Introduction - emerging patterns of news production and consumption across media
This chapter discusses the structurational framework to trace the evolution of news consumption beginning in the early 19th century. During the 19th century, newspapers changed from journals with small, often partisan, readerships to media of mass circulation. In the process, newspapers evolved from institutions devoted to public debate to businesses devoted to profit. The media provide the resources that people use. Historically, media have been controlled by large institutions. Sometimes they are governments that subsidize media outlets to achieve state objectives. Often they are commercial institutions hoping to make money. The digital is so vast, and the utility of various choices is so hard to determine in advance of consumption, that peoples' ability to act rationally is limited problem that economists call bounded rationality. The structural features of the early 20th century media environment did much to determine both the production and consumption of news.