header-for-peoplenow-new-with-new-march-dove-bigger_011315.jpg

Draft

Target Action Plan #11

Ensure Honest and Accurate Media Not Under Corporate Executives' Control is Available for All Without "Censorship"

(Updated April 2, 2015)


Please consider this table as an ever-evolving e-document, awaiting your proposed additions and recommendations which can be emailed to refinetheplan@peoplenow.org

 

11.1     Introduction


This plan outlines Individual Actions required to:


It is Target Action Plan (TAP) # of the Global Movement and Strategic Plan for a Permanently Peaceful, Prosperous, Just, Sustainable World described at www.PeopleNow.org.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


 

11.1     Introduction

 

11.2     Purpose

 

11.3     Objectives

 

11.4    Actions

 

11.5    Background


 

11.2     Purpose


This plan outlines Individual Actions to

 

11.3     Objectives


The objectives of this plan include:

 

11.4    Actions

 

11.4.1  Ensure Honest and Accurate Media Not Under Corporate Executives’ Control is Available for All without “censorship”

 

11.4.1.1           Ensure airwaves and the internet are treated as public goods

 

11.4.1.2           Hold media executives and owners accountable to the people for honest, accurate information.

 

11.4.1.3           Break up media monopolies by enforcing anti-trust laws and with tax legislation.


 

11.5    Background


The below is quoted verbatim from Ted Nace book Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy, Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2003.


“The history of how media evolved in the United States shows how the ‘mainstream’ was defined in narrow terms favorable to corporate interests. One example is the formation of federal radio policy in the 1920s and 1930s. At a time when Canada and the countries of Western Europe were moving to organize strong public media institutions such as the CBC and the BBC, comparable efforts in the United States were defeated.


Corporate ownership of the media has become considerably more concentrated in the past two decades. The first edition of Ben Bagdikian’s The Media Monopoly, published in 1983, described how fifty media conglomerates dominated the mass media in the United States. By the sixth edition of the book, published in 2000, that dominance had been concentrated into six conglomerates. A study of sector-by-sector concentration showed the following: in film production; six firms accounted for over 90 percent of revenues in 1997; in theater ownership, twelve companies controlled 61 percent of screens in 1998; in the newspaper industry, 25 percent of revenues were now created in metropolitan “clusters” where a major urban daily controlled a constellation of suburban and regional papers; in book publishing, seven firms dominated; in cable television, three firms own all or part of 56 percent of channels; in music, five corporate groups accounted for over 87 percent of the U.S. market; in cable television, seven firms controlled over 75 percent of channels and programming; in book retailing, 80 percent of books were sold by national chains; in radio, a single chain, Clear Channel Communications, created after the lifting of limitations on station ownership in 1996, owned more than 1200 local radio stations nationwide in 2002.


Led by organizations such as Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and the Institute for Public Accuracy, media activists organized grassroots efforts focused on blocking new Federal Communications Commission moves toward relaxing rules that prevent media consolidation, such as a single company owning both newspapers and TV stations in the same community. Activists exposed the “inside the Beltway” tactics of the media conglomerates, revealing for example that FCC employees, members of Congress, and senior staffers had been taken on over 1,700 all-expenses-paid trips between 1995 and 2000.


In addition to focusing on national FCC policy issues, local media activists battled corporate advertising in schools and cafeterias, and worked to support non-corporate alternatives such as the Pacifica radio network. Thousands of community groups sought to establish low power FM radio stations, designed to literally “fly through the cracks” in the radio spectrum.


The increased concentration of the corporate media is an issue with clear connections to the issue of corporate power. With a half-dozen immense corporations dominating media, and with “noncommercial” media such as National Public Radio increasingly dependent on corporate funding, opportunities for discussion about systemic issues of power were increasingly rare. In this context, delving into such topics basically amounts to extremely bad manners, a compelling reason “not to get invited back on the show,” as though a sort of Emily Post of political manners had said, “It’s not polite to talk about corporate power in a public forum, just as we don’t argue about religion at a family reunion. Endnote