-> "''Do we have a free press today? Sure. It's free to report all the sex scandals, all the stock market news, [and] every new health fad that comes down the pike. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff" Such stories are not even open for discussion.''"
-->-- '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Webb Gary Webb]]'''

In fiction, the news media will often be presented as less than impartial. The media outlet may churn out fluff pieces and slanted reporting praising the parent company or propaganda praising the government, and often LowestCommonDenominator trash designed to keep the [[DyingLikeAnimals "sheeple"]] from thinking.

They may be [[StrawCharacter heavily biased toward one end of the political spectrum]], with only [[FoxNewsLiberal token, ineffectual representation]] given to the other side. Which end, extreme conservative or extreme liberal, [[DependingOnTheWriter depends on]] the political views of [[AuthorTract the writer]]. Conspiracies are very likely to be involved.

Sometimes the media are given a shallow, even vapid, appearance. They are shown as caring more about celebrity hijinks, [[IfItBleedsItLeads sensationalized violence]], and [[MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome missing white women]] than about things like wars, poverty and corruption that are affecting far more lives. These news desks will be staffed by men and women who look like they came out of [[HotScoop a fashion magazine]] rather than a journalism school. These are likely to display a bad case of WorstNewsJudgmentEver and simply [[NetworkDecay selling out for ratings]]. Saying what people want to hear because people don't want to be told that they're living in a CrapsackWorld. They want to escape from everything.

See also OldMediaAreEvil. Likely to be staffed by the FoxNewsLiberal and the PompousPoliticalPundit.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* In various tellings of Comicbook/{{Superman}}'s origin, when Clark Kent arrives in Metropolis, the Daily Planet all the newspapers are controlled by LexLuthor.
* In Ann Nocenti's final issue of her ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' run, the Kingpin decides that if he can't force newspapers to run or not run the stories he wants, he will ''[[StartMyOwn start his own]]'' media empire.
-->'''Kingpin:''' What sells newspapers?
-->'''Underling:''' Crime... Tragedy... Violence...
-->'''Kingpin:''' Well then, we'll just have to start a war.
* The news show/comic "Around Cybertron" in ''TransformersShatteredGlass''. Every Autobot is forced to watch under penalty of death, and the news coverage alternates between slanderous anti-Decepticon propaganda, {{paparazzi}}-gathered stories, and IfItBleedsItLeads.
* Surprisingly largely averted by J. Jonah Jameson in the ''SpiderMan'' stories. While he is obviously biased by his stubborn hatred of superheroes, especially Spider-Man, Jameson otherwise has an impeccable reputation for being an honest and courageous journalist, whom even death threats by mobsters like TheKingpin cannot intimidate from exposing their villainy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* There is a VideoGame/{{Touhou}} fic named ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8575642/1/ Cirno News Network]]'' where the first headline is '''MORIYA SUWAKO ABANDONS FAITHFUL!''' Here is an excerpt:
--> "Angry followers vent their frustrations, with one calling for a new goddess named Cirno to take over the current earth goddess. Others agreed and began chanting in unison. Slogans such as 'All hail Cirno the Strongest', 'Freeze the frogs' and 'Cirno for Goddess' were among the popular chants."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/MeetJohnDoe'' and ''MrSmithGoesToWashington'', the media (and politics) are ruled by cigar-smoking fatcat businessmen who have politicians in their hip-pockets -- and even order the physical destruction of opposition-presses and suppression of opposition-speech, all the while staging agitations and rumor-mongering, giving them complete control over a sheep-like public.
** At the time ''MrSmithGoesToWashington'' was released, however, it was considered [[TruthInTelevision very believable and topical]] because of the audience's then-recent experiences with Tammany Hall scandals.
* UBS in ''{{Network}}'' dissolves its news division and rolls it into its entertainment division after Howard Beale's rants become a hit. Later, [[spoiler:they cross over to being controlled by a company's interests when they silence Beale after he delivers an angry rant protesting UBS' merger with a Saudi Arabian conglomerate. They then have him killed due to his show's ratings plummeting as a result of his muzzling]].
* ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies'' has a corrupt corporation controlling the media as the BigBad. Elliot Carver, head of the Carver Media Group Network (CMGN), is trying to start a war between Britain and China in order to get exclusive broadcast rights in China.
* In ''Film/ResidentEvilApocalypse'', Umbrella covers up the virus outbreak and uses its power to convince everybody that Raccoon City was destroyed went the reactor exploded. In addition to the media, the state governor approves of Umbrella's actions. No mention is made of the people who escaped the city. WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture is used in reverse, the video showing the truth is declared a forgery.
