Taking Back the News

Who owns the media?
Last year, The Nation updated its well-known media
ownership chart, detailing the holdings of the 10 largest media
conglomerates. It vividly illustrates how allowing media ownership
to fall into a few hands has greatly diminished the diversity of
voices. Worse yet, the chart is about to be outdated. A new
initiative by the Federal Communications Commission could make it
even easier for huge companies to buy up more news outlets.

What can I do about media consolidation?
One place to learn about FCC rule changes and other related issues
is mediareform.net, an online project sponsored by Free Press, a
group based in Northampton, Massachusetts, that wants to get the
public more involved shaping media policy. The site offers
information on an upcoming national conference on media reform,
November 7?9 in Madison, Wisconsin, organized by Robert McChesney,
author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy.

How can I affect media coverage?

  • Start with an old-fashioned letter to the editor. The media
    watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting tracks bias in
    the mainstream press and issues weekly alerts on issues that demand
    attention. www.fair.org
  • Create your own media coverage. The Independent Media Center is
    a worldwide network of activist media sites that allows anyone with
    Internet access to post an article, photo, video or audio clip
  • Get some hands-on training in television and radio work at your
    local media center. Many cities have such facilities, which are
    often connected to local libraries. The Alliance for Community
    Media lists many such organizations around the country.
In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.