Mass media in Sierra

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This article is an A-class article. It is written to a very high standard. This article is part of Altverse II.

Mass media in Sierra consists of numerous forms of communication including: television, cinema, newspapers, radio, books, magazines, the internet, and video games. The country also has an internationally renowned music industry. Since the 1980s, Sierran mass media has been left largely deregulated, allowing for the development and consolidation of large multi-billion dollar conglomerates and corporations to control a significant share of the market in the television, cinema, and radio industries. RBS is Sierra's primary public broadcaster that is registered as a federally incorporated enterprise and well-funded by the Sierran government and general public. It competes with major private corporations including SBC, Tokki, MCN, 16ON, and EBN. Both public and private broadcasters generate revenue from advertising, subscription, and sales of copyrighted material, while public broadcasters also receive funding from Parliament. Sierra ranked 24th in the Press Freedom Index in 2020. In Federal Sierra, freedom of speech and press are protected by the Constitution of Sierra under Article Eight, although both public and private broadcasting is regulated by Telecommunications Regulatory Agency, which is authorized by the Federal Broadcasting and Communications Act of 1949. Similar constitutional protections and freedoms exist in Bajaría and Hawaii. In the Deseret, freedoms of speech and press are significantly restricted compared to the rest of the Kingdom as it has some of the most stringent censorship laws.

Contemporary Sierran mass media is multilingual, catering to Sierra's various linguistic communities, of which English and Spanish audiences dominate the market, and audiences understanding French, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, German, and other communities represent significant portions of the share as well.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Logos of major Sierran newspapers
A front page cover of The Bunker Hill Journal

Compared to other formats of mass media, the Sierran newspaper industry remains fairly diverse and competitive. There are no national newspapers, as newspapers are published primarily for city or regional markets, although a few number of newspapers are sold nationwide. Three newspapers are often regarded as Sierra's newspaper of records: the Porciúncula Times, the San Francisco Examiner, and The Bunker Hill Journal. The former two tends to lean center-left while the latter leans center-right. Other widely circulated newspapers include Grands Ballons Observer, the Riverside Tribune, The Bernheim Courier-Journal, the New Rotterdam Journal, the Fort Travis Chronicle, Les Mers, L'Héraut du Pacifique, Las Vegas Star Reporter, and The Unionist. Major publications generally publish in other languages in addition to English, often based on the prevalence of certain linguistic communities in a given city or region. There are also major newspapers that operates as tabloids: The Daily Palm, the Orange Daily News, the Porciúncula Post, and The Hawaiian.

Every metropolitan area in Sierra operates at least one local newspaper. Generally speaking, local newspapers are usually independently owned and target geographic-specific readerships. Metropolitan areas often support two newspapers which compete with one another, while other smaller publications also exist to cater towards more niche or specialized audiences. The newspaper industry is virtually owned entirely by private entities as it is the only area in mass media where the RBS and other Sierran public broadcasters have never entered.

Newspapers generally follow one of three formats: weekly, biweekly, or daily. Weekly newspapers typically print once, either on Thursday or Friday, while biweekly newspapers print an additional issue on Sundays. Daily newspapers are printed daily and historically, morning and evening editions also existed. Today, daily newspapers are almost always published and distributed in the mornings, while evening editions are rare issues released to cover breaking news as in the example of the Tokki Studio shooting when The Bunker Hill Journal released an evening edition covering the event.

The rise and prevalence of online news have forced newspapers to rely more on advertising or expanding their own online news service through subscription-based models. Newspaper print circulations have been steadily declining since the early 2000s and many small newspapers have declared bankruptcy and closed due to declining sales.

Magazines[edit | edit source]

Logos of notable Sierran magazines

Magazines in Sierra cover a variety of topics including news, fashion, home life, cooking, entertainment, science, sports, finance, or recreation. A number of magazines are partnered with newspapers and are usually owned by the same newspaper company. Other magazines are independently owned or owned by a large conglomerate. The Media Corporation controls a significant share of the magazine market, owning the weekly news magazine Newstar and The Mulholland Monitor. Other major news magazines include Connect and the People of Bernheim. The latter is well-known for its investigative journalism.

