However, the qualities of reporting and journalism in the country certainly have dimensions along which they can improve, and some observers are even severely critical of the state of affairs with respect to the media. The nature of content and safeguards against bias are especially controversial aspects of the matter.
There are 3 major groups of stakeholders with respect to news and the media: the people who report, their audiences, and the entities covered by these reports (Bennett, 2007, p. 6). Each of these categories is further affected by their circles of acquaintances and votaries, and the effects that media content have on their images and societal positions. However, the audience should have precedence in all matters related to the development of media, because their vital interests should not be compromised in any circumstances.
This document essays a review of how information is collated, analyzed, and presented by US media to its audiences, the impacts on each of the major categories of stakeholders, and how some of the important perceived limitations can be addressed. It is largely based on a major text on the state of the US media, which is widely used, and which is current as well (Bennett, 2007, p. 6).
Two significant factors dominate key US media processes: economics and technology. It is expensive to gather first hand information, and to disseminate it as well. Owners, advertisers, and theories of what audiences would like to see and hear, cast overbearing spells on the workings and decisions of reporters and most professional journalists. Economics rule news content (Hamilton, 2004, p. 7). The advantage of free enterprise becomes an entry barrier as far as the collection and dissemination of news is concerned. Editors have to function as executives, with eyes on lines of financial statements, rather than on the strengths they should have, and the accountabilities which they should hold most sacred. Interference and interventions by quarters which provide financial sustenance to the media is not blatant in any overt way, but the subtle compulsions are not to be denied. The most influential of such pressures on professional journalistic processes, relates to the role of advertising. The latter is directly related to sizes of audiences. Truth and relevance must be subservient to guessing as to what people would like to read and to hear. This leads to a high degree of subjectivity in the evaluation of the media and its utility, because the population which it serves is so diverse.
Television has substantially displaced the print media as a source medium for news (Bennett, 2007, p. 23). Thus, technology is a determining factor in shaping views, and calls for an extension if not a shift of factual reporting skills from newspapers to electronic media forms. This aspect of media process does not end with television as the Internet grows in influence at unprecedented rates. This trend is set to accelerate much further as cellular telephones offer to keep people in touch at virtually all times. However, this does not mean that mainstream media is condemned to obsolescence, and the resurgence of radio is a reassuring example of how quality news management can retain the loyalties of audiences.
The business sector of media is incredibly complex, and most lay people are not conscious of the logistics and management skills which are integral