Between the tropics and probably as far as the 33rd parallel, the sun could soon be a major source of energy for households and businesses alike. Since the American viewer values the ideals of capitalism: competition, social mobility, and equal opportunity, the news media does not challenge those values. This has been most recently illustrated in a two month survey of the news media’s treatment of the unemployment crisis. ThinkProgress (2011), an American political blog sponsored by the Center for American Progress, conducted a study during the last week of July and found the word debt” was mentioned more than 7,000 times on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News while the word unemployed” was only mentioned 75 times.
Kat Stoeffel (2011), a reporter at The New York Observer, has claimed that mainstream news outlets did not give the protestors any attention in the first five days of the protests. On September 24, around 80 people were arrested for blocking traffic, and CBS, ABC, The Huffington Post, and other smaller news outlets reported on the arrests. Organizers estimated that between 10,000 and 20,000 people marched, while ABC news reported that there were a few thousand” (ABC News, 2011).
Political events on the other side of the world could easily affect business confidence which, in turn, could affect investment decisions (Keynes, 1971). Bowles (2006) wrote, The unconstrained workings of the capitalist economy would therefore produce continual swings in the level of employment matching the swings in entrepreneurs’ confidence about the future and reflected in their investment spending” (p. 60). But, some argue that the business media have interests and pressures in only portraying positive news about financially related items.
Although the news media and business media may not always report positively on the economy or financial institutions, there is pressure to optimistically report about financial institutions. When investments are high, investors and companies are focused on their growth and therefore relay only positive news to the media (Dyck and Zingales, 2002). Since corporate actors rely on a high state of confidence”, corporate press agents have a strong interest to leak only positive news. Because the mainstream news media is a corporate structure, it must be selective as to how it allocates its resources.
When the market takes a downturn companies’ stock prices aren’t as sensitive to negative news coverage and there are more incentives for press agents to leak bad news (Dyck and Zingales, 2002). Journalists also have incentives to maintain relationships with their sources; they have an incentive to disseminate the good news and to limit the bad news. In the case of the housing market collapse in 2008, the business news media probably faced these same obstacles: only receiving positive information in press releases, and not given enough incentive to conduct further investigation.