There are also several political magazines. The Pacific and Fowler's Stew are major left-leaning magazines; Rolling Rock and Bachelor's Review are liberal-leaning; The Sierran Inquisitor and The Duke are conservative-leaning; The Rationalist and Republic are libertarian-leaning.

Popular entertainment magazines include The Hollywood Star, Sierra Critic, and The Scoop. Puck is a well-known humor magazine which satirizes Sierran politics, news, and issues. There are also specialized magazines covering various interests or hobbies, such as Linked (technology), The Christian Connection (religion), Living Well (retirement), and Gastronomy Digest (cooking and dining).

Books[edit | edit source]

Sierra has a large book publishing industry. The largest publishing firms in terms of revenue are Sylvester & Tate, Avalon Books, Mulholland University Press, Markov Press, Orion Publishing, Meerkat, and Leslie Education. Book publishing is concentrated in either the Southwest Corridor or the Styxie. There are over 1,500 publishing houses, and more than 100,000 titles produced annually.

The two major national bookstore chains are Emily's and Book & Tea, while Helle (an Astoria-based firm) dominates the online bookselling market.

Radio[edit | edit source]

Logo of JHY, a popular talk show radio station based in Riverside

Radio was the first electronic mass medium technology to be adopted in Sierran society. Most radio stations operate on transmissions in either AM or FM transmissions, known as terrestrial radio. Since the early 21st century, satellite radio has risen in popularity as a direct competitor to terrestrial radio stations. A less common format of radio is shortwave radio. AM radio stations typically specialize in talk shows, all news, or sports, whereas FM radio stations are dominated by music stations. Music stations often focus on a particular genre or format of music such as Top 40, adult contemporary, rock, hip hop, country, jazz, or classical. There are numerous foreign language programming as well.

Based on ITU and CAS agreements, all Sierran radio stations have the initial letter "K" in their call signs. The majority of Sierran call signs are either three-lettered or four-lettered signs. Suffixes are also permitted to allow multiple stations to share the same base call signs. Amateur radio stations may consist of simply a one- or two-letter call sign, followed by a single digit and terminal digits indicating which licensing region it is from.

The advent of the Internet in the 21st century has given rise to internet radio, allowing listeners to digitally stream music, talk shows, and podcasts on a number of websites and online services. The most popular brands are Fireby, Songly, and Waves.

Television[edit | edit source]

Satellite dishes picking up signals at a Sierran residence

As of 2021, over 94% of Sierran households own at least one television set, with a majority of these households owning more than one set. Peak ownership reached its all-time high in 1997 when 98% of all households owned at least one television set. Since the advent of the Internet and smartphones, television ownership and viewership has gradually declined. Television continues to be one of the most dominant forms of mass media in Sierra. Sierran television networks are among the world's leading, largest, and most distributed networks, and programs produced specifically for Sierran audiences are frequently syndicated internationally. The five major broadcasters in the country are: RBS, SBC, Tokki, MCN (formerly the Media Corporation Network), 16ON, and EBN.

RBS is Sierra's largest public television broadcaster and is supported financially by both the federal government and general public. In addition to RBS, numerous PSAs maintain their own public broadcasting authorities and television stations, with some officially affiliated with RBS. All of the television channels operated by RBS are made available to every television set in Sierra capable of having basic television.

Most television stations require a license to operate and must comply with the RTC's regulations on content. In general, obscene and disturbing content is restricted, such as being only allowed in late night. Content deemed inappropriate or insensitive may be subject to censorship, often in the form of bleeping or blurring. Television stations which are only available by subscription or free-to-air are generally not required to hold a license but may still be subject to some of RTC's regulations.

Over-the-air and free-to-air television is often limited to a several dozens of channels for a local television owner. The majority of Sierran television owners pay for cable, satellite, and/or subscription-based streaming services to have wider access to cable television and programming. Companies often sell groups of channels in tiers based on subscription prices to customers. The most basic tier often consists of local channels in the market, public, educational, and governmental access channels, and the most popular cable or satellite channels. Online-based streaming services generally offer libraries of on-demand television programming, including exclusive, in-house programming.

