Tag: politics media

You, Me and FCC

Apparently the FCC was very concerned about the subject of concentration of media ownership/media consolidation. Their main concern was that we did not have enough of it. I guess the conventional wisdom these days is that competition in local/regional/national markets between newspapers, television, and radio is inherently nasty and bad. It is just inefficient to be forced to read two newspapers when one will suffice don’t you think? It is so time consuming to try an dread competing views in any major medium. Competing views can cause harmful side effects, one will be forced to think and the FCC certainly does not want to be given credit for that potential national disaster. Americans don’t have to think. They are too busy getting second mortgages to pay for once affordable post secondary education or working three jobs to pay off medical bills because they dared to get sick and deprive employers of their labor. Being sick is a bit unpatriotic, don’t you think?

Since the FCC has all of our best interests in mind and is made up of the “right kind of people” they kindly decided that they would remove the previous ban that restricted an owner from having a newspaper and a broadcast outlet in a single market. Really, the most efficient thing would be to eliminate newspapers all together and install chips in our heads that could pick up cable news broadcasts constantly. If one pauses to read a newspaper that is a diversion away from working and shopping which are really the only two things we should be doing anyway.

Concentration of media ownership is hardly a new topic. Ben Bagdikian has been writing about this issue since 1983. He has a few qualifications that allow him to speak about such things.

Mother Jones provides a nice visual that shows us who owns what in major areas of media and how much they make. I’m so glad the FCC is going to help them make more, aren’t you? Maybe the problem is that one organization should just own everything. That would be very, very, efficient. The free market is fine for other people, like workers, but we can’t subject the owners to that kind of stress and interference with business can we? And anybody who criticizes this is just jealous, after all anybody can be rich in America and anybody can be President, and if it doesn’t happen to you that is a matter of your own personal failings not the market, because the market is good for us except when it is bad, such as in the case of not enough concentration of media ownership.

Barak Obama and John Kerry have both raised the issue of a lack of diversity of ownership in the media here in the US.

Apparently, there is a lack of minority and female owners of TV stations in this country. Women who make up half the population in America own 4.97 percent of TV stations. Minorities combined who make up a little more than a third of the population here own about three percent of the TV stations, Blacks and Hispanics who both make up 13 or 14 percent of the population each own about 1.3 percent of the TV stations. And there are also few females or minorities in any positions of authority ( CEO, president, general manager) to suggest a possibility for opinions or hiring practices that reflect any broad based diversity.