Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Government-Sponsored News

In a study of the local media of Baltimore, Md., the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found the one of the consequences of a smaller media presence, with less original reporting and dissemination, is the official version of events is becoming more important. Most news — fully eight out of 10 stories — is reproducing other people’s work. So who initiates the most news? The government. In the PEJ study of six storylines in the Baltimore media, 62% of the stories studied were initiated by government officials, led first of all by the police. Another 15% came from the press. Interest group figures made up most of the rest. The report also found that press releases often appear word for word in first accounts of events, though often not noted as such. Read More