* The media in ''Film/VForVendetta'' is controlled by a totalitarian fascist government, and the "Voice of London" is an amped-up (British) version of a Fox News pundit, with plenty of social conservatism and nationalism.
* ''NaturalBornKillers'' is a ruthless satire of the vapid presentation, with [[IfItBleedsItLeads the media's coverage]] of the [[OutlawCouple Bonnie and Clyde-esque]] {{Villain Protagonist}}s only giving them more attention and incentive to commit their crimes.
* ''HisGirlFriday'' (like its original ''and'' its remake, both called ''The Front Page'') is a subversion, in that while it depicts the newspapers mainly as vapid, and pressmen as consistently willing to tell BlatantLies, it nevertheless suggests that the Press is the main instrument for securing justice from an over-powerful government.
* ''MorningGlory'' is PlayedForLaughs, with much of the action focusing on (and mocking) a vapid TV morning talk show.
* ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}'' depicts a future news media that has descended into an extremely vapid form, starting with [[HotScoop the news anchors]] being a [[WalkingShirtlessScene shirtless hunk]] and a [[MsFanservice bikini model]].
* In ''Film/TheChase'', every single news outlet in Southern California is vapid. One of the drinking game rules is drink whenever some reporter tells you their channel is the first to bring you ''any''thing about the chase. And given this movie was made in 1994, it's become even ''more'' HilariousInHindsight.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The classic example of media controlled by a tyrannical government - Creator/GeorgeOrwell's ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'', where the government control was so intensive that they had an entire department devoted to altering historical records.
* The entire news media in ''WorldWarZ'' is portrayed in such a form. Their quest for ratings is partly responsible for the disaster at Yonkers, which starts the Great Panic.
* Another example of traditional media outlets failing during the zombie apocalypse comes from the {{Newsflesh}} trilogy. Television, news and radio spent far too long denying the truth about the threat; meanwhile, the speed and ubiquity of bloggers made new media a far more effective means of spreading information.
* "The Daily Prophet" from the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series is such a mouthpiece for the Ministry of Magic that it seems quite happy to simply change its views whenever a new Minister comes into power. In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', they spew both bile and derogatory remarks towards Harry and Dumbledore, while in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', they back Voldemort's nazi-esque dominion. In between those two books, Harry is being hyped as the Chosen One, while conveniently "forgetting" that they'd been smearing him for a year beforehand.
** When Hermione asks Rita Skeeter if the Prophet is in the business of saying whatever the Ministry tells them to report, Skeeter scathingly replies that they're in the business of [[MoneyDearBoy selling newspapers]].
* ''AmericaTheBook'' contains a one-page TakeThat at the media for abdicating their responsibilities of fact-checking government processes in favor of ratings, pointing out how, when America was getting ready to invade Iraq, the media was covering the finale of ''{{Friends}}'' and the [[IfItBleedsItLeads Kobe Bryant rape case]]. It also mocks political cartoons like ''MallardFillmore'' and ''{{Doonesbury}}'' for letting their politics get in the way of the humor.
* In Terry England's ''Literature/{{Rewind}}'', the media goes nuts over the Rewound Children and proceeds to make their lives miserable.
* John Ringo tends to write extreme cases of this, typically complaining about the environmental impact of things when it makes no sense, like radiation from nuking a swarm of AlienSpaceLocusts.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' has had some instances where she has to duck the press, due to their sensationalism. The one time she uses them, it's to terrify Pavel Young.
* In the ''{{Dexta}}'' series, all news outlets are run directly or indirectly by one of the Big Twelve [[MegaCorp megacorporations]]. This becomes a plot point when an editor quashes a news story that would damage one of the corporation's new business opportunities; while the IntrepidReporter who's covering it theoretically ''could'' blow the whistle to a rival, he'd never be able to work again. Nobody trusts a traitor, and there's no such thing as independent media in this 'verse.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''TheDukesOfHazzard'': The Hazzard County Gazette, which naturally tilts all its news coverage to paint its publisher Boss Hogg, of course in the most positive light possible. The same is true for WHOGG radio, which is also controlled by Boss.
* ''WalkerTexasRanger'': Several episodes feature the local news media as vicious, bloodthirsty, ratings-seeking outlets who care more for getting the story first rather than accuracy. The primo numero uno example is "In God's Hands," where a news reporter continually reports (wrongly) that Trivette had fired his gun during a shootout (with a street gang) and one of his bullets had struck and critically wounded a 6-year-old boy; the same reporter is seen harassing the family and hospital staff, and bungles key facts each night on the news as the investigation is ongoing. In the end, Trivette is cleared a bullet from one of the bad guys' guns had struck the boy but no on-air correction is ever shown.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** [[spoiler:President Clark]] turned the news media into his mouthpiece after taking over Earth's government.
