Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

Archive for January 9th, 2007

For a more perfect perfect media

Posted by metaphorical on 9 January 2007

Katrina Vanden Heuval in The Nation has a nice “Top 10 for a More Perfect Union” list of things for the newly-Democratic Congress to tackle. It’s hard to take issue with the title of #8: “Free and Independent Media” but I’ll disagree with her prescription for how to get there.

Representative Maurice Hinchey sponsored the Media Ownership Reform Act (MORA–HR 3302), which seeks to restore a diverse media by significantly lowering the number of media outlets one company is permitted to own in a single market. Since 1996 the Federal Communications Commission has promoted massive media consolidation by increasing that number, allowing telecommunications corporations to buy up a larger share of television and radio stations, newspapers and other media outlets, and forcing independent and local media owners out of business. There are sixteen co-sponsors of MORA in the House.

That seems like just the kind of jury-rigging that Republicans descry, and rightly so. The problem isn’t simply the size of media outlets, it’s that they’re owned by non-media companies more interested in quarterly earnings than journalism.

Here’s my proposal: let’s require that all media companies be non-profit corporations. After all, we don’t say of religions: you can only have so many churches in any one religious market; we say, you can’t be all about the money.

Back in 2003, Robert Kaye had a nice article in O’ReillyNet about the happy synergy between open-source and the non-profit corporate structure. He wrote:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in journalism, politics | Leave a Comment »