself was announced, but the new owners were not, leading to people wondering about the ethics of the sale and withholding, especially with regards to the 1A.

    That leads to ethics itself. During that time, 3 reporters for the LVRJ were asked to back off of their current assignments and monitor/investigate 3 judges. I'll let the rest of the story pick up from here.

    Buying a newspaper, then using it and others in your portfolio to investigate a judge who is presiding over a case which you are a defendant in.. How ethical is that, let alone a major conflict of interest? It even looks like the reporters at the LVRJ let alone other papers they own are questioning this action. But how ethical is it to use the 1A to subvert a court and judge affirmed and protected by Article III?

    Something's fishy here, and makes me yearn for when the Las Vegas Sun was not purchased by the LVRJ.

  2. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    mmm, yes... fishy. I still yearn for the days before I had ever heard of, say, Sam Zell. In at least one way this gig sounds even worse. At least the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other Tribune Company asset managers at the time were immediately aware of their then new owner. Past that it remains to be seen how Adelson can sink lower than Zell's destructive behavior with his acquisitions. But hey, ol' Sheldon seems to have got off to an energetic start.

    @localoid had a post the other day (in another thread) about major media consolidation, and I had followed that up with a comment about consolidation in smaller tiers of the newspaper industry. I don’t know where we’re headed with media in the USA but ongoing consolidation is part of low-information voter issues for sure, as well as other mischief.

    Not even knowing who has scarfed up a newspaper for awhile is a new one on me. How can that ever possibly be in the public interest?

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