Big Media

Media Consolidation Won’t Save Journalism

The Federal Communications Commission is pushing a plan to gut its 30-year-old newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership ban. This proposal would allow one company to own a local paper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in a single market. Advocates of more media consolidation argue that allowing TV stations and newspapers to merge is critical to cutting costs and saving local journalism.

This is the same argument the Bush FCC used to try to push through the same bad rules in 2007. Back then, the Senate voted the rules down and the courts later threw them out. It’s time to put this argument to bed for good: More media consolidation won’t save journalism. (more…)

End the Broadcaster Bailout

NPR reported last week that General Motors had provided thousands of its white-collar employees with free cars and gas. And while this benefit has been around for decades, it’s being seen in a new light now that federal funds are propping up the automaker. GM’s story recalls the excesses of another company, AIG, which handed out millions of dollars in bonuses to executives as taxpayers were underwriting its failed business.

A fair question raised by the media in both of these instances is, “Should taxpayer dollars fund this kind of thing?”

Watching mainstream media pundits wag their fingers at these companies recalls the old saying about throwing stones from glass houses. If the media are so concerned with keeping a watchful eye on corporations getting government assistance, then they had better be prepared to turn that attention to themselves. (more…)