The fact that most major news outlets are controlled by a handful of massive powerful companies. It is vitally important that the citizens of this country become more skeptical of the news that is being fed to them by these huge corporate media outlets and find alternative means of learning about what is actually happening in this country and around the world. What they find might be rather shocking in its contradiction to what they are spoon fed on a daily basis.
There was a time when the nightly news was synonymous with the words objective, impartial, fair and balanced. Reporters and newscasters saw it as their duty and badge of honor to inform the public, as factually as possible, of the happenings in this country and around the world. Today, instead of journalists such as Walter Cronkite, a legend in his own right who brought the scandals of Watergate and the Vietnam War to the American people unfiltered, we have the major media outlets and their Talking Heads blindly supporting “facts” as told to them by the government, corporations and anyone else they deem worthy. Unfortunately, as the Iraq war has taught us, perceived truths are not always the facts and thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died as a consequence. It is extremely disturbing that the mainstream media’s abject failure to do its job and the public’s abject failure to demand that they do so could result in a “mistake” of such magnitude.
The merging of so many media companies into today’s handful of powerhouses has been allowed, and some may say encouraged, by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent government agency composed of five people whose duty it is to determine media policy and law. Created in 1934 by the Communications Act, the FCC’s role is to regulate interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable throughout the United States. Critics say it hasn’t done a very good job, and the proof is the existence of the Big Six.
Why should Americans be worried that only a small number of companies control so much of our media? Because with the Big Six’s enormous control over a wide spectrum of the media, from production companies to radio to television, comes the ability to dictate what events they see as newsworthy (or not) on a massive scale. News is no longer a public service meant to communicate facts but a means for these companies to make profits from entertaining viewers. The importance of a news event is determined by ratings not by what is considered to be in the public’s best interest.
Americans need to become aware of viable news sources other than the mainstream media. It is essential that the public question the validity of their news. With only a tiny number of companies controlling what the vast majority of us see, hear and read and assume to be the “news”, it is critical that the public realize that there are options. It is not only an important part of being an informed and engaged citizen, it is critical to our nation remaining a democracy.