20
Oct
07

Is Big Media Concentration A Problem?

I really don’t know. I’ve struggled with this question for a very long time. On the one hand, there’s no denying the fact that fewer, larger corporations are buying up more and more smaller media outlets. In principle, this makes me uncomfortable because this is supposed to mean that consumers will inevitably suffer from a lack of diverse views. (You can visit the Stop Big Media Coalition learn more about this point of view)

However, I’m not entirely sure this is occurring. Can big media ownership really silence a diversity of views given the fact that today, just about anyone with access to the Internet has a soapbox, printing press and radio station from which to broadcast their views? Given what the Internet provides us with, I think we might be able to argue the exact opposite: That media consumers have access to an even wider range of political information and views today than ever before. If anything, old powerful media institutions are weakening. (Just look at the steep declines in circulation of the New York Times, for example, or what’s happing at Time Warner, which just had to lay off 750 employees that produced content for AOL)

I’m still working through this issue, so feel free to bring me over to your side. In the meantime, I’ve found that The Nation has put together a fantastic flash visual reprenstation of media ownership in the United States. Click on the image to go to their site:

bigten.jpg

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