One of the biggest problems in the modern world is our media as a defender of our interests. This ought to raise people's concerns because we should naturally expect the media to act in its own interests. What does this mean? Well, different things to different 'interests':
1. Owners: They tend to have long term interests, so they are inclined to want to diminish competition by embracing concentration of media ownership because they can achieve very lucrative economies of scale. They want to placate the leaders of the old communist countries, so they can water down rights to privacy, if they think that decision suits them.
2. Manager CEOs: They have shorter term profit incentives, so they tend to want consolidation like the owners, but they also want to cut costs. They are likely to go for measures which dress advertising up as news. For instance, this story by the NZ Herald promoting smartphones, which I personally think at this point are alot of features which don't integrate very well at this stage, functioning on very poor battery life. This article promotes smartphone, and makes no critical statements about them. This type of 'informercial' is likely to be funded by an telco association rather than a specific company because it appeals to the media (as less of a conflict of interest) as well as increasing the telco spending pie of all telco companies. More demand helps raise phone prices, as well as demand. But that's my critical judgement...but I don't get much air time because no one is going to make any money out of my two cents.
In a choice between a media which offers you 'informercials' or paid advertising and a media which offers you critical, honest, insightful media, which would you choose as a consumer. Of course you would choose critical media - if you were critical. If you were unthinking and indifferent, you would of course not make the distinction. Too many people have sunk to a point where they filter what they read through their own conscious judgement. I call this a 'loss of sovereignty' or identity. There will come a time in future when we see greater respect for facts, and consumers will seek out media that speaks to their interests. A media that's first interest is its own interests, but whose interests are compatible with yours, not because they are altruists, or purport to be, but because they respect the same facts and existence as you. i.e. People who don't want to defraud you or your reality in order to make money. We are talking about a media which functions with integrity. That is its value proposition.