Niklas Luhmann, The Reality of the Mass Media, 1996 (2000 translation from German) --
Last but not least, in all the programme strands the mass media do not seem to be aiming to generate a consensual construction of reality - or, if they are, to no avail. Their world contains and reproduces differences of opinion in plenty. This does not only happen when conflicts are being reported, when suspicions of manipulation come to the fore or when purely private views of reality are presented 'live'. The mass media are always also working continuously at discrediting themselves. They comment, they dispute, they correct themselves. Topics, not opinions, are decisive. There is so much talk of the 'dying of the forests' that in the end we know that we do not know what the causes are, but we do know that there are a variety of opinions about it.