Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The tentacles of News Corp.

Rupert Murdoch is at it again. This time, he tried to add the Wall Street Journal to his congolmorate media empire. Fortunately, his $5 billion offer for the company and newspaper was turned down by the Bancrofts, the family with controlling shares in the Dow Jones Co.

Thank goodness.

Murdoch is one of many media owners who have crushed quality and independence in the media in the quest for a profit. The more consolidation, the fewer viewpoints, the more corporatized media becomes. While that might be good for the moguls who control the companies, it's bad for consumers and democracy, because with a greater emphasis on profits, newspapers and other news outlets are less willing to take on the real investigative, muck-racking projects that give journalism value.

Under corporate ownership, with cost-cutting and layoffs the prime drivers to boost profits
(look what happened at the L.A. Times), journalism becomes a sweatshop, machinized process, with more celebrity news and less true substance.

And it's a wonder why Americans don't trust the media? Look no further than its latest corporate incarnation.

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