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The Powerless Press Under the Democratic/Republican Uniparty
Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
Unfortunately, this is the worst time for the media in the over two centuries since Thomas Jefferson wrote that memorable quote. The three reasons for this are corporate takeover of both the electronic and print media, lack of resources, and "He says, She says" journalism. Journalism as we used to know it no longer exists except in a few isolated and largely ignored places.
The corporate takeover of print and electronic media is illustrated by the fact that by one estimate just three corporations own 1,500 newspapers, 1,100 magazines, 9,000 radio stations, and 2,400 publishers. (6) Bill Moyers said, "In 1983, 50 corporations controlled a majority of American media. Now that number is six." (13) This can be demonstrated in the print media by taking three random newspapers from across the United States; say Indianapolis, Atlanta, and San Francisco. Local news may differ, but the headlines and major news remain the same. The situation is similar for television and magazines. Fox may support republicans and MSM may support democrats, but nobody digs deeply and questions the issues both parties agree upon. The internet is not immune. BP brought enough of Google after the oil spill to have their public affairs "news" show up when "BP Oil Spill" was googled. Sites such as Huffington Post tend to print news that they like and not pay reporters for the "prestige" of being published there.
Corporate dominance is related to the second reason for a powerless press: lack of resources. As long as readership/viewership remains up, it makes economic sense for the stockholders to maximize profits by cutting reporters and paying poverty wages to those who are left. (2) (9) There is much less overseas and investigative journalism with a resulting decrease in both the scope and depth of news. This is compounded by over reliance on wire news agencies such as United Press. Journalism as a major is now discouraged and journalism majors go to public affairs jobs instead of journalism as the the only ones which offer a living wage. (9) For lack of journalism consider banks.(7) Consider also wars. How many wars are we fighting? Certainly we are fighting wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Bahrain, Syria and are beating the drums for war in Iran. There are also credible reports of US sponsored war activities in several central African countries and a bombing earlier this year in the Philippines. (10) And yet there is very little reporting on it because nobody wants to do the work or they lack the resources. (1)
The third reason for a powerless press is "He said, She said" journalism. Consider climate change. There is no real scientific controversy about it or its cause. (11) And yet the myth of controversy is kept alive by having "debates" between those who believe and those who don't believe. In previous years the basic science or reality would have already been settled and only real debates about uncertain positions would be allowed.
We need a free press to hold the government accountable. Corporate takeover of both the electronic and print media, lack of resources, and "He says, She says" journalism added to Obama's incredible prosecution of whistleblowers (12) make that a difficult or impossible task.
1-“Officials say” Journalism
2-Consolidation Costs Jobs and Stifles Innovation
3-Average Television Viewing in Different Countries
4-Group Launches to Encourage Transparency & Aggressive Journalism, Help WikiLeaks Survive Blockade
5-WikiLeaks: Still Standing, Still Speaking Truth to Power
6-What 3 Corporations Own
7-Why isn’t this a front page story nationwide?
8-The NDAA Legalizes The Use Of Propaganda On The US Public
9-Interview with a print journalism graduate from San Jose State University who prefers to remain anonymous
10-War under the Democratic/Republican Uniparty
11-The Environment Under the Democratic/Republican Uniparty
12-Whistleblowers Under the Democratic/Republican Uniparty
13-Bernie Sanders on Why Big Media Shouldn’t Get Bigger
14-The Windowless Room of the Current Event
15-The Elephant in the Room: Climate Change
16-Top 25 Censored/Under-Reported Stories for 2013
17-2012: Another Year in Mainstream Media Malpractice
18-Conflicting Reports from the Same Data
19-Debunking the Denial: '16 Years of No Global Warming'
20-Media Trackers writer ignorant of academia and climate issues, hypocritical regarding ethics
22-Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media: Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda
23-Anti-Science Bills Weighed in Four States
24-Melissa Harris-Perry Buries The Lead Story on National Wave of Public School Closings
25-Obama Administration Quietly Reopens Case That Could Criminalize Peer Review Process
26-Richmond Fed chief nails Geithner for insider trading, media ignores story
27-Dumb and Dumber: A Secret CIA Drone Base, a Blowback World, and Why Washington Has No Learning Curve
28-For Times Environmental Reporting, Intentions May Be Good but the Signs Are Not
29-Freedom Rider: Hollywood’s Propaganda
30-Gibbs: I was told not to acknowledge existence of drone program
31-Journalism by–and for–the Sponsors
32-More Proof that News is Controlled by a Central Script Writer
33-MSNBC Doesn’t Cover Bradley Manning’s Statement or Guilty Pleas At All
34-I get blacklisted by the Duluth News Tribune
35-TV stations ignore ad disclosure requirements
36-Bradley Manning Called the 'NYT' and 'Washington Post'—What If They'd Responded?
37-We Are Bradley Manning
38-White House Reporter: Obama Administration's Press Dealings A 'Disgrace'
39-Digital Grows as NEWS Source
40-Censorship, Mercy & A Shortage of Resistance at Huffpost
41-Non-coverage of Largest Climate Rally in U.S. History
42-For Times Environmental Reporting, Intentions May Be Good but the Signs Are Not
43-Making sense of the news in a new media world
44-MSNBC Almost Entirely Dominated By Opinion: Pew Study
45-Buying the War
46-The Iraq Anniversary and the Washington Post
47-BP accused of rewriting environmental record on Wikipedia
48-Injustice and Outrage and Dishonor and Shame
49-Judge Rules In Favor Of Journalists, Unseals Fracking Court Records
50-The Day That TV News Died
51-Pentagon Papers lawyer on Obama, secrecy and press freedoms: 'worse than Nixon'
52-'Worse Than Nixon': Pentagon Papers Lawyer on Obama, Secrecy and Press Freedoms - Career First Amendment and transparency advocate James Goodale sounds the alarm about the current president
53-An Anniversary Many Would Like to Ignore
54-“Exxon Hates Your Children” Ad Blocked By Exxon
55-Another Oil Pipeline Spill on the Weekend, Where’s the Media Attention?
56-As Exxon censors local media, citizen journalists document Arkansas oil spill. Can the pros be doing more?
57-Colorado Doctors Unite Against Energy Companies
58-Dolphin, turtle deaths a sign of sick Gulf: Obama Classified Gag Order Is Bullshit
59-Exxon’s Skies: Why Is Exxon Controlling the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill?
60-Exxon's Unfriendly Skies: Why Does Exxon Control the No-Fly Zone Over Arkansas Tar Sands Spill?
61-Arkansas TV Threatened by Exxon into Removing Anti-Exxon Ad After Oil Spill
62-Is ExxonMobil limiting media access to their Tar Sands oil Spill?
63-Media 'steered away' from explaining true 'detonation' in Texas
64-Obama 'Limiting Press Access In Ways That Past Administrations Wouldn't Have Dared': AP
65-War, Fascism and General Electric
66-Ways and Memes: PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity