Media consolidation

July 9, 2007

One great threat to our representative government is the consolidation of the media.  This will surely cause less descent of opinion in “journalism”.  We have already seen the effects in the poor coverage of the build up for the war in Iraq.  The ultimate problem is a lazy population that doesn’t aggressively look for accurate news but just takes what the corporate media dishes out.

Journalism should be in the small and thank goodness for blogs in their ability to act the way newspapers did in the time of Benjamin Franklin the the like.  I may not agree with all bloggers but at least the small people get a voice.  It then becomes the job of our lazy population to filter the media as their free will dictates.  Ultimately I believe if people filter out the corporate media they will become more moderate and liberal because the corporate media works hard to get people to believe non sense and prays on our instincts to follow.

The media fills the waves with “Paris Hilton”esque non-sense to satiate our thirst of incredulity so that we have had our fill and don’t get angry at the events that are truly deserving of our ire.  The corporate media certainly doesn’t want us to through off the de-facto shackles of consumerism and sheepism (e.g. being herded into Iraq).  The fight against media consolidation doesn’t need to be a liberal-conservative fight although economic conservatives will fight against it because it is against their own interests.  I would think that anyone who wants a strong democracy would insist on open media.

People should turn off CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC, CBS and stop reading the papers that succumb to “Murdoch”ian media consolidation and switch to independent media outlets.  We have two media outlets that are pseudo-free of corporate consolidation (PBS and NPR) but they are even having to pander to raise money and so are not in a position like the BBC or CBC has historically been in (even they are loosing their journalistic integrity).

Besides having people realize that they need to switch to small media outlets I don’t know of a good solution.  I don’t think government run media is the answer but some education on “media literacy” is greatly needed.

I don’t know the best way to educate people on one of the biggest, quiet evils of our time (media consolidation) but it needs to be done.  The media certainly won’t cover it so how will it be done.  I would definitely join a group that tried to get heard.  I don’t have the leadership ability to start something like this.  Maybe I could start with a community education class on “media literacy” and try to remain apolitical while teaching it.  I will have to refine a class description here and see where I could learn more on how to teach people how to become educated media consumers.