早幾日,睇左剛剛由Richmond Fed版嘅期刊入面,有我好鐘意嘅Media Economics學者Jesse Shapiro嘅專訪,超級好睇,好想同大家分享…

Second Quarter 2017

The objectivity of news and the crucial role of media in democracy have rarely been hotter topics than they are today. News reporting inherently involves selection, notes Brown University’s Jesse Shapiro: There is no one correct way to present the same set of events. And with that process of selection may come charges of bias.

【又講嘅經濟長篇大論…呵吹…】

唔好走住…呢篇文唔係講經濟學嘅…係講香港政治架!!! 政治喎!!! 係咪好有興趣!

【係真唔係?】

係,但當然你要俾啲時間我做啲引入。

其實Media Economics係一個好有趣嘅新興科目,研究嘅唔係傳媒點先賺到錢,而係傳媒營運同社會之間互動,我三年前就曾經寫過一篇文講過下,好好睇嘅,睇完呢篇你可以考慮睇埋佢… 《真正的「媒體經濟學」》。

言歸正傳,咁係個專訪入面Jesse Shapiro簡介左佢近年好多份嘅研究,其中一份就係早年同拍擋Matt Gentzkow 嘅一個研究 《What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers》,研究嘅結論係「美國報業市場主要喺由市場主導」,即係老細對報導取向嘅影響力係有限,相對而言市場嘅取向反而較大。

【個研究係做咩架呢?】

簡單講,個研究係利用所謂嘅Textual Analysis技術,將大量國會演說講稿,分辨不同政黨同政見嘅政客,到底有邊啲常用嘅字眼,再利用這批字詞嚟分析報章嘅「政治傾向」。

舉個例子,就係美國共和黨人喺講遺產稅嘅時候傾向會用「Death Tax」這個字,但喺民主黨人就較常用 「Estate Tax」。

然後再試下用唔同嘅因素去解釋不同地區嘅報章政治傾向,結果發現報章老闆嘅政見對報章嘅取態影響相對輕微,反而係該地區嘅居民的政治傾向,對報章嘅政治取態最有顯著嘅影響。

呢個係訪問入面對研究結果嘅論述:

What we found is that newspapers with a more Republican customer base are much more Republican than newspapers in more Democratic markets. And once you control for geography, there’s very little evidence of an influence of owner ideology — whether you measure that by the positions of the other newspapers owned by that owner or by the owner’s donations to different political parties. There really isn’t much evidence that the owner plays a big role in how a newspaper slants the news….

… I think the drive to cater to consumers is probably stronger when you have a robust commercial marketplace for news media, like we generally have in the United States. Obviously, some countries don’t have a very robust commercial market, and newspaper owners have strong ties to government, or are in government, and there the balance of incentives is different….

【可唔可以講多啲?】

今日唔打算寫解析文啦,費事你班友仔又話悶(上面已經好悶下…)。你有興趣自己去搵下全文嚟睇啦,篇文唔係太深,仲幾好睇。Google:《What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers》。

【你想講咩啊咁?】

其實以前我唔認同呢個研究結果可以放落香港嘅環境,因為我地都知道香港唔少嘅媒體都係由親中嘅老闆支持,盈利能力唔高,但作為政治喉舌之用。

事先聲明,我仍然同意上述嘅觀察,但亦都慢慢覺得我地唔可以完全忽視市場喺當中扮演嘅角色。

一個問題係,點解香港仍然會有咁多份親中報紙?

我嘅意思係,其實你要做文宣同政治喉舌工作,一份都夠啦?唔多俾夠你三份,兩份免費一份收費,夠啦掛?但香港目前親中嘅報紙有7-8份(講明,係包括香港01嘅,又包括免費嘅。我已經唔包括某一兩份頗大中華架啦。)。

如果親中報紙好似我以往假設咁,係無太大市場嘅,只係啲老闆不停俾錢支持同當工作用嘅,點解會有咁多份?啲親中老闆傻嘅?明知競爭超大,都要衝入個火場度? 係呢度,大家要記住亞視就係其中一個例子,真係唔係話親中就唔洗執架!

當然,一個可能嘅解釋係親中政治體系入面,有唔同嘅派系,而大量親中媒體嘅存在,就係各個派系之間競爭嘅成品。

可以嘅。係這個理解當中,就係媒體係由老闆對政治相關得益(經濟學啲叫租值)嘅預期所支持;商業上嘅利益係其次,著眼嘅只係政治上嘅得益。

但另一方面,反中嘅媒體除左蘋果日報之外,好似就已經無啦;就算網上亦都唔多,有都經營環境唔太理想嘅。如果親中報紙係唔顧商業價值嘅,亦都唔能夠迎合市場嘅,理論上個報業市場可以有好多空間俾反中嘅媒體發展架?點解又會咁慘淡呢?

一個常見嘅解釋,係廣告商嘅政治傾向,加上自我審查,令反中嘅媒體難以在廣告市場
中取得合理嘅回報。咁我之後嘅問題係,點解我地作為普羅讀者唔能夠養得起一啲反中嘅媒體呢,假設我地呢種取向係政治光譜上係佔去大多數嘅話?特別係網媒嘅生存成本較低,應該可以養起幾間掛?

係嘅,市民目前都養起左一兩間,例如HKFP?傳真社?立場?但現況好難反映討厭建制嘅係大多數人。

諗到呢度,我有兩個好簡單的方案解決我心中嘅難題。 一,其實反中嘅人真係多數黎嘅,只係呢班人其實唔鐘意睇新聞,所以有錢都唔會養報紙;二,唔好意思,唔少香港人其實唔反中,唔親中都算偷笑啦,但好多都係「中立」嘅,「我兩邊都唔支持」,「好討厭政治」,「但中央對香港咁好,唔好搞咁多野啦」。咁囉。

你點睇啊?歡迎糾正喎。