I've been trying to find the words to express exactly why I feel that media consolidation is such a bad thing.
Then I found this elegant Businessweek Online commentary by Catherine Yang, Tom Lowry and Ronald Gover that explains it pretty well:
Commentary: Media Mergers: The Danger Remains
Despite 100 channels and the Web, softer ownership rules will put the major outlets in Big Media's hands .
Posted by Lisa at June 30, 2002 09:37 AM | TrackBack
Meanwhile, media consolidation is well under way, even without massive deregulation: In 2001, 311 deals valued at $113 billion were announced, the highest amount for any industry. Scale is the name of the game. Already, the big three networks are aligned with conglomerates led by Disney, Viacom, and General Electric.
The AOL Time Warner (AOL ) merger only raised the stakes for bigness. If the FCC's rules evaporate altogether, "we would be trading some greater profitability...in return for undercutting the very pillars of separate media ownership that our democracy is built on," says Gene Kimmelman, co-director of Consumers Union.
It's up to regulators to decide whether more consolidation will hurt the range of viewpoints available to the public. But they need to tread carefully. Once gone, an independent press and media won't be easily recreated.