Media Special: Introduction
We are probably all familiar with the notion that a lively, informative media is an essential, perhaps key, component in maintaining our democratic ideal of informed self-government. Equally likely, it seems, is a general awareness that the media often fails to live up to the standards we require of it. But what appears to be less well understood is that far from making well-intentioned mistakes, the mainstream media are inherently and systematically biased. Indeed, despite an increasing number of books and websites dedicated to analyzing the corporate/establishment structure of mass media, even activists still pay scant attention to a phenomenon that plays a crucial role in limiting any positive gains they might hope to achieve.