Thursday, August 05, 2004

The New Media Monopoly - Bagdikian Explains Why

I just stumbled across this interview with Ben Bagdikian in the Berkeley Daily Planet, and decided to pass this piece of it along:
“It wasn’t my idea. The publisher said I had to do a new edition because so much has changed. So the seventh edition is really 90 percent new. From 50 companies, ownership of media has shrunk to just five or six. But there’s an even bigger difference. In 1983 each company wanted a monopoly over just one medium—say magazines, or newspapers, or television. Now, these few companies try to control all media, so that the TV you watch, the radio, the newspaper, the magazines, the movies, the books — might all be owned and controlled by one corporation — Fox or Murdock or Disney. And these companies promote a far-right slant. What they have managed to do in 25 years is to shift what used to be called the ‘nutty right’ to the center. And the left has been pushed off the edge completely.”

Bagdikian also is asked about his thoughts regarding the Internet:

Is there hope in the Internet?

“Yes. There’s lots of junk on it, but it’s still an outlet for an independent with no money but plenty of ingenuity and skill, like It’s not controlled by the corporations. Not yet. But the FCC, which is supposed to protect independent media, is Bush-appointed, and not a bit friendly.”