Last week, we briefly discussed in class how 6 or so companies own and control 90+% of the media in the United States. This is alarming, because this small group controls almost all of the news and coverage that the American population receives on a regular basis. This is called media consolidation, and this is affecting the US more and more as fewer people amass more of the medias power.
A graphic about media consolidation can be found here: http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6
Environmentally speaking, this cal be alarming. In between fake news, and only getting most of our news from such a small amount of sources, it can be hard to figure out what is true and what is fake. Because the people who fund these companies usually get to control what media is released, there is worry about how transparent the media we are served really is. This can concerning environmentally because if someone is rich enough and does not believe in man’s role in climate change and global warming, they potentially could feed millions of people information that makes them believe similar falsities. Problems could arise from this, especially if the general population began to not believe in climate change and its consequences, and the majority of people stopped any green practices such as recycling that they do to lessen their footprint. This would cause a multitude of social and environmental problems across the globe. This could also become a problem because most people do not do research on what they read, or the sources that post them, to begin with. Not doing such research could allow for these 6 companies to influence the public to believe pretty much anything, and also cover up things that they do not want the pubic to find out about. About 15 people own the United States media, and this consolidation gives these few a lot of power. The graphic above states that 232 media executives control the information that 277 million Americans consume on a regular basis.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed for this consolidation to happen. It allowed for mergers of media companies, and was substantially paid for by corporate media lobbies. This act allowed for media corporations to consolidate into the small number that they are today (for example, how Disney umbrellas to own ABC, ESPN, Pixar, and many other smaller corporations). It is alarming that one company has so much power, and essentially control, over the American population and the information that we receive.
Great post, Brian. What messages are being sent out? Who has the power to send them?