The Nation magazine has updated its chart of who owns what in the media. Along with the chart, they invited some influential writers to comment on the state of entertainment and media. Here are some highlights:
Mark Crispin Miller – The Death of News
In short, our very lives and liberty are at unprecedented risk because our press has long since disappeared into “the media”–a mammoth antidemocratic oligopoly that is far more responsive to its owners, big shareholders and good buddies in the government than it is to the rest of us, the people of this country.
I couldn’t agree more.
Jeffrey Chester – A Ten-Point Plan for Media Democracy
The next several years are critical to insure that the promise of what we now experience online–and its vast potential to help build a just civil society–is fulfilled.
This is an invaluable resource for participation in the fight for media reform. Most of the top media sites on the Internet are divisions of old media conglomerates. What we do today will determine if new media remains independent.
Eric Klinenberg – Mega-merger Mania
No one, except the owners of conglomerates, benefits from concentrated control of local media, and in the past decade public outrage over the costs of consolidation has helped turn the embryonic media reform movement into the nation’s fastest-growing bipartisan political project.
Public outrage got Congress to reverse an FCC rule permitting media ownership to increase from 35% to 45%. But shortly after the Congress acted, the FCC produced a new rule with a 39% cap. Eternal vigilance is the price of a free press.
Markos Moulitsas ZÃºniga – Use the Tools
We are at the beginning of the age of citizen media, where corporations can own vast, billion-dollar media outlets yet fail to control the flow and content of information.
From a proven expert in citizen media, a call to arms. We can become the media we hope for. Though he is more optimistic than I am about the whether the old media will fade away.
Robert W. McChesney – Fight for a Free Press
Despite the Internet’s truly revolutionary implications, in itself it cannot address the core crises of our media: the collapse of journalism and the rise of hypercommercialism.
What more can I say?
Robert Greenwald – Brave New Media
We have at our disposal a rapidly proliferating array of tools available at low cost to get our messages out–from the Internet to iPods to cellphones and whatever comes next.
Greenwald has been experimenting with alternative methods of film distribution, including providing free copies of films to people who host house parties for their family, freinds and neighbors.