Call me old-fashioned, but what happened to the long ago days of the
Walter Cronkite’s, Howard Kurtz’s and other objective reporters alike?
Often, I turn on the tube, flip the newspaper (or kindle), listen to the
radio or surf the web and wonder to myself, “What is this junk?”
Mediums are dominated by celebrity gossip, Casey Anthony and “reality”
TV “supaaastars” (Molly Shannon pun). Network news from far left to
right are filling us with nonessential news and it’s supporting a
country of misinformed citizens.
Molly Shannon is a Superstaar!
What happened? I think it’s the nature of media ownership in America
being dominated by fewer and fewer corporations. In 1983, 90% of media
was owned by about 50 corporations. In 1992, that number dropped to 24.
By the turn of the century, this number was down to a staggering six
(General Electric, Walt Disney, News Corp., Time Warner, Viacom and
CBS). With so few people influencing what we as viewers are subjected to
in media, such corporations dominate the dialogue and influence publics
toward biases. AND unfortunately most of us do believe what we see on
While the FCC decided to veto policies
that would allow for even more corporate domination of media in 2007,
this was a small victory in the grand scope as the fact remains the
same: the concentration of media in the hands of so few corporations
disallows for competing ideas, creates misinformed publics and a culture
that seems to believe Jersey Shore, Case Anthony, the Royal Wedding and
Teen Mom are more important than Global Warming, jobless rates and what
appears to be a Double ‘not-fun-dip’ recession.
Not so fun dip..love this stuff.
A lot of Americans have no idea about the VIP nature of our media.
In fact, in speaking with friends and colleagues, I noticed most were
clueless of the rapid consolidation of media in America. What’s even
more staggering is the few that were aware of this issue were almost
universally against it. How come you never hear about media fairness in
the news? Probably because media owners push the conversation away to
other less significant topics. “Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think…?”
And, yea, I really do think…
In this global world in which we live, I believe we should take a
step backward: media ought to be locally owned, locally produced and
represent the people around them. With the advent of social networking
tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., now more than ever people
have the ability to do so. However, it seems to me most people use
these avenues to recycle or aggregate information seen through
television, newspaper, publishing and radio. Frequently, top trending
topics are so superficial that it’s sickening…take a look for yourself.
I urge people to seek out the facts. Don’t just accept the
information projected to you on the nightly news. Media fairness is an
issue that needs to be a topic of discussion this upcoming election
year. The implications of so few hands controlling the information (or
lack of) we receive are far more reaching than one simple blog post can
fathom. It affects us in all walks of life from the products we buy,
the music we listen to, the food we consume and most importantly, the
politicians we vote for (other post to come).
Freedom isn’t inherited, it’s not something just given to us…it’s
earned. Inform your neighbor, friends and family. Be the bridge between
the disconnect, be the change you want to see in the world, model for
the younger generations who will one day be the future….who knows you
may be the front-runner?
How can you help? Get in-depth, involved and informed…Check out SavetheNews.org.