Journal Article

Journalism as a public good: A Scandinavian perspective

Publication

Author
Ester Pollack

Abstract

Abstract

The democratic importance of journalism is related to public good aspects of media products, as well as news media’s positive externalities. Journalism of high quality helps ensure we are all better informed and thus benefits democracy. Lack of investigative journalism may incur large social costs. However, journalism as a public good is difficult to fund on a commercial basis. Historically, an economic solution for media companies has been advertising subsidies, plus different types of public and private support. Today, the long-time marriage between news organisations and advertisers is severely weakened, and nothing so far suggests that digital revenues alone can finance a varied, broad and original news production. In the eyes of capitalist investors, news organisations represent the past, not the future. This article discusses, on the basis of Scandinavian media experiences and recent policy reforms, the necessity of a media policy and a funding system that acknowledges quality journalism as societal knowledge production and a public good.

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About the Author

Ester Pollack

Ester Pollack, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Journalism in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University and deputy head of the department. Her research combines sociological and historical perspectives on the relations between two o... Read more

Reference

Pollack, E. (2017). Journalism as a public good: A Scandinavian perspective. Journalism, pp. 1-17. Available at: https://research.ims.su.se/manage/me/publications/new [Accessed 15 Aug. 2018]. doi: DOI: 10.1177/1464884917730945.