The media’s influence on public opinion has always been associated with the power to shape decision making. As such, great attention has been given to the relationship between elites and the media and to the extent of state control. Media regulation in democratic societies differs from that in authoritarian states. The nature of both journalistic organizations and regulatory institutions reflects this difference. Self-regulation by journalists also manifests itself in a dissimilar manner. The pressures exerted on the media by the state are less of a factor in free societies although not entirely absent. By creating an environment for the free expression of diverse viewpoints democratic societies balance the needs of the public with that of the marketing forces. In the absence of challenges posed by independent owners and investors, the state remains the sole support of the media establishment and thus retains an undue sway over journalistic content. The forces constraining the mainstream media are generally ignored by the underground press, which although lacking in wide distribution nevertheless serves to articulate the marginal voices in society. State monopoly on news degrades the very objective of convincing the public of its trustworthiness.