Jennifer Akin and Heidi Burgess
Original Publication (of Jennifer Akin's essay): March 2005.
Current Implications and new material was added by Heidi Burgess in June 2020.
"Mass media" is a deceptively simple term encompassing a countless array of institutions and individuals who differ in purpose, scope, method, and cultural context. Mass media include all forms of information communicated to large groups of people, from a handmade sign to an international news network. There is no standard for how large the audience needs to be before communication becomes "mass" communication. There are also no constraints on the type of information being presented. A car advertisement, a fake social media post coming from Russia, and a U.N. resolution are all examples of mass media.
Because "media" is such a broad term, it will be helpful in this discussion to focus on a limited definition. In general usage, the term has been taken to refer to only "the group of corporate entities, publishers, journalists, and others who constitute the communications industry and profession." This definition includes both the entertainment and news industries. Another common term, especially in talking about conflict, is "news media." News media include only the news industry. It is often used interchangeably with "the press" or the group of people who write and report the news.
In 2020, this definition of mass media is clearly too narrow. Social media--including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr and the like -- allows anyone in the world to post pretty much anything they want--true or false--with very little oversight or censorship. This has resulted in the widespread use of "bots"--computers--that generate millions of fake, almost always inflammatory, stories which they widely post on these social media apps, masquarading as real people, even as known friends of real people. This is thought to significantly sway public opinion toward the extremes--in the U.S., for example, making conservatives think that liberals are far worse than they really are, and making liberals think the opposite. The result is increasing polarization of both the electorate and our decision makers, making our political processes largely dysfunctional.
At the same time, in the U.S., the Trump administration has demonized the legitimate news media, calling any story that criticizes him, and others, "fake news," and declaring journalists to be "enemies of the people." This has led his followers to rely on media that is friendly to Trump--Fox News and social media, and to distrust anything they get from traditional news outlets. It has also led to numerous physical attacks on journalists. Most recently, this happened on several occassions during the May-June 2020 protests about police brutality following the death of George Floyd.
Attacking journalists is not limited to the United States of course. Perhaps the most high-profile recent example was the Saudi Arabian murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post reporter and Saudi dissident, who was assassinated in the Saudi consulate in Instanbul in 2018. But journalists have been at risk world wide for a long time. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 1373 Journalists have been killed between 1992 and 2020, all over the world.
So being a journalist is a dangerous business, and it seems to be getting more dangerous all the time.
Going back to what Jennifer Akin wrote in 2005, the distinction between news and entertainment can at times be fuzzy, but news is technically facts and interpretation of facts, including editorial opinions, expressed by journalism professionals. Which facts are included, how they are reported, how much interpretation is given, and how much space or time is devoted to a news event is determined by journalists and management and will depend on a variety of factors ranging from the editorial judgment of the reporters and editors, to other news events competing for the same time or space, to corporate policies that reflect management's biases.
The distinction between news, entertainment, and opinion has gotten much fuzzier since 2005. The U.S.-based Daily Show, aired on the cable news channel Comedy Central, hosted by Jon Stewart from 1999-2015, was one of the earliest (and best known) examples of a TV show that blended news and entertainment. (It still does so, although the host is now Trevor Noah.) Although Stewart defended his clear leftist bias at the time by asserting the show was "only entertainment," many people--particularly young people, relied on the Daily Show as their primary or only sounce of news. 
"Legitimate" news organizations, too, seem now to be blurring the distinction between "news" and "opinion." In response to the New York Times' firing of its Editorial Page director, James Bennet, over the publication of an op-ed by Republican U.S. Senator Tom Cotton in June 2020, Roger Cohen penned an editorial arguing that "both sides" journalism is under attack by those who advocate journalism that operates from a "place of moral clarity." . This notion is echoed and taken further by another Times opinion writer, Ross Douthat, who wrote (also in response to the Bennet firing)
[There is a] growing newsroom assumption that greater diversity should actually lead to a more singular perspective on the news, a journalism of “truth” rather than “objectivity,” in which issues that involve black — or gay or female or transgender or immigrant — interests are covered less as complex debates and more as stories of good versus evil.
