This short video nails it. The map of 'the world according to US "news"' is glorious in its effectiveness and impact on the viewers.
"News" about Britney Spears is CHEAPER.
Take a look at who (and what) owns TV "news" in America (2006):
* Disney (market value: $72.8 billion)
* AOL-Time Warner (market value: $90.7 billion)
* Viacom (market value: $53.9 billion)
* General Electric (owner of NBC, market value: $390.6 billion)
* News Corporation (market value: $56.7 billion)
* Yahoo! (market value: $40.1 billion)
* Microsoft (market value: $306.8 billion)
* Google (market value: $154.6 billion)
The TV news now is simply a part of another, global brand, a part, a small cog in the bigger machine.
There is no way a TV "news" show in America can be unbiased, because they are not independent - they are part of a bigger business organization.
Makes me wonder, why does the Travel Channel continuously run those Disney Cruise programs with Samantha Brown...
TV "news" will never be allowed to do actual, honest to goodness investigative reporting. The status quo suits the corporate overlords just fine.
Here is a great article on the media in the USA, and I will put forth here the (to me) choice excerpts:
The idea of corporate media itself may not be a bad thing, for it can foster healthy competition and provide a check against governments. However, the concern is when there is a concentration of ownership due to the risk of increased economic and political influence that can itself be unaccountable.
The global commercial-media system is radical in that it will respect no tradition or custom, on balance, if it stands in the way of profits. But ultimately it is politically conservative, because the media giants are significant beneficiaries of the current social structure around the world, and any upheaval in property or social relations—particularly to the extent that it reduces the power of business—is not in their interest.
Robert W. McChesney, The New Global Media; It’s a Small World of Big Conglomerates, The Nation Magazine, November 29, 1999
Having a few huge corporations control our outlets of expression could lead to less aggressive news coverage and a more muted marketplace of ideas.
Rifka Rosenwein, Why Media Mergers Matter, Brill’s Content, December 1999
It is useful to remind ourselves that free expression is threatened not just blatantly by authoritarian governments and all those in the private sector who fear public exposure, but also more subtly by the handful of global media conglomerates that have reduced meaningful diversity of expression in much of the globe.
Gerald Caplan, Advancing Free Media, Open Markets, Open Media forum, November 1997
Simply put, the fewer organizations control the media in a country, the fewer viewpoints there are. This should be obvious to everybody.
Also, the bigger the corporation, the more prevalent the fear of 'rocking the boat' in its employees. This should be obvious to everybody who has worked for big corporations.
Many of the large media company owners are entertainment companies and have vertical integration (i.e. own operations and businesses) across various industries and verticals, such as distribution networks, toys and clothing manufacture and/or retailing etc. That means that while this is good for their business, the diversity of opinions and issues we can see being discussed by them will be less well covered. (One cannot expect Disney, for example, to talk too much about sweatshop labor when it is accused of being involved in such things itself.)
This should be obvious to anybody with a brain.
The next point is my favorite, and does not impact only the business of media in the USA but EVERY big conglomerate.
Interlocking directorates is also another issue. Interlocking is where a director of one company may sit on a board of another company. As pointed out by U.S. media watchdog, Fairness an Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) for example, Media corporations share members of the board of directors with a variety of other large corporations, including banks, investment companies, oil companies, health care and pharmaceutical companies and technology companies.
Can you say 'old boys network'?
This is cronyism American business style - all the people at the top are interconnected, and they sit on the boards of different companies to look after their own and their main company's interests. A 'good old boys club', or, if you prefer the Italian expression, the American Mafia.
As a DUH! example, lets imagine this scenario: say a bank CEO is on the board of a TV "news" company. Do you think that if an unfavorable story about the bank will be in the offing, he won't take action to change it, twist it, and spin it into a completely different story? The first thing the bank CEO will do is call his golf, drinking and whoring buddy, the CEO of TV "news" corporation, and ask him to not run or change the TV report slated to be run about his bank.
Finally, we come to this (my second favorite point):
Corporations have multimillion-dollar budgets to dissect and attack news reports they dislike. But with each passing year they have yet another power: They are not only hostile to independent journalists. They are their employers.
Ben H. Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly, Sixth Edition, (Beacon Press, 2000), p. 65.
Proves my point exactly.
Can you expect ABC to run an investigative report of Disney World's safety?
And what is the motivation of corporations?
We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only objective.
Michael Eisner, CEO, The Walt Disney Co., (Internal Memo). Quoted from Mickey Mouse Monopoly-Disney, Childhood & Corporate Power
To make money. So, if an investigative story would interfere with the profits of a Disney franchise... chances are it won't be run, or will be a very 'soft' investigation.
The whole article is an interesting read, with lots of links and sources. Give it a go:
Anup Shah, Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership, GlobalIssues.org, Last updated: Sunday, April 29, 2007