This is the first book to provide a comprehensive theory of commercial news production. The author's systematic study of the way in which firms deploy resources, such as reporters and photographers, to maximize return to shareholders leads to an examination of the ways such practices affect journalistic quality. John H McManus examines the application of market logic to news and its growing importance to local broadcast media.
Until the mid-1980s, local television news tended to be viewed by journalists in other media as an inconsequential, market-driven medium. During the last decade, however, newspapers and network television have also found themselves to be prey to market forces as a consequence of increasing competition and a shrinking advertising market.