The results of this shift have been particularly apparent lately at this newspaper, especially in the transformed relationship between our news and opinion pages. The Times of my youth and adolescence aspired to be nonpartisan in its news gathering, while the editorial page was frankly liberal and the Op-Ed page mostly (William Safire excepted) left-of-center. But as our news pages have become more ideological, oriented toward the perceived truths of the successor ideology — a shift documented last year by Zach Goldberg, a Ph.D student at Georgia State, in a series of striking charts showing how the shifting vocabulary of activists has taken off in Times stories — the Op-Ed page has gone from being to the left of the news pages to being, strangely, somewhat to their right. 
Mass communicated media saturated the industrialized world in 2005; this is true for the non-industrialized world, too, in 2020.) The television in the living room, the newspaper on the doorstep (not so much anymore!), the radio in the car, the computer and tablet, the fliers in the mailbox, and now most importantly, perhaps in 2020, the cell phone are just a few of the media channels daily delivering advertisements, news, opinion, music, and other forms of mass communication.
Because the media are so prevalent, they have an extremely powerful impact on how we view the world. Nearly everything we know about current events and politics comes from the media--it is only the most local and personal events that are experienced first-hand. Events in the larger community, the state, the country, and the rest of the world are experienced almost entirely through the media, be it a professional journalist or a "citizen journalist" posting on social media.
Not only do the media report the news, they create the news by deciding what to report. The "top story" of the day has to be picked from the millions of things that happened that particular day. After something is deemed newsworthy, there are decisions on how much time or space to give it, whom to interview, what pictures to use, and how to frame it. Often considered by editors, but seldom discussed, is how the biases and interests of management will impact these determinations. All of these decisions add up to the audience's view of the world, and those who influence the decisions influence the audience.
The media, therefore, have enormous importance to conflict resolution because they are the primary -- and frequently only -- source of information regarding conflicts. If a situation doesn't make the news (now including social media), it simply does not exist for most people. When peaceful options such as negotiation and other collaborative problem-solving techniques are not covered, or their successes are not reported, they become invisible and are not likely to be considered or even understood as possible options in the management of a conflict.
The news media thrive on conflict. The lead story for most news programs is typically the most recent and extreme crime or disaster. Conflict attracts viewers, listeners, and readers to the media; the greater the conflict the greater the audience, and large audiences are imperative to the financial success of media outlets. Therefore, it is often in the media's interest to not only report conflict, but to play it up, making it seem more intense than it really is. Long-term, on-going conflict-resolution processes such as mediation are not dramatic and are often difficult to understand and report, especially since the proceedings are almost always closed to the media. Thus conflict resolution stories are easily pushed aside in favor of the most recent, the most colorful, and the most shocking aspects of a conflict. Groups that understand this dynamic can cater to it in order to gain media attention. Common criteria for terrorist attacks include timing them to coincide with significant dates, targeting elites, choosing sites with easy media access, and aiming for large numbers of casualties. Protesters will hoist their placards and start chanting when the television cameras come into view. It is not unusual for camera crews or reporters to encourage demonstrators into these actions so they can return to their studios with exciting footage. The resulting media coverage can bestow status and even legitimacy on marginal opposition groups, so television coverage naturally becomes one of their planned strategies and top priorities. The "30-second sound bite" has become a familiar phrase in television and radio news and alert public figures strategize to use it to their advantage.
In most parts of the industrialized world, the news has to "sell," because the handful of giant media conglomerates that control most of the press (media outlets) place a high priority on profitable operations. Their CEOs are under relentless pressure to generate high returns on their shareholders' investments. Media companies face tight budgets and fierce competition, which often translate into fewer foreign correspondents, heavy reliance on sensationalism, space and time constraints, and a constant need for new stories. Reporters with pressing deadlines may not have time to find and verify new sources. Instead they tend to rely on government reports, press releases, and a stable of vetted sources, which are usually drawn from "reliable" companies and organizations. Most overseas bureaus have been replaced by "parachute journalism," where a small news crew spends a few days or less in the latest hotspot. These same media outlets are also dependent upon advertisement revenue, and that dependence can compromise their impartiality. Many newspapers and television stations think twice before reporting a story that might be damaging to their advertisers, and will choose to avoid the story, if possible. According to a survey taken in 2000, "...about one in five (20 percent) of local and (17 percent) (of) national reporters say they have faced criticism or pressure from their bosses after producing or writing a piece that was seen as damaging to their company's financial interests." The drive to increase advertising revenue has led many local news shows to measure out world news in seconds to accommodate longer weather and sports reports.
