A special report on the news industry: Impartiality
The Foxification of news
Jul 7th 2011 | from The Economist print edition
In the internet age, transparency may count for more than objectivity
ONE OF THE world’s most profitable news organisations is Fox News, an American cable-news channel that is part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. In 2010 it is thought to have made a profit of over $800m on revenues of $1.5 billion, according to SNL Kagan, a research firm—more than its rivals CNN and MSNBC put together. Fox was set up in 1996 by Roger Ailes, a former media adviser to three Republican presidents, specifically to appeal to conservative viewers. Its star hosts, such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, offer distinctively right-wing opinion and commentary, though the channel insists that its news reporting is unbiased. Fox is famous for being opinionated rather than for being profitable. Bill Shine, head of programming at Fox News, thinks these two characteristics are related. “We offer opinions not seen anywhere else,” he says.
目前世界上盈利最多的新闻组织当属福克斯新闻，福克斯新闻是一家美国有线新闻频道，隶属于鲁珀特·默多克的新闻集团。2010年，研究公司SNLKagan指出，当年福克斯新闻盈利超过8亿美元，营业收入达15亿美元，超过了其竞争对手CNN和MSNBC的业绩之和。福克斯新闻于1996年创立，其创始人 Roger Ailes曾为三位共和党总统担任媒体顾问，对于保守派人士吸引力尤甚。其当家明星主持，如Bill O’Reilly和Sean Hannity，都旗帜鲜明的持右翼观点，尽管福克斯强调其新闻报道是公正客观的。Fox以其敢言而非盈利著称。节目总监Bill Shine则认为二者相互关联。“我们的观点在别处是看不到的。”他如是说。
In a world where millions of new sources are emerging on the internet, consumers are overwhelmed with information and want to be told what it all means. Fox is not the only news organisation that is unafraid to say what it thinks and is prospering as a result. Other examples include Al Jazeera’s unabashed support for reform in the Arab world, Jon Stewart’s satirical take on the news in the “Daily Show”, Rush Limbaugh’s hugely popular conservative radio show or even The Economist. Perhaps significantly, MSNBC, which has lately been positioning itself to appeal to a left-wing crowd, is picking up viewers (see chart 5). “It’s not quite as political as what Fox does,” says Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, “but we definitely have a progressive sensibility, a sensibility to the left.”
如今互联网上的信息来源数以百万计，消费者迷失其中，希望搞明白这些信息的意义。Fox并不是唯一一家敢于发声并因此不断发展壮大的新闻组织。其他组织，如Al Jazeera对于阿拉伯世界的改革给予了公正的支持，Jon Stewart在天天脱口秀上极尽挖苦之能，Rush Limbaugh广受欢迎的保守派电台秀，甚至还有The Economist。最明显的大概是近来声称吸引左翼人群MSNBC，它已经积聚其越来越多的人气（参见表5）。"我们没有福克斯那么政治化”，MSNBC的总裁Phil Griffin说，“但我们的确有着改革性的触觉，偏向左翼的倾向”。