Power Pressures and Pocketbook Concerns: Perceptions of Organizational Influences on News Content in the Television Industry

Rita Colistra


Using a national online survey of television reporters (N = 612) and three theoretical approaches, this study examines reporter perceptions of organizational-level influences on news content. Findings indicate that owners and top-level executives have the strongest influence on coverage decisions, based on reporter perceptions, followed by economic pressures. Results also suggest that these sources of influence, along with staff-size pressures, are correlated with instances of agenda cutting, which is a less-studied phenomenon involving forces both within and outside the media attempting to cut or bury news. This research expands both topical and theoretical knowledge bases and provides strong support for agenda cutting and its use as a theoretical approach in media scholarship and beyond.


agenda building, framing, agenda cutting, news coverage and reporting

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