In 2005, (Aiken wrote) the news that was reported in the West came from an increasingly concentrated group of corporate- and individually-owned conglomerates. The majority of all media outlets in the United States and a large share of those internationally were owned by a handful of corporations: Vivendi/Universal, AOL/Time Warner (CNN), The Walt Disney Co. (ABC), News Corporation (FOX), Viacom (CBS), General Electric (NBC), and Bertelsmann. These companies' holdings included international news outlets, magazines, television, books, music, and movies as well as large commercial subsidiaries that were not part of the media. Many of these companies are the result of mergers and acquisitions that began in the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan's de-regulatory policies began to facilitate such consolidation, and further mergers have occurred ever since.
Recently (now speaking of the period 2015-2020), this trend has continued and even accelerated. It has been particularly evident in "local news." Edmund Andrews, from Stanford wrote in 2019 that
Local TV news shows collectively attract 25 million nightly viewers, far more than national cable programs such as Fox News and MSNBC. And that’s been attractive to major media conglomerates, which have been snapping up local TV stations in recent years. As of 2016, five big companies controlled 37% of these stations. 
Andrews sites a study co-authored by Gregory Martin of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Joshua McCrain of Emory University who studied the behavior an impact of such conglomerate, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which, at the time, owned 191 stations that reached almost 40% of the U.S. population. It has attracted attention, Andrews points out, for its conservative political views.
During the 2016 election campaign, for example, Sinclair stations aired 15 “exclusive” interviews with Donald Trump. In 2017, it hired a former Trump White House official as its chief political analyst and made his commentaries must-run on all stations. Last year, all of its anchors were ordered to read an identical script that echoed Trump’s rhetoric about “fake news”. 
The first thing they found was that the newly acquired Sinclair stations increased the time allocated to national politics by about 25%. That increase came largely at the expense of local political news. Existing Sinclair stations also allocated about 25% more time than their rivals to national politics. 
The result of this trend is negative for two reasons. One, the increase in national coverage comes with a decrease in local converage. This results in a decrease in citizens' knowledge about and engagement with the politicians and issues in their own communities. So one potentially important way in which "ordinary citizens" can become empowered and engaged in issues that affect their lives--through their local political processes--is increasingly turned off to them.
In addition, the Stanford/Emory study suggested that media conglomerates could sway national elections.
“There is a lot of evidence from other research that the political content of news affects election outcomes,” Martin says. “So the evidence that we present, which shows that the tastes of media owners affect local news content, means the owners of media outlets have a lot of political power. That’s something that regulators of media should take into account.” 
The same thing is happening with local newspapers--they have been increasingly bought out by large conglomerates such as GateHouse Media (which recently bought Gannet, also a large conglomerate owner of local papers), and Alden Global Capital. According to Leonhardt of the New York Times (and many other observers as well,) these conglomerates don't care at all about the quality of local media. Rather, they usually gut the papers of reporters, replacing the local coverage with one-size-fits all national news, slanted the way the conglomerate wants. Or they just run the newspapers into the ground and close them down. According to Julie Bosman, also of the New York Times,
School board and city council meetings are going uncovered. Overstretched reporters receive promising tips about stories but have no time to follow up. Newspapers publish fewer pages or less frequently or, in hundreds of cases across the country, are shuttered completely.
All of this has added up to a crisis in local news coverage in the United States that has frayed communities and left many Americans woefully uninformed, according to a report by PEN America released on Wednesday. 
Quoting the report by PEN America, she says
“A vibrant, responsive democracy requires enlightened citizens, and without forceful local reporting they are kept in the dark,” the report said. “At a time when political polarization is increasing and fraudulent news is spreading, a shared fact-based discourse on the issues that most directly affect us is more essential and more elusive than ever.” 
The report, itself, goes onto say:
Without reliable information on how tax dollars are spent, how federal policy affects local communities, and whether local elected officials are meeting constituent needs, how can citizens make informed choices about who should govern? 
