Behind the flashy glitz of the ever-changing Internet and its promise of a brave new media, disturbing facts persist:
* Media mergers are rapidly creating one huge news cartel, with just five conglomerates now close to controlling most of what you see, hear and read. * These mergers further corrupt the news process by creating new conflicts of interest for journalists. * Mergers have forced many news organizations to go public, allowing Wall Street to demand higher profits every quarter. * This pressure to maximize profits is forcing news organizations to cut down on serious coverage of Washington and the rest of the world.
The result is drive-by journalism, an emphasis on entertaining people for quick profits rather than informing them for a stronger democracy. Serious journalism is being replaced by a newsamuse business that is causing widespread ignorance of public affairs and record voter apathy.
This allows elected officials to favor wealthy private interests that pay most of their campaign costs. Public demands (through polls) for reforms in campaign financing, health care, gun laws, tax policies, etc., are not answered.
Drive-by journalism has fostered widespread trashing of government, the destruction of politicians on unprovable charges, the shaping of politics to media needs and the swapping of political news for political ads. It also leads to exploitation of the First Amendment for commercial purposes, lets advertisers and publicists shape the news and tilts the media even further toward the privileged few.
A look at how corporate America is influencing media. Pretty interesting, with lots of facts and information.