Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez hypothesize on the relationship between auto industry advertising and mass media’s portrayal of a bike lane backlash in New York City.
From Streetsblog Capital Hill:
In 2010 alone, the automotive sector spent $13 billion on advertising, more than any other industry including telecom, and accounting for one out of every ten dollars doled out by advertisers in the U.S. Local media outlets are especially dependent on auto manufacturers and dealers for advertising revenue.
Most auto journalists take great care to avoid being stained by industry sway, as difficult as that must be. Still, it is naive to think that the media’s dependence on the auto industry doesn’t influence what stories are covered, what opinion pieces are published, and what necessary “balance” might be taken. The tone adopted by local New York City news outlets has hardly been one of hard objectivity.