Going back to Aiken's words in 2005, in addition to the control exercised by owners, there are also government controls and self-censorship. The United States, governed by a constitution where the First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, has arguably one of the most free presses in the world, and is one of the few countries where the right to free speech is expressly written into the constitution. Yet even the U.S. government exerts control over the media, particularly during times of war or crisis. In many other countries around the world, especially emerging nations and dictatorships, governments impose tight restrictions on journalists, including penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment and execution. In these environments, rigorous self-censorship is necessary for survival. In a major survey of 287 U.S. journalists, "about a quarter of those polled have personally avoided pursuing newsworthy stories."
This problem, too, has gotten much worse since Donald Trump was elected U.S. President in 2016. As we said above, he routinely labels any story he doesn't like "fake," and uses Twitter as his mass media outlet to let everyone know what is "real" in his view. According to David Markowitz, writing in Forbes in May 2020,
As of early April, Trump has told 23.3 lies per day in 2020, a 0.5-lie increase since 2019. What’s more, Trump has averaged 23.8 lies per day since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the US — another 0.5-lie increase. Even during a pandemic, when the public needs to trust and rely on him the most, deception remains a core part of the president’s playbook.
What’s unusual about Trump is not just how often he lies, but what he lies about and where he communicates his lies most often. 
Trump's favorite topics, according to Markowitz are guns, the economy, education, and elections, although the Coronavirus is particularly popular right now (May - June 1020). "President Trump seems impervious to the threat of detection or harsh public opinion. He continues to deceive at record-setting rates using forums that amplify his lies, rather than hide them." 
While this is not exactly censorship, Trump is trying to make as many people as possible believe that the mainstream press is lying, and only he is telling "the truth."
(Aiken's commentary from 2005) Without the media, most people would know little of events beyond their immediate neighborhood. The further one goes outside of one's circle of friends and family, the more time-consuming and expensive it becomes to get information--without media. Very few, if any, individuals have the resources to stay independently informed of world events. With the news and social media, however, all one has to do is turn on a television or turn to the Internet. Even when it is biased or limited, it is a picture of things that are happening around the world.
The more sources one compares a diversity of sources, the more accurate the picture that can be put together. In addition to the media conglomerates, there are also a range of independent news outlets, though they have a much smaller audience. Some of these provide an alternative view of events and often strive to publish stories that cannot be found in the mainstream media. So, too, in 2020, does social media, although it is increasingly hard to tell what social media posts are "legitimate" and which are, indeed, fakes--brought to you by Russian "bots," for instance. However, the Internet now makes it possible to read papers and watch broadcasts from around the globe. While language skills can be a barrier, it is possible to live in the United States and watch Arab-language broadcasts from the Middle East, or to get on the Internet and read scores of Chinese newspapers. Having access to these alternative voices limits the power of monopolies over information.
Another important benefit of a functioning mass media is that information can be relayed quickly in times of crisis. Tornado and hurricane announcements can give large populations advance warning and allow them to take precautions and move out of harm's way. In a country suffering war, a radio broadcast outlining where the latest fighting is can alert people to areas to avoid. In quieter times, the media can publish other useful announcements, from traffic reports to how to avoid getting HIV. It is a stabilizing and civilizing force.
This, too, of course, is under attack in 2020, as Donald Trump is using Twitter and other mass media (such as ally Fox News) to spread massive amounts of false information about the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the while the mass media still has the potential to be a "stablizing and civilizing force," As Akin wrote in 2005, it no longer so clearly is.
Along the same lines, the news media allow elected and other officials to communicate with their constituents. Frequently, the delegates at a negotiation will find they understand each other much better over the course of their discussions, but that understanding will not reach the larger populations they represent without a concerted communications effort. If constituents are not aware of these new understandings (and subsequent compromises) during the course of negotiations, they will almost certainly feel cheated when a final agreement falls far short of their expectations. To achieve ratification, delegates must justify the agreement by discussing it with and explaining it to their constituents throughout the entire process and the media is often used for this purpose.
A recent media (in 2005) phenomenon dubbed the "CNN effect" occurs when powerful news media (i.e. CNN) seem to be creating the news by reporting it. It has been argued that CNN, with its vast international reach, sets the agenda by deciding which items are newsworthy and require the attention of government leaders. Traditionally, agenda-setting has been seen as the prerogative of government. It is also argued that emotionally-charged footage of people suffering, such as mass starvation, bombed-out markets, and burning houses, arouse the public to demand immediate action. This gives leaders little time to think through an appropriate response and can force them to take valuable resources from more urgent, less photogenic issues.
