I have a country where all independent media is banned, and every TV channel, radio & newspaper must receive license from one of the parties in the Parliament. The party has the right to revoke the license anytime.If the party fails to earn 10% then it doesn't get any seats and their licenses are gone. Time setting is before the internet.

Socialist state medias is not comparable since there's only one party, in my country there are many parties. If Lefty government ethanol taxes are reason for rising food prices, Lefty News might ignore that news, but Central News or Righty News might put it on the front page if they find out. If Lefty news doesn't report mischiefs everybody will watch opposition channels, which would make Lefty news useless to government and it might revoke it's license. If it does report it, government won't be happy. It feels like a lose lose situation.

Would media do their duty and risk losing license, or it'll be just mouthpiece for parties and risk losing audience?

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    $\begingroup$ Why do you see it as a "duty" to tell the truth? And which truth are they supposed to tell? Do they have any benefits from telling what you consider "truth"? Also, question does not show any research effort - for example, party-controlled media in socialist states. $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Oct 15, 2016 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ Make a little research about Russian medias. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Oct 15, 2016 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Mołot But those media worked in a single party system, in my country there are many. It's easy to be Pravda when you're only game in town. $\endgroup$
    – Charizard
    Oct 15, 2016 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Vincent That's also very close to former USSR, if you speak against Putin you'll lose your license, in my country if even one party supports you you are safe. $\endgroup$
    – Charizard
    Oct 15, 2016 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ What a coincidence, in the Duma, the second party of importance has only 9% of the seats. Thus only Putin party's would be able to have a licence. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Oct 15, 2016 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


This system ensures all media will just follow their party's line. Some of them may make a show of rebellion, as a way of seeking more customers, but they won't actually rebel on anything that matters. They may also support one faction of their licensing party over others, but they'll make sure they don't lose their licenses.

Loosing audience won't be a concern given that all media are under the same constraints. The concept of a duty to the truth was discarded when the legislation that created this system was passed.

Congratulations, you've found an easy way to let politicians enforce their views of reality.

  • $\begingroup$ I'd say that there is only one way to rebel under such system - start worshiping a different party. $\endgroup$
    – Shadow1024
    Oct 15, 2016 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Shadow1024 There's always good old insurgency, or samizdat if you're more into propaganda aspect $\endgroup$
    – Platypus
    Oct 15, 2016 at 20:23

The media wouldn't necessarily be just a mouthpiece for their party. A party needs media, just as in your scenario the media needs support from the party. If the major outlets a party licensed banded together, the party couldn't disband any one of them for fear of retaliation from the others. A party can't disband all of its media outlets: then the other parties would easily crush it. Relying on this, it would be possible for fairly truthful media outlets to exist.

  • $\begingroup$ The possibility doesn’t consider the effects of what the customers want and advertising revinue. You show that it’s possible for funding to rtump licencing as a concern via collective bargening. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Oct 16, 2016 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ Those are concerns whether or not parties are responsible for licencing the media. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2016 at 2:03

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