March 23, 2023: Jeff Cohen: Break Up the Media Monopolies
Concentration of any industry is dangerous but media concentration is particularly dangerous because of the vast influence media exert in shaping public opinion. Years ago, legendary journalist and media critic Ben Bagdikian warned of the dangers posed by media monopolies. Those warnings have been borne out. A handful of mega corporations from Comcast to Disney dominate the media. As Bagdikian predicted, corporate business interests would trump journalism, particularly investigative journalism which is costly thus cutting into profits. Lack of competition allows the conglomerates to raise prices. Have you looked at your cable bill lately? Furthermore, a vibrant democracy is ill-served by a corporate media that is heavily connected to and reliant on official sources. An informed citizenry is essential for the communications needs of a democratic society. Media monopolies should be broken up.