Galaxy Satellite and ConnectTV are Sierra's largest satellite television providers, with 7 million and 5 million customers respectively as of July 2021. The largest cable television providers are Clarity Communications with 10 million customers, Nelson Cable with 8 million, and Albright Cable with 7 million.

Motion pictures[edit | edit source]

The Hollywood Sign is a well-known symbol of the Sierran motion picture industry

The Sierran motion picture industry, regarded as the world's oldest film industry, is one of Sierra's most iconic and successful industries. Its emergence in the early 20th century grew in strength as it globalized. Hollywood, a neighborhood in Porciúncula, is both the financial and symbolic center of the Sierran motion picture industry, and its dominance has influenced cinema throughout the world. The name Hollywood itself has become synonymous with the Sierran motion picture industry. Hollywood produces the largest number of films in any single-language national cinema and one of the largest number of films in a number of languages other than English as well. Various film genres pioneered and developed in Hollywood have since inspired and been replicated by other national film industries. It also pioneered the development of sound films and later, color films. The majority of the world's most commercially successful and highest grossing films are produced by Hollywood's major film studios.

Hollywood continues to dominate the world as the most prolific film producer and an innovative pioneer in motion picture engineering and technology. In 2018, the Sierran motion picture industry produced over 600 feature films, admitted 1.4 billion moviegoers, and grossed over $14.5 billion in box office sales. As of 2021, it has 12,204 screens, 12,034 of which are indoor screens and 170 which are drive-in screens.

While much of the Sierran film industry is concentrated in Hollywood and elsewhere in the Gold Coast (within the thirty-mile zone), other popular filming locations are the Inland Empire, Santa Clara, Clark, Maricopa, and Shasta, as well as Oahu and Wasatch.

Video games[edit | edit source]

Video games in Sierra is one of the fastest-growing entertainment industries in the country. In 2020, an estimated 62 percent of households owned at least one dedicated console, PC, or smartphone to gaming. The video game industry in Sierra is one of the largest in the world and it is home to an active esports scene. Sierra was one of the leading pioneers in the video game industry and dominated the first generation of gaming consoles. During the second generation, Sierran video game makers were eclipsed by the rise and dominance of Japanese gaming companies, although Sierra maintained a significant share of the video game market. Since the 2000s, Sierran video game developers have released more than a thousand titles annually. The most popular genres of gaming are FPS, MMORPGs, RPGs, and mobile games. Consumer video games published, sold, or licensed in the Kingdom of Sierra are regulated by the CAS' Audiovisual Rating Commission (ARC), which assigns age and consent ratings.

The video game industry is concentrated in Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, followed by Porciúncula in the Gold Coast and San Diego in Laguna. The largest video game companies in Sierra are Newton (which produces the Prism brand consoles), Proactive Entertainment, Doubleloop, Concourse Gaming, and TechnoDream.

Internet[edit | edit source]

The Internet in Sierra emerged out of CIRPNET (Common Integrated Research Project Network), a packet-switched network that was one of the first networks to implement TCP/IP protocol suite and served as one of the foundational bases of the worldwide Internet. The CIRPNET was initially managed by the Ministry of Defense, before the Ministry of Commerce and Labor oversaw its continued development. Various top-level domains including .com, .net, and .ks were founded in Sierra. The modern Internet in Sierra is widely available. In 2020, more than 90% of Sierran citizens had at least basic Internet access, with more than 80% having broadband access. There are more than 4,500 internet service providers (ISPs) nationwide as of 2020. Sierra has some of the fastest average internet connection speeds in the world, owing to large support to funding and infrastructure by the Sierran federal government. The average connection speed for mobile end-users was 48.8 Mbit/s and 197.3 Mbit/s for fixed broadband end-users. Federal laws and regulations actively maintain the policy of net neutrality.

See also[edit | edit source]