Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mediapocalypse (Like zombies but better because it's true)

Did you know that five corporations (5!) control most of the media in the United States? I mean, I love Disneyland and all, but there's no need to control ten TV stations, 50 radio stations, etc. I know Disneyland makes a huge profit every year on its own, I mean, have you looked at the price of churros lately?!

And anyway, by most I mean practically all. This also means that the corporations that own these media outlets have specific agendas when it comes to advertising and, more scarily, what gets covered and published. A few years ago I read The New Media Monopoly, among other books like this for a class, that goes through all of the channels, papers, websites, radio stations that these companies own and their repercussions. Which aren't good for a democracy, where news is seen as mostly unbiased and serves as a major source of information regarding the world. Selective exposure to news (domestically and internationally) means you don't know what's actually going on and why. And if you do hear about something, it's gone through filter upon filter to please whatever head hauncho is calling the shots at the top of that particular news source.

How to fix this? Look to international news sources. BBC is a good source, The Christian Science Monitor (this isn't church-biased news, don't worry), The Progressive, Reuters, or DemocracyNow. Also, if you can read other languages than English, you can generally get a better coverage of events.

Oh, and Fox News is probably one of the worst worst worst news sources you can use. They blatantly lie and manipulate information in ways that go much farther than others and that disgraces the name of journalism. Google "Fox News lies" and there are tons of sites that list what Fox News has claimed and they have debunked it with multiple sources, often primary. If I hear that any of you watch Fox News and take it seriously, I will come slap you. You have been warned.

Useful links: Media Giants: Who Owns What? 
Who Owns the Media? (and ways to get your voice heard about it)
Media Reform Information Center

P.S. There's a law regarding foreign ownership of news media, except they made an exception for Rupert Murdoch (Australian) who is the guy behind News Corporation, including Fox to bypass that law by becoming naturalized (which you shouldn't be allowed to do). He also received a bunch of other law waivers that has led to his news conglomerate. Read all about it here.
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