First of all we should understand, media houses are a profit making entity - they are not NGOs. So, they not only cater to the needs of the customers (readers) but their owners too.
1. Owners -
All media houses are owned by certain individuals. So, however unbiased the media houses may try to act, they do favour their owners when the need comes.
Also, sometimes they might shift focus from a topic to something totally different as it helps in their shrewd purposes. For eg. Hillary Clinton emails, religious sentiments etc.
I had written about it sometime before -
Basically - “The press may not be successful most of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling them what to think about.”
So, in such a case, even though the readers don’t want crap, they are fed crap as it solves an inherent need of the private owners.
2. Customers -
Every source of media has a customer target in mind. You just can’t make stories/articles to benefit everyone. So, they segment customers and try to make content for them. Some very selective publications have a paywall, and target a niche. However, if you are a mass appeasing media body, you will try to target the public which responds well.
This was not the case historically, media houses did have ethics. However, after the internet, media lost its best source of income - classifieds. Its all been downstream from there. Check out this video -
So, media these days is optimising for engagement. Practically, over the years, negative news, fights, regionalism, religions seem to get the most views, hence the most shown. If you notice, the publications behind paywalls don’t report crap, as they don’t need engagement. Journalism basically needs a new business model now. We will need to either pay for news that matters, or wait for the new model to develop.
Concluding, companies do have ethics. However, they only matter if they are making money. Without that, ethics take a back-seat.