Name Date Course Section/# Public/Private Censorship One of the most troubling aspects of our current world is the near complete loss of independent journalism. The previous sentence carefully underscores the words “near complete loss”…
Rather, it is much more reasonable to assume that profit and market dominance will be the driving force. This brief editorial will seek to analyze the ways in which the media has recently come to be dominated by just a handful of players, what this means for journalistic integrity, and how this bodes for the future of democracy within the United States. Regardless of the individual branding that greets the reader, listener or viewer of the particular media outlet in question, the fact remains that Viacom, NBC Universal, Walt Disney, CBS Corporation, News Corp, and Time Warner ultimately are the owner and/or the fiduciary agent behind whatever firm is being represented (Taylor 1). Whereas just 20-30 years ago, the field of media firms could not be described without tracing a complicated tree of ownership back to about 40 distinct and separate firms, the field has been progressively narrowed as a mass of mergers have taken place. Just as with the banking industry, these mergers have consolidated power within the hands of but a few ultra dominant market forces which have the power to mould and shape the way that Americans view the world and what particular items of interest are presented to them in any given instance. As such, the level of journalistic integrity that comes to be displayed is highly suspect as the goal and point of the controlling interests is to display their own point of view, gain further profit margins, and provide a powerful form of competition to their rivals. As can be noted from the direction that the news media has shifted within the past few years, the main drive is focused on sensationalism, high definition graphics, and other somewhat “cheap” ways of integrating with the audience (Morris 1). This can be seen as a means of compensation for the lack of journalistic expertise and excellence within the field. As a function of the fact that stories are not researched and fact checked anywhere near the level that they used to be during the heyday of American journalism, poor quality and a litany of misprints and outright false information has been foisted upon the viewer, reader, and/or listener. Naturally, such a concentration of media power begs the question of to what degree the journalism is consumed is tainted by a high level of propaganda. One need look no further than the recent raucous with regards to the New York Times and the way that government “gatekeepers” give the final clearance for each and every quote that is attributed within the paper to understand the level to which a “free and impartial” media is merely a figment of imagination. The scandal in question began when the Romney and Obama campaigns had ultimate access to the newspaper’s publications before they went to the presses (Michelson 1). The reason that these “handlers” were allowed to review the news before the rest of society did was given to ensure that the campaigns stayed “on message”. However, as the reader can quickly infer, the message that is being presented is only a doctored view of reality and is likely oftentimes not the truth that would otherwise be presented. It should be noted by the reader that there has been a fundamental shift in both the way that media is consumed and how it is produced within the past ...
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