By Mark L. Taylor
The Commoner Call (8/2/19)
Wisconsin is about to see a big media change as the Gannett-owned Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel is about to be taken over by GateHouse media, a corporation known for stripping assets out of papers, slashing reporting staffs and diminishing the amount and quality of local reporting. The combination of Gannett and GateHouse will create the largest media conglomerate that will own 1 out of 6 newspapers in the country.
More and more communities are going without local media, which means local government at the municipal and county levels goes unreported. Without the light of regular news beat reporting the likelihood for corruption and lack of responsiveness to community needs can erode communities.
The same goes for the corrosive influence of un-monitored and unaccountable influence of corporate power on local and state government. Local newspapers and vigorous community radio and television coverage — which usually follow the lead of local newspapers — is essential to democracy. As a variety of high tech, social media and corporate change have upended the media landscape placing the health of government at risk.
In this episode of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour [8/31] the famed consumer advocate interviews Madison-based journalist and media commentator John Nichols on the risks and creative alternative opportunities for media models responsive to local community needs.
Link to Story and 35-Minute Audio
- The End Of Youngstown, Ohio’s Historic ‘Vindicator’ Newspaper — The city’s daily paper is closing down, leaving a gaping hole in the local journalism landscape. … Read the Rest
BERN NOTICE: SUSH! What We Are Told We Cannot Discuss
By David Sirota
Bern Notice (8/16/19)
“People will think what I tell them to think!”
— Charles Foster Kane, Citizen Kane.
As Bernie Sanders has been rising in post-debate polls, why are elite media pundits particularly angry at him? The explosion of rage tells us a lot about what the corporate media says we can and cannot discuss — and how frightened the establishment really is.
Let’s review what happened: this week, the billionaire-owned Boston Globe and New York Timesboth rehashed an old media-manufactured trope pretending that Bernie Sanders doesn’t talk to people at parades and fairs (he does, a lot). This followed the Washington Post ignoring a slew of recent positive polls for Bernie and instead choosing to only publish a big story on one single bad outlier poll.
In response, Bernie suggested that maybe the reason this keeps happening is because billionaire media moguls like Jeff Bezos and others don’t particularly like his agenda that would take power away from billionaires and corporations.
Vox pointed out that yes, Bernie “has some legitimate complaints. Media outlets do seem to be looking for signs of weakness — there’s more coverage of a sputtering campaign than one that is steadily chugging along in second place nationally (the latter is closer to the truth).”
And yet, Bernie’s comments about media ownership touched off a full freak out by — shocker! — the Washington pundits who are paid by the corporations and billionaires who own the media.
Meet the Press called Bernie’s comments an “attack” on the free press and CNN pundit Chris Cillizza called his comments “ridiculous”. MSNBC’s disgraced anchorman Brian Williams went even further — approvingly reading an anonymous Twitter troll’s anti-Bernie lie on national television, even though the lie had already been thoroughly debunked.
The bizarre part of all these overwrought responses is that, until now, it hasn’t been particularly controversial to suggest that media ownership can influence media coverage. The FCC previously had rules in place — supported by one Bernie Sanders — to regulate media ownership in order to try to prevent “Citizen Kane”-style tycoons from monopolizing the media, and weaponizing it against political opponents …