Media Consolidation & the War
Paul Krugman's article "Channels of Influence" has certainly caused a stir judging from my in-box. The thesis offered by the feisty NY Times Op-Ed editorial is that big media such as Clear Channel are stifling anti-war voices in the hopes of currying favor with a Republican Congress & Administration. Worst, Clear Channel may be trying to build a pro-war movement and rallies to counter the voices of dissent to Bush and the war. And the favor is no small thing: the FCC is considering the further elimination of media ownership rules that still currently restrain companies like Clear Channel to their puny dwarfish sizes.
On the other hand, MTV has become the latest protector of morality, banning videos treating a range of issues from the death penalty to the war - no problem with skin, guns & drugs though! Lest not we forget that MTV is owned by Viacom that has a virtual monopoly on the cable music video sector.
Yes, but what's to say that a competitive market of independently owned media outlets would act any differently you ask. A fair question, the answer to which you can find in part in these very newsletters. Particularly through our Indie Net News newsletter, we've made it a focus to feature how musicians and the music community have responded to these grave times, both in support and against the war. We feel that this is our responsibility as a media source: present the broadest points of views and facts, allowing you to decide what it all means. Sure I, like Fox's Murdoch or Clear Channel's Mays family, have a view on this war. But as a member of the media, my responsibility is to teach, not preach. Maybe that's what we've lost most with all this media consolidation.
- NY Times: "Channels of Influence," By Paul Krugman (free registration required)
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