Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Media Reform Thoughts

I agree with Barry and Dave that a publicly funded media source is absolutely necessary in the current climate. It should be better funded (perhaps like the BBC as Dave suggests). As Robert McChesney points out and echoing Cass Sunstein in Republic.com, there seems to be a greater and greater tendency for the big media companies to simply deliver what the consumers want instead of challenging them with truthful, thorough, and wide reporting of news events. We have seen the trends with both the explosion of Fox News as well as the example in the Radio industry, where many consumers have been sucked in by Clear Channel cookie cutter programs. As Joe points out in "What's At Stake" (10-31-03), these trends do not bode well for our democracy. An ill-informed public is perhaps the worst things that could happen to our democracy/republic, and this issue needs to be addressed.

How to address it has been a difficult issue for me. One can certainly place more restrictions on commerical media ownership and practices. One can also enhance support for public, independent media. Yet the core problem seems to remain: the laziness of the American citizen. Why do so many individuals fail to seek out multiple news sources and different viewpoints? What has happened to the discussion of substantive issues that affect our democracy and nation such as media reform, campaign reform, international trade and foreign policy? Perhaps it is the citizen that needs to be held more accountable instead of blaming big media or the government, as is so easy to do. As is pointed out in "Nationalism In Schools" (11-4-03), education may the place to start, and never too early.

No comments: