Media transparency (or transparent media) is the concept of determining how and why information is conveyed through various means.
There is not a broad consensus "on how best to define or measure" transparency in journalism. Some scholars operationalize transparency in journalism "as the presence or absence of explanation" of the inputs behind a news story or into the newsgathering process.
News sources may influence what information is published or not published. Sometimes, published information can also be paid for by news sources, but the end media product (an article, a program, a blog post) does not clearly indicate that the message has been paid or influenced in any way. Such media opacity, or media non-transparency, ruins the trust and transparency between the media and the public and have implications for transparency of new forms of advertising and public relations (such as native advertising and brand journalism).
Academics at the University of Oxford and Warwick Business School, conducting empirical research on the operation and effects of transparent forms of clinical regulation in practice, describe a form of 'spectacular transparency'. They suggest that government policy tends to react to high-profile media 'spectacles', leading to regulatory policy decisions that appear to respond to problems exposed in the media have new perverse effects in practice, which are unseen by regulators or the media.
The degree to which state agents work to influence video production contradicts the use of those images by news organizations as indexical, objective representations. Because people tend to strongly equate seeing with knowing, video cultivates an inaccurate impression that they are getting the "full picture". It has been said that "what is on the news depends on what can be shown". The case studies for this project demonstrate that what can be shown is often decided in concern with political agents. Essentially, the way the media presents its information creates an illusion of transparency.