This use of sensational imagery is cited as being responsible for the United States' ill-fated involvement in Somalia : "In the words of one U.S. congressman, 'Pictures of starving children, not policy objectives, got us into Somalia in 1992. Pictures of U.S. casualties, not the completion of our objectives, led us to exit Somalia.' " On the other hand, failure of the media to fully report on the genocide that claimed an estimated 800,000 lives in Rwanda during a 100-day period in 1994, made it easy for Western governments to ignore the crisis that they preferred not to acknowledge until long after it ended.
The CNN effect also brings up issues of accuracy. The New York Times, with its vast resources, has long been known as "the newspaper of record; once something is reported by this leading news outlet it is accepted as fact (unverified) and carried by other outlets, even when errors creep into the Times' account. (In 2020, the Times is now considered the newspaper of record by liberals only; it is seen as a top purveyor of fake news by President Trump and many of his allies and followers.
Some observers argue that the CNN effect is overrated, if not complete myth. Warren Strobel and Susan Carruthers, for example, argue that the U.S. government has not been forced into doing anything; rather, it used reaction over media stories to introduce policies that it already desired. Strobel also argues that any action a politician undertakes as a result of this pressure will be merely a "minimalist response" -- a limited action that suggests a greater response than has taken place.
Theories of Journalism
Any discussion of media and conflict eventually leads to the purpose and responsibilities of journalists. A Western audience expects objectivity of its news reporters. While most citizens take this for granted, objective reporting has not been the historical norm. The concept of objectivity itself has often been the focus of debate. As Susan Carruthers states, "... news can never be 'value-free,' from 'nobody's point of view.' " It is a sentiment voiced by numerous journalism professionals and teachers.
Deciding what the news is requires a value judgment. In the Western news media there is a consensus that news is something unusual which departs from everyday life and is quantifiable. For example, the outbreak of war is news, but any fighting thereafter might not be. As the war continues, its newsworthiness depends on whether the news agency's home troops are involved, whether the troops of close allies are involved, how many casualties are reported, how photogenic the victims are, whether reporters have access to the fighting and information about it, and what other stories occur at the same time. Western news consists of events, not processes. This bias can result in news reports where events seem to have no context.
In response to the drawbacks of 'objective' journalism, some journalists have begun advocating for alternative models, such as "peace journalism" and "public journalism." Peace journalism advocates the belief that journalists should use the power of the media to help resolve conflict rather than report it from a distance. Its detractors argue that "[o]nce a journalist has set himself the goal of stopping or influencing wars, it is a short step to accepting that any means to achieve that end are justified. ... There can be no greater betrayal of journalistic standards."
The June 2020 dispute over the New York Times' publication of Tom Cotton's op-ed is another example of this same conflict. Both Roger Cohen and Ross Douthat wrote that the Times (the 2005 "Newspaper of Record") now is leaning toward a far-left interpretation of one view as "news," and relegates all other views to the opinion pages or out of the paper all together. Although Cohen and Douthat agree that Tom Cotton's op-ed was odius, it still should have been published (as it was), and the Editorial Page Director who was fired for publishing it should not have been let go. According to Cohen,
I still believe in both-sides journalism. “A place of moral clarity” can easily mean there is only one truth, and if you deviate from it, you are done for. The liberal idea that freedom is served by open debate, even with people holding repugnant views, is worth defending. If conformity wins, democracy dies. 
Another "new" trend (in 2005) was "public journalism" which seeks to explore issues affecting a community and stay with those issues long enough to give the community enough information to understand the conflict and get involved. This, however, often requires a long-term commitment by the journalist and news media to follow a story over the course of the conflict. If the story is of continuing high importance to the readers -- such as a war that involves local troops, such coverage is common. If the story is not deemed continuously "newsworthy," however, it takes a committed journalist to continue to write about it and a news outlet the permits such committed reporting. 
Jennifer Akin wrote this article fifteen years ago, and while most of what it said then is still very much true, it is astonishing, to me at least, how much these trends have been accelerated with the new forms of media (particularly social media) that didn't exist when this essay was first written. Since we no longer are in contact with the author (who was a graduate student working with us in 2005), I (Heidi Burgess) have taken the liberty of updating this essay by adding additional material about what has happened in the period 2005-2020.