** There is also an interesting inversion in which Sheridan convinces the League of Non-Aligned Worlds to accept White Stars policing their borders by pretending that the Voice of the Resistance is covering up some new, powerful invisible enemy, [[ParanoiaGambit using their own distrust and paranoia against them]].
* ''Series/TheSentinel'': Reporters simply broadcast rumors without doing any research. In the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sentinel_(TV_series)#Series_summary last episode]] the media reports on Jim's super-senses based solely on the previews from Blair's research doctorate.
* ''CopRock'': The only concern of the media are the ratings.
* ''MissionImpossible'': In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2uz3kxZQbU "The Play"]] a subversion is used. The premier of the PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny is willing to allow some freedom of speech and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl3UiuKCQMY parody]] of the government. The cultural minister is the person who censors all speech and prints propaganda.
* ''Series/FlashGordon'': Both of the [[http://flashgordon.wikia.com/wiki/Episode_110:_Conspiracy_Theory TV stations]] shown are obssesed with ratings and Dale's attempts to promote the value of integrity are ignored. Dale's [[http://flashgordon.wikia.com/wiki/Susan_Glass competitor]] is the HotScoop.
* In ''ParksAndRecreation'' a reporter refused to do a negative story about the big company which owned her newspaper.
* The whole premise of ''DropTheDeadDonkey'' seems to revolve around Globelink being controlled by the big company. Sir Royston Merchant is seen only through his underling Gus Hedges and through some of his family members in later series, but exerts a powerful and, yes, sometimes egregious control on what Globelink can report or run. Most storylines actually end in defeat for the protagonists, sometimes merely giving in and shoving the hot story to the bottom of the pile, and sometimes being on the verge of a huge and annoying scoop but then damaging, wiping or recording over the tape accidentally, so that the evidence for their claims is vaporised.
* ''Series/LawAndOrder'' has done this many times:
** The season 4 episode [[Recap/LawAndOrderS4E1Sweeps Sweeps]]. The journalist manipulated someone into shooting his guest so that he could get better ratings. Based on daytime talk-show hosts, especially [[RippedFromTheHeadlines the Jenny Jones incident]] (although JennyJones didn't actually do this, of course).
** [[Recap/LawAndOrderS14E Embedded]]. A muckraking journalist who prided himself on exposing corruption was apparently shot by a US soldier after he gave away troop positions in a broadcast. The case is hampered when the federal government arrests the reporter and charges him with treason, and when new evidence emerges indicating that the reporter might have set it all up. [[RippedFromTheHeadlines Based on a similar controversy]] surrounding Geraldo Rivera's broadcasts in Afghanistan.
** [[Recap/LawAndOrderS17E5PublicServiceHomicide Public Service Homicide]] featured a pedophile being murdered. It turned out that the murderer (who had been raped by the pedophile many years before) confronted him for a TV show (on victims confronting their abusers), and the investigation then examines whether or not the producer manipulated the whole thing. [[RippedFromTheHeadlines Based on]] Series/{{Dateline}} and the To Catch a Predator show.
** The season 19 episode [[Recap/LawAndOrderS19E17AnchorsAway Anchors Away]]). The victim was a journalist who had been demoted to vapid journalism duty thanks to newsroom politics, and the two news anchors were similar as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* GreenDay's ''American Idiot'' mentions 'one nation controlled by the media' in a negative light.
* Joe Jackson's ''Sunday Papers'', is an extended TakeThat! at the seedier end of the British Sunday newspaper market.
* Music/MichaelJackson, angry with how the mass media reported on his eccentricities and scandals, wrote several songs on the topic ("Tabloid Junkie", "Privacy", and the posthumously-released "Breaking News"); the video for "Leave Me Alone" is similar, though the song itself is not about the tabloids.
* Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" addresses the vapidity of television news.
-->We can do the innuendo\\
We can dance and sing\\
When all's said and done\\
We haven't told you a thing
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Reflecting Music/MichaelJackson's view of the press (see Music above), the Creator/CirqueDuSoleil show ''Theatre/MichaelJacksonONE'' has this trope serve as the primary antagonist -- the Tabloid Junkies are evil {{Paparazzi}} who harass the other characters and the audience, and are revealed to be servants of Mephisto (aka the Paparazzi Monster), a HumongousMecha.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Hunter Helquist in ''{{VideoGame/Borderlands2}}'' works for the Hyperion Truth Network, and always badmouths your characters, as well as the Crimson Raiders, a resistance group run by the original Vault Hunters from the first game. No matter what happens during the story missions, he always paints you in a bad light while glorifying [[BigBad Handsome Jack]]. Fortunately a sidequest is available later in the game that allows you to shut him up for good.
