Media National Issues

The Fall of News Corp?

The commentary I’ve read suggests the answer to this question is most likely “no,” but the events unfolding in the U.K. resulting from the phone-tapping scandal has already resulted in numerous arrests, including that of former News Corp executive Rebekah Brooks, and the fall of one of Rupert Muroch’s largest U.K. newspapers, the News of the World. And as the effects of this scandal continue to be seen in the U.K., questions have begun to be asked here in the U.S. and the FBI has announced the opening of an investigation into allegations that News Corp may have also at least attempted to hack into the phones of victims of the September 11th attacks. All of this has resulted in a growing discussion about the effects of consolidated media, its power, and its influence on public debate, and on government, which suits me just fine.

Earlier this month, the London newspaper, The Guardian, reported the head of Britain’s Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has called for the dismantling of Murdoch’s media empire.

Consolidation HI Politics Media National Issues

Stop Media Consolidation Now

Originally written for the Media Council Hawaii Blog, June 28, 2011

Though I imagine many people have moved on from the issue, even forgotten the problem exists, Media Council Hawaii continues to fight media consolidation here in Hawaii. We have, in partnership with the Institute for Public Representations at Georgetown Law, filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to halt the takeover of three television stations (KGMB, KHNL, KFVE) in our market, by Raycom Media of Alabama. We took this action because Raycom’s layoff of 68 people, combined and simulcast operations, and reduction in enterprise reporting, diminishes diversity of opinion, competition, and localism. The complaint is still alive and we continue to wait for a decision.

While we wait, the issue continues to get attention nation-wide. A report, Local TV & Shared Services Agreements: Examining News Content in Honolulu, from the University of Delaware lay out the damage caused by the media consolidation here in Hawaii. Also, a new campaign, Change the Channels – Expose Covert Media Consolidation, by Freepress uses Hawaii in its new video. Check it out:

General Topics Media National Issues War

The Death of Osama bin Laden

It’s been a week, now, since I picked up my phone to see a message saying President Obama was going to be announcing that Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, had been killed.

My first reaction was one of┬ádisbelief, so I immediately reached for the remote and turned on MSNBC. While listening to the coverage as the nation, and the world, waited for Obama to address the nation, my disbelief changed to disgust as the news coverage was showing the breakout of spontaneous celebrations, chants of “USA,” and singing of the national anthem. I wondered if I was the only one who found the celebration of the death of another person as distasteful. Thankfully, I quickly found others expressing similar feelings on Facebook.

General Topics Media

the myth of american conservatism

i imagine most of you are aware of the media matters for america organizational website, but if you’re not you should check it out because they do a good job shining the spotlight on major new media when they aren’t walking the straight and narrow, so to speak.

with all the sites i try to visit everyday, i admit i don’t go to this site very often, but i was browsing yesterday and came across a report that was put together by media matters regarding the progressive majority and the myth that america is by and large a conservative nation.

personally, i’ve felt this way for a while, though clearly didn’t have this kind of data to back up my ‘hunch’. a similar (maybe in a more playful way) approach to this subject is taken up by Thomas Frank in his book What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. of course, it’s a great book that i recommend (if you ask nicely, i may let you borrow mine).

anyway, the report, titled The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative American Is a Myth, is quite insightful (or at least i think so) and is full of statistics gathered over years by nonpartisan sources. while i’ve still got a bit to get through, i thought i’d share.

while, as they say, the devil is in the details, and while this report doesn’t (at least not yet) go into details regarding issues, the numbers don’t lie. the majority of the people in this country are at least progressive leaning, even if they wouldn’t use the term ‘progressive.’ i think this report is just what progressive need to direct the conversation away from the conservative talking heads and even mainstream news media. i think this is a report everyone should read, especially those who don’t already call themselves progressives (i call myself a liberal, but mostly to annoy people).

how can we begin framing the national debate in terms of what this report presents? i’ve already started thinking about….

Environment Media

liberal media?

while flipping channels this evening, looking for something worth watching (i found nothing), i came across the glenn beck show on cnn headline news. i enjoy the news, so i watched for a minute or two. what i heard was quite disturbing.

mr. beck (ass) was interviewing someone about global warming and the report that ipcc has (will be?) publishing. like i said, i only watched for a minute and caught the end of the interview, but the gist of it was that the ipcc report could not be considered accurate given the manner in which it was produced. the guest suggested that the ipcc directed the authors with regard to the contents of the report. his evidence for this is that the summary was released before the final version. i didn’t hear the whole interview and don’t know enough about the ipcc or its process to comment, in the short time i was tuned in i got the very clear impression that the implication was the report was ‘doctored’ to present results that support the notion of global warming, which it seemed the guess believed to be at best inconclusive, at worst a hoax.

as the glenn beck show led out to a commercial, mr. beck (ass) previewed the next section by saying something along the lines of ‘innovation, not regulation is the solution to the environmental question.’ something like that. i’d like to talk to the conservative jackass that says this is ‘liberal media bias.’ in the three minutes that i watched (which i admit isn’t very long) i didn’t hear one shred of discussion or commentary that led me to think anything other than i already do; the major news media, whether it be fox, cnn, or msnbc, is nothing more than the mouth piece for big business. i don’t say the administration, because the bush administration (as well as congress) is little more than a mechanism functioning for the benefit of big business.

liberal media bias? please! if either mr. beck (ass) or his guest has suggested raising cafe standards, placing higher carbon regulations on manufacturers, or replacing the spr with renewable fuels (like biodiesel), maybe they could be called liberal. that didn’t happen and i don’t expect any major media outlet to do so anytime soon. in the meantime, we’ll continue to be told that things aren’t that bad, or that all the evidence isn’t in yet, or that we can continue to live the way we do. that’s the role of major media. does that sound liberal to you?