The biggest change, of course, is the development of social media which didn't exist when this essay was first written. Social media has, in a sense "democratized journalism," since everyone can be a journalist, reporting on what they see from their vantage point to the entire world. They can also give their opinion on world events and share them widely--something that was impossible to do when this essay was first written.
Ironically, however, this "democratization of journalism" might actually destroy democracy, as it has allowed for the massive proliferation of fake stories--not the "fake news" that Donald Trump decries (which is most often factually correct), but rather the millions of fake stories, tweets, Facebook posts and the like that are being created by robots ("bots") working both in the U.S. and abroad, particularly, it seems, in Russia and Iran. These tweets and posts have been designed to disrupt local, national, and global political debates, and influence elections in the U.S. and abroad. Indeed, the Meuller report confirms that Russian interference, mostly through mass media efforts, did significantly effect the 2016 Presidential election in the United States.
Although Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets have said that they have made some efforts to prevent such manipulation, many observers feel they have not done nearly enough. Also, Trump (along with Congressional Republicans) have blocked a number of governmental efforts to protect our election processes. So continued, even more massive, media manipulation is likely to influence the U.S. presidental election this November as well.
 Schaffert, Richard W. "The Media's Influence on the Public's Perception of Terrorism and the Question of Media Responsibility." Media Coverage and Political Terrorists. New York: Praeger Publishers. 1992: 61-79
 Kohut, Andrew. "Self-Censorship: Counting the Ways." Columbia Journalism Review. May/June 2002. http://www.cjr.org/year/00/2/censorship.asp
 Sanders, Edmund. "Results of FCC's Media Studies Are Released." Los Angeles Times. Oct. 2, 2002. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/202977141.html?did=202977141&FMT=ABS&FMTS=FT&desc=California%3b+Results+of+FCC%27s+Media+Studies+Are+Released
 Kohut, Andrew. "Self-Censorship: Counting the Ways." Columbia Journalism Review. May/June 2002.
 Laws, David. "Representation of Stakeholding Interests." The Consensus Building Handbook. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. 1999.
 Carruthers, Susan L. The Media at War. New York: St. Martin's Press. 2000. p 206
 Strobel, Warren. 1996. Managing Global Chaos: Sources and Responses to International Conflict, eds. Chester A. Crocker and Fen Osler Hampson with Pamela Aall. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press. p. 366.
 Carruthers, Susan L. The Media at War. New York: St. Martin 's Press. 2000. p. 17.
 Weaver, Tim. "The End of War." Track Two. Vol. 7, No. 4. http://ccrweb.ccr.uct.ac.za/archive/two/7-4/p21-endofwar.html
 Special thanks to Richard Salem, President of Conflict Management Initiatives, for his assistance in drafting this essay.
 The New York Times published a lengthy interview with Stewart in June 2020 in which he reflected on his role in blending news and entertainment, and contributing, perhaps, to the confusion of the two. (Search for the phrase "We jused to have news and we had entertainment" to see Stewart's thoughts on this topic.)
 Roger Cohen, "The Outcry Over ‘Both Sides’ Journalism" New York Times. June 12, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/journalism-debate.html
 Ross Douthat: "The Tom Cotton Op-Ed and the Cultural Revolution." New York Times, June 12, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/nyt-tom-cotton-oped-liberalism.html
[15, 16, 17, and 18] Edmund L. Andrews "Media Consolidation Means Less Local News, MOre Right Wing Slant," Insights by Stanford Business https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/media-consolidation-means-less-local-news-more-right-wing-slant
[19 and 20] Julie Bosman "How the Collapse of Local News is Causing a 'National Crisis'" New York Times. November 20, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/us/local-news-disappear-pen-america.html
 Pen America "Losing the News" https://pen.org/local-news/
[22 and 23] David Markowitz "Trump is Lying More than Ever: Just Look at the Data" Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidmarkowitz/2020/05/05/trump-is-lying-more-than-ever-just-look-at-the-data/#10ca8c31e176
 Roger Cohen, "The Outcry Over ‘Both Sides’ Journalism" New York Times. June 12, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/12/opinion/journalism-debate.html
Use the following to cite this article:
Akin, Jennifer. "Mass Media." Beyond Intractability. Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: March 2005 <http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/mass-communication>.