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Media Reform and Democracy

A different focus needed

Muckraking where it matters "(The sometimes misunderstood tradition of) Muckraking lingers on today, but alas, a good deal of it consists of raking personal and sexual scandal in high and celebrated places. Surely, if democracy is to be served, we have to get back to putting the rake where the important dirt lies, in the fleecing of the public and the abuse of its faith in good government." Great moments in history "The greatest moments in the history of the press came not when journalists made common cause with the state, but when they stood fearlessly independent of it." - Journalist Bill Moyers (Address on Media Reform, 8 November, 2003)

Quotable Quotes (3)

(On the need for media reform and a revival of

independent journalism

Monopoly ownership constantly expanding "Take a look at a new book called Leaving Readers Behind: The Age of Corporate Newspapering published as part of the Project on the State of the American Newspaper under the auspices of the Pew Charitable Trusts. The people who produced the book all love newspapers – Gene Roberts, former managing editor of The New York Times; Thomas Kunkel, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism; Charles Layton, a veteran wire service reporter and news and feature editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as contributors such as Ken Auletta, Geneva Overholser, and Roy Reed. Their conclusion: the newspaper industry is in the middle of the most momentous change in its three hundred year history – a change that is diminishing the amount of real news available to the consumer. A generation of relentless corporatization is now culminating in a furious, unprecedented blitz of buying, selling and consolidating of newspapers, from the mightiest dailies to the humblest weeklies. It is a world where “small hometown dailies in particular are being bought and sold like hog futures. Where chains, once content to grow one property at a time, now devour other chains whole. Where they are effectively ceding whole regions of the country to one another, further minimizing competition. Where money is pouring into the business from interests with little knowledge and even less concern about the special obligations newspapers have to democracy.” … You’d better get used to it, concluded Leaving Readers Behind, because the real momentum of consolidation is just beginning – it won’t be long now before America is reduced to half a dozen major print conglomerates.  - Book cited by Bill Moyers, Address on Media Reform, 8 November, 2003
Online Videos on Media HOW THE MASS MEDIA FAILS US  VIEW: Bill Moyers' revealing words on how media monopolies fundamentally limit viewpoints & public understanding and in effect control our understanding of the wider world ... while selfishly and unscrupulously abusing their power and influence.  (In the 2nd half of video) At:   http://youtube.com/watch?v=wlIVL2dh2zI   VIEW: Frontline's important 2007 series 'News War' available from the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) - a case study in how the media has failed to both inform the public and reject the 'Orwellian' language, lies, spin & deceptions of the Bush government:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/view/