Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Media Ownership Matters

TV, radio, movies, books, newspapers and the Internet are our prime sources of news and information. They shape our values, beliefs and perspectives.

Media are also essential to our democracy. We depend upon media to know what’s happening in our communities, to play our part as citizens, and to serve as a vital check on government and corporate power.

Media owners influence:
What news and information communities receive
What voices are heard – or silenced
Whether important issues get covered accurately – or covered at all
Who gets hired to report and produce the news
What music and which artists get airplay
How women and people of color are portrayed in the media

So who owns your media? Is it someone from your community delivering your news? Or even someone who shares your issues and concerns? Probably not.

Over the past three decades, the number of companies that control most of what we watch, hear and read every day has shrunk from more than 50 to just a few media giants. Click here to see who owns the media.

What Media Consolidation Means

Media consolidation means that the few huge corporations that own most of our media are getting even bigger by taking over more and more of our local media outlets.

But these massive conglomerates – like General Electric, Time Warner and News Corp. – only care about the bottom line, not serving the public interest. And allowing these few firms too much control over the flow of news and information is dangerous for our democracy.

When Big Media get too big, local, independent and minority owners are pushed out of the market and off the airwaves.

Media consolidation means:

Fewer voices and viewpoints
Less diversity in ownership and programming
Less coverage of local issues that matter to communities
Less of the unbiased, independent, critical journalism we need to prevent abuses of power
Put it all together and Big Media spells bad news – for average Americans and for our democracy.

Stop Media Consolidation. Support Democracy.

Click here to learn more about the campaign.

Learn about our other campaigns to change the media.

Get involved in the movement for better media! Become a Free Press e-activist.

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, quality journalism, and universal access to communications.
Free Press was launched in late 2002 by media scholar Robert W. McChesney and Josh Silver, our President and CEO. Today, Free Press is the largest media reform organization in the United States, with nearly half-a-million activists and members and a full-time staff of more than 30 based in our offices in Washington, D.C., and Florence, Mass. Free Press and the Free Press Action Fund, our advocacy arm, are nonprofit organizations that rely on the support of our members.

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