Oppose Further Media Consolidation

This is really a no-brainer- you would think they’d quit trying. Our democracy depends on the diversity and variety of our media. The conglomeration that followed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has eroded that diversity. It really is plain to see.

Blockbuster movies are ‘news’ events. The screeching of opinions that passes for news on the 24 hour news channels is just the tip of the iceberg. The line between what is news and entertainment, fact and opinion grows thinner and thinner. With the further concentration of media in the hands of a few mega corporations, the line will no longer exist. It’s hard to say whether that line exists now, to be truthful.

Our country’s strengths lie in its complex structure of checks and balances built up over time- free market forces and the regulations that make them serve the public interest. An open democracy is best served by regulations that ensure a diversity of voices rather than a homogenization of voices. Beth McConnell of PennPIRG puts it this way- “Imagine if all the news you saw on television, read in your newspaper and heard on the radio came from the same source. That would be bad for democracy; for arts and culture; and for the free exchange of ideas. “Sadly this is not too far removed from reality; eight of the largest media giants already own 90% of the media market. Furthermore the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering weakening the rules on how many media outlets any one company can own.”

You can and should file a comment with the FCC opposing further media consolidation. Check out USPIRG for more info. Also, check out Media Tank’s 6 things you can do to prevent further consolidation.

2006-11-23 14:30:26

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