why media consolidation is NOT a good thing

SteveOrdinetz steveord@bit-net.com
Thu Apr 29 21:54:42 EDT 2004

Donna Halper wrote:

>In smaller cities, it tends to be religious broadcasters that own a 
>majority of the stations.  A friend of mine lives in Savannah TN, and in 
>her market, there are as many as 29 low power TV transitters.  And I have 
>consulted in plenty of small markets where there was basically one channel 
>that got into the market well, and everything else was from the cable 

But something like this was more relevant 20 or more years ago...before 
Dish network, before the majority of households had cable tv (not to 
mention the abundance of cable-only channels that didn't exist back 
then).  There are so many other sources for news than just the local 
channel...this was not true in the old days.

>[Tune into the evening news on Madison, Wisconsin's Fox TV affiliate and 
>behold the future of local news. In the program's concluding segment, "The 
>Point," Mark Hyman rants against peace activists ("wack-jobs"), the French 
>("cheese-eating surrender monkeys"), progressives ("loony left") and the 
>so-called liberal media, usually referred to as the "hate-America crowd" 
>or the "Axis of Drivel." Colorful, if creatively anemic, this is TV's 
>version of talk radio, with the precisely tanned Hyman playing a 
>second-string Limbaugh.

Uhhh, this seems a bit one-sided.  What about the liberals' negative 
portrayal of conservatives as "neanderthals", "hate-filled", "Bible 
thumpers", etc?   Or is it OK to diss viewpoints at odds with your 
own?  There is plenty of liberal-leaning tv around.

>(Btw, the fact that they are conservative doesn't bother me as much as the 
>fact that they are the only game in town in several cities... so, in a 
>market which is dominated by Sinclair, where else can people get a "local" 

I agree that local news...radio or tv is becoming harder and harder to 
find.  My guess is that now that station owners are not required to air 
programming on which they lose money (and a local news operation isn't 
exactly cheap to do...even more expensive to do well), increasingly they're 
not doing it any more.  I'm not sure what the answer is.  Realistically, 
how many markets are so isolated as to only have one news source?

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