Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication


This study examines the relationship between competitive conditions in television markets, ownership characteristics, and commercial broadcast television station provision of local news and public affairs programming. Policymakers continue to raise questions about the relationship between ownership and market conditions and the provision of informational programming, in connection with a variety of policy areas, including ownership regulation, localism initiatives, and station public interest obligations; however, much of the research in this area is either out of date and/or methodologically flawed. This study presents the results of an analysis of a random sample of 285 full power television stations. Among the studies’ findings are that competitive conditions and station financial resources are much more significant to the provision of local news programming than to public affairs programming, and that ownership characteristics bear little meaningful relationship to either local news or public affairs programming provision.