The US strongly adheres to the separation of state and church, however it seems that the US cannot separate news and politics. Has this bias caused or contributed to the influx of alphabet news channels in the US, and why does the US differ from other nations like the UK, China, and Japan which all have a main broadcasting organization?

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    Do you mean why the news isn't run by the government?
    – Joe W
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 19:32
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    As a Brit, I'd like to point out that the four other main channels (ITV, Channel 4, Five, and Sky) all have their own dedicated news programs, and Sky also has its own news channel. To the best of my knowledge, they are all as professional and neutral as the BBC, if not even more so.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 19:34
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    I would also ask what does separation of church and state have to do with the news.
    – Joe W
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 19:38
  • News in the US has always been political, since before the US was the US. Briefly did it approach neutrality in one medium: TV (1950s-1980s). The polarization of news is more derived from technology-enabled market segmentation than governing philosophy.
    – dandavis
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 20:19
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    'The US strongly adheres to the separation of state and church' -citation needed.
    – Jontia
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


First, let's consider why the US has highly politicized news. The UK has media neutrality laws (NPR) that mandate neutral reporting. Japan has very strong defamation laws (Michigan Journal of International Law). These laws either outright ban or severely discourage highly partisan news stations. Chinese media companies are state-run and therefore unlikely to be critical of the state (for reasons that should be obvious).

The US, on the other hand, has a very high standard for proving libel against a public person, the so-called "actual malice" standard; that is, for a statement to be classified as libel in the US, it must be made with "knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not. (New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. at 283)." Anything less is covered under the Amendment I freedoms of speech and press. This makes it very difficult to win a libel case in the US.

So while politics is a driving factor behind the proliferation of news media outlets in the US, the reason why it happens in the US and not in other countries you mention actually seems to be the strong protections of free speech and press guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

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    Your second paragraph makes Elon Musk's libel case spring to mind, he benefitted from this very high standard required to prove libel against a public figure.
    – bit
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 23:20

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