A stance of some commentators and journalists that market forces ensure that the public interest is what determines the coverage of news. The assumptions underlying the market model are that: the media ‘gives the public what it wants’; the diversity of information and opinions in the mass media minimizes the possibilities of manipulation; media power is exaggerated; the public can select or reject media output; and the mass media may reinforce opinions but rarely change them. Within this broad school of thought, the ‘social responsibility’ position is that the mass media should give the public what it needs (rather than dumbing down or sacrificing quality), while the libertarian position is that it should deliver what the public wants. The market model emerged largely as a reaction to its polar opposite—the manipulative model (Cohen and Young). See also pluralist model.
Subjects: Media Studies.