The mainstream media claims to be free and independent, objective and neutral. A closer look suggests that they too often behave like the lapdogs of plutocracy. The major new media or press consisting of newspapers, magazines, radio, films and television, are an inherent component of corporate America, being themselves highly concentrated conglomerates. As of 2000, 8 corporate conglomerates controlled most of the national media …down from 23 in 1989. About 80% of the daily newspaper circulation in the United Sates belongs to a few giant chains like Gannett and Knight-Ridder, and the trend in owner concentration continues unabated.
[...] In sum, the media are neither objective nor honest in their portrayal of important issues. The news is a product not only of deliberate manipulation but of the ideological and economic power structure under which journalists operate and into which they are socialized. The Fairness Law required that time be given to an opposing viewpoint after a station broadcasted an editorial opinion. But it made no requirement as to the diversity of the opposing viewpoints, so usually the range was between two only slightly different stances. [...]
[...] Almost nothing has been said in the mainstream media about how corporate America feeds from the public trough or how it harasses environmental activists and whistle-blowing employees; almost nothing on how the oil, gas and nuclear interests have stalled the development of alternative and renewable energy sources such as solar power. The press has helped create the crime craze throughout America. Between 1993 and 1996 the nationwide homicide rate dropped by yet coverage of murders on ABC, CBS and NBC evening news leaped 721%. [...]
[...] Meanwhile the openly active partisan role that media owners play in political affairs, including attending fundraisers and sate dinners, contributing to campaigns, and socializing with high-ranking officeholders, is not seen as violating journalistic standards of independence and objectivity. On infrequent occasions, the news media will go against a strong corporate interest and give tentative exposure to consumer and environmental issues. How the tobacco industry laced cigarettes with nicotine to get smokers more hooked we've known that for half a century. [...]
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