Saturday, February 18, 2006

The slow death of a free press

Image from Media Reform Information Center

From Media Channel

U.S. communications regulators should quickly relax ownership restrictions on the radio and broadcast television industry, Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications, said on Thursday.

Upton, a Michigan Republican, cited the proliferation of broadcast stations, cable, satellite television and radio and the Internet as evidence that consumers have sufficient choices to justify allowing companies to own more outlets.

"Common sense tells us that this explosion of media sources should eliminate any concern over a lack of diversity of views in the marketplace and competition," Upton said in a speech to the Media Institute.

"This growth (in sources) remains unabated and more than makes the case for regulatory relief in the broadcast sector," he said. Upton sent letters to U.S. Federal Communications Chairman Kevin Martin last week urging quick action.
Make no mistake, if these regulations are eased, the monopolization of the press will only accelerate. And when the means of disseminating information becomes consolidated in the hands of the few, democracy dies.

1 comment:

John Lombard said...

Noam Chomsky likes to point out -- look, you say this media consoldiation doesn't mean anything and the news is objective, but if trade unions owned all the televisions and newspapers, wouldn't you expect their coverage to be subtly biased?

The madness of media deregulation is that many of its advocates (like the twits at Reason) percieve it as an empowerment of the electorate: real democracy is when people vote with their wallets, not when an elected government regulates the media to ensure the people have access to all sides of the story.