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Thread: Why you -- and me -- are losing with "media deregulation."

  1. #1
    Over the past twenty years, the media in this country has undergone various stages of deregulation. The biggest changes came in the last ten years when a single company could own newspapers and multiple radio and TV stations in the same market.

    In many cities, such as Los Angeles, one company can own two TV stations plus multiple radio stations. For example, CBS owns both Channel 9 KCAL and Channel 2 KCBS plus a bunch of radio stations. CBS is not the only so-called TV "duopoly" owner.

    In the past the government ordered multiple and diverse ownership of broadcasting and newspaper properties so the public would be served by competition.

    Today, the regulators and Congress no longer care about competition, and they reason that the Internet allows for diverse opinions and will preserve the concept of the "free press."

    I think that's wrong.

    The consolidation of the media allowed by media deregulation means less competition-- period. Advertisers have fewer options to get the best value for their advertising dollars. The public can literally watch the same news on multiple channels instead of getting "different coverage" on different stations. (KCAL and KCBS for example share the same reporters, editors, producers, cameramen and even executives.) And the consolidation of the media hurts the employees because they can't "walk across the street" because that station across the street might be owned by the employer they want to get away from.

    And now, in Topeka, Kansas, comes news that the ABC, NBC and Fox TV stations will be sharing the same "news resources." And yes, two of the three stations are owned by the same company. Where is the public service in that? If this is allowed to spread one day every newscast on every station in America will look the same-- and that will give one single all powerful owner or operator complete control over the news and the "free press" will be in the palm of his (the company's) hand.
    Last edited by Alan Mendelson; 08-01-2011 at 11:36 PM.

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