* USTV in ''VideoGame/InFamous'' is pure, unadulterated propaganda claiming that [[BlatantLies the situation in Empire City is fine]], and blatantly tries to cover up the very existence of Cole.
* In ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV GTA IV]]'', [[FoxNewsChannel Weazel News]] and WKTT have a conservative bias, [[{{NPR}} Public Liberty Radio]] is openly leftist, and ''Fizz!'' and [=OurOwnReality.com=] worship celebrities.
* In VideoGame/StarCraftII, UNN is blatantly pro-Dominion. Kate Lockwell, one of its anchors, isn't, but is constantly shut down by her boss.
* The ''Franchise/MassEffect'' games feature recurring [[ButtMonkey Designated Punching Bag]] Khalisah Bint Sinan al-Jilani of Westerlund News, who makes a habit of flagging down [[PlayerCharacter Shepard]] for an interview and barraging him/her with loaded questions. Each time you encounter her, the option is eventually presented [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential to lay her out with a right hook]]. The third time, however, she will [[TookALevelInBadass duck your punch and try to lay one on Shep in return]]. [[spoiler: Also in the third encounter, if you elect ''not'' to hit her, al-Jilani will break down in tears in fear and frustration over what is happeneing [[DoomedHometown on Earth]], and you can [[VideoGameCaringPotential win her over to your side.]]]]
* The various news sources in the ''Xtended'' GameMod for ''[[Videogame/{{X}} X3: Terran Conflict]]'' slide between being legitimate news sources, such as the [[HumansByAnyOtherName Argon Federation]]'s [=GalNet=], to crazy nationalist sources like the [[LostColony Solara]] News Network (considers the Solaran military to be the [[BlatantLies most competent]], downplays corruption, Terrans are literally the devil, etc) and the racist and hyper-isolationist [[PlanetTerra Terran]] Morning News (one article, for example, claims that the Kingdom Of [[StarfishAliens Boron]] may be descendants of Terran aquatic life and [[InsaneTrollLogic therefore are a Terran colony subject to Terran taxes]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* SonicTheComicOnline has The Kane Broadcasting Company is a television broadcasting corporation run by Percival James Kane, it has come into prominence with its massive smear campaign against Sonic.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' is a sympathetic example. Cecil is, aside from occasional moments of ambiguous sarcasm, always very positive about the viciously totalitarian city government. This is PlayedForLaughs most of the time, but once [[spoiler:[[MegaCorp StrexCorp]] takes over the town]] it gets increasingly obvious that what he's allowed to say is heavily censored, and he isn't happy about that. At one point, he gives the end of the episode from the ''roof'' because they cut his mic, but he pirated the signal in order to continue talking about [[spoiler:[[LaResistance Tamika Flynn's rebellion]]]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Weather News Network in ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs'' has Sam's attempt to report on [[spoiler:the food storm]] is cut off by the head news anchor, due to her [[HollywoodHomely not being attractive enough]] to be on camera.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode arc ''Hunter's Moon''. WVRN reporter John Carter frames up the title characters for the bombing of the police HQ's clock tower, [[PowderKegCrowd turning the public against them]]. Carter is really the Quarrymen leader John Canmore/John Castaway in disguise. He is one of the Canmore siblings who fired guided missiles at the Gargoyles, who were nested in the clock tower.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Most of the Springfield media depicted are corrupt and bereft of integrity. The portrayal of Fox News in Fox-produced shows them as biased and subordinate to evil tyrant Rupert Murdoch (who once voiced himself there, no less).
** An entire episode "Fraudcast News," from Season 15 centers on Mr. Burns' takeover of the local news media upon learning about published reports that had announced his death (he had been thought to have been killed in a landslide when Geezer Rock collapsed, only to have survived) and is outraged that he was being labeled as being a hateful man nobody liked and that the destruction of Geezer Rock did everyone a favor. Burns responds by using his vast wealth to purchase every media outlet in Springfield, then begins a public relations campaign to improve his image, notably as a benevolent philanthropist who is out to improve life in Springfield and ignoring altogether any suggestion of scandals or corruption.
* In ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', a [[ScoutOut Girl Scout]] gets her foot stuck in Zim's lawn. The media flocks to report on the horror that the poor little girl is going through.
[[/folder]]

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[[noreallife]]