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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13458 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  23:04:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
I did provide other evidence of at least two problems with the deregulation of ownership in the media; how it has affected music programming on the radio including a growing lack of diversity and localness.

Localness not a problem?

quote:
The Manifold Problems of Media Concentration:

In Minot, North Dakota, Clear Channel has six radio
stations. A train had a wreck. Poisonous gas escaped
and the police needed to get the news out immediate-
ly about the impending disaster. They went to each
one of the Clear Channel stations. There was no one
in the office. There was no one in the state of North
Dakota. Six stations were managed by remote control
out of San Antonio, Texas.



Edited to add:

The above is admittedly a drastic example of what can go wrong. But it happened.

Obviously the newscasts on these stations must be of the generic variety. And a community is not well served when local issues are not a part of the news.

As for the list of banned songs, on that I said Clear Channel was free to be stupid.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  23:51:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by McQ

I know you said a lot more in this post, Beskeptigal, and it was all very well thought out, IMO. I would say that we have seen examples, however, of corporations co-operating with one another at many levels, even when no monopoly exists, or was likely to.

The example that first comes to mind is big Pharma. You and I know that the companies are at each others' throats every day. Even within the bigger companies there is vicious competition among products in the same disease state indication. But look at what has been put together with PHRMA (The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America). These are dozens of companies and their subsidiaries all co-operating at the highest level.

Any time a mutual benefit can be gained by all the companies at once, such as their right to continue to conduct business, they will co-operate. In most cases, I believe it is to save their collective hides from governmental restrictions or policies that they believe will jeopardize business and profitability. In other words, they want to stay in business.

Just my two cents for what it's worth. I can't speak to the internet or communications industries, because I have no experience with them.

There is no doubt. I wouldn't disagree with this at all. That doesn't mean though that it isn't easier for 6 companies to negotiate than for 600 to do so.

Monopolies stifle competition. Saying 6 big owners (that's how many there are according the the Moyer's article) is sufficient to maintain competition is pretty idealistic if history is any indication of the future.

There are 2 issues here (sorry I am getting redundant). The monopoly ownership of broadcast media stifles competition, raises prices, and waters down variety.

The monopoly ownership of media when used to broadcast one's political message stifles democracy. Anyone who doesn't think that's true is in denial. You can't call this free enterprise and say an owner has a right yadda yadda when that right is to put one's political message over a monopoly of broadcast and print media sources.

What would happen to our democracy if there was no news except Fox, they canceled the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, and the Republican's turned PBS into a political mouthpiece? Rupert Murdoch and Disney buy up everything.

Would those of you claiming "they own it, they can play whatever music they want" just write such a scenario off as private companies can air whatever they want? Is it just not bad enough to bother about yet? Is it too bad, the Americans can go to the Internet if they want different content and the competition will correct the desire for political power any of those corporate mega-media owners? Surely they would only make financial decisions?

Murdoch and Disney have a track record that says differently. The banning of the Dixie Chicks' music despite their continued big "fan base" in spite of the 270 radio station Bush campaign says differently.


Edited by - beskeptigal on 02/19/2007 23:56:26
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Mycroft
Skeptic Friend

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2007 :  20:38:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mycroft a Private Message

quote:
The Manifold Problems of Media Concentration:

In Minot, North Dakota, Clear Channel has six radio
stations. A train had a wreck. Poisonous gas escaped
and the police needed to get the news out immediate-
ly about the impending disaster. They went to each
one of the Clear Channel stations. There was no one
in the office. There was no one in the state of North
Dakota. Six stations were managed by remote control
out of San Antonio, Texas.



So if we identify this as a problem then the solution isn't to change the rules on radio station ownership, but to make a rule that local law enforcement have up to date contact information of someone who can alter programming in an emergency.

I mean c'mon, this anecdote describes an unforeseen circumstance, not an inevitable result.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13458 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2007 :  21:29:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Mycroft:
I mean c'mon, this anecdote describes an unforeseen circumstance, not an inevitable result.

Well, I did say that it was a drastic example, now didn't I?

And yet it happened. Sure it can be fixed. But I see it as a symptom of a larger problem. Apparently, you don't.

You have not yet responded to the music diversity problem, which stymies artists and art. And what about the one size fits all generic news casts which also has some serious implications at the local level?

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Mycroft
Skeptic Friend

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 02/20/2007 :  21:50:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mycroft a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal
There are 2 issues here (sorry I am getting redundant). The monopoly ownership of broadcast media stifles competition, raises prices, and waters down variety.


I know you think that's self-evident, but I see about four assertions made without evidence.

I'd start off by checking the definition of “Monopoly.” A clue: If a half-dozen different corporations provide the service, then it's not a monopoly. What you fear is that they might someday act in collusion and form a cartel, but the evidence for that is thin as well.

quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal
The monopoly ownership of media when used to broadcast one's political message stifles democracy.


Only if you think the wealthy have less of a right to use their resources to express their opinion than the rest of us. I don't agree


quote:
Originally posted by beskeptigal
What would happen to our democracy if there was no news except Fox, they canceled the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, and the Republican's turned PBS into a political mouthpiece? Rupert Murdoch and Disney buy up everything.


But the truth is we have both Fox news and PBS, and it's a mega media corporation that produces both the Daily Show and the Colbert Report (both shows I enjoy, my wife and I tivo them so we never miss an episode.) We all have unprecedented access to news from a variety of sources, as well as even greater resources to examine and research the news we get. The communication age has just began, and the future will bring even greater access to information.
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