Media Concentration in the Age of the Internet
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Media Concentration in the Age of the Internet

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Monopoly media ownership has been a concern for decades. The Internet has helped level the playing field, but worries remain.

Monopoly media ownership has been a concern for decades. The Internet has helped level the playing field, but worries remain.

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    Media Concentration in the Age of the Internet Media Concentration in the Age of the Internet Presentation Transcript

    • Media concentration The Internet helps level the playing field, but worries remain
    • Ben H. Bagdikian • Legendary press analyst was The Washington Post’s first ombudsman
    • Ben H. Bagdikian • Legendary press analyst was The Washington Post’s first ombudsman • Began writing “The Media Monopoly” in the early 1980s
    • Ben H. Bagdikian • Legendary press analyst was The Washington Post’s first ombudsman • Began writing “The Media Monopoly” in the early 1980s • Warned that five big corporations controlled nearly all U.S. media
    • The oligarchs’ agenda • ABC killed a story on pedophiles and lax security at theme parks
    • The oligarchs’ agenda • ABC killed a story on pedophiles and lax security at theme parks • NBC was reluctant to take on nuclear power when GE was the owner
    • The oligarchs’ agenda • ABC killed a story on pedophiles and lax security at theme parks • NBC was reluctant to take on nuclear power when GE was the owner • Networks were slow to question Iraq war while seeking favors from FCC
    • How communities are hurt • Bagdikian tells the story of Clear Channel after accident in Minot, N.D.
    • How communities are hurt • Bagdikian tells the story of Clear Channel after accident in Minot, N.D. • Two generations ago A.J. Liebling warned of one-newspaper cities
    • How communities are hurt • Bagdikian tells the story of Clear Channel after accident in Minot, N.D. • Two generations ago A.J. Liebling warned of one-newspaper cities • Chains like GateHouse Media cut local coverage to pay debt
    • But a funny thing happened on the way to the Apocalypse …
    • Independents’ day
    • Independents’ day • • • • • • • • Huffington Post Talking Points Memo Drudge Report Daily Caller WikiLeaks ProPublica Gawker Media Etc., etc., etc.
    • Challenge to local monopolies • Cheap technology means that barriers to entry are close to zero
    • Challenge to local monopolies • Cheap technology means that barriers to entry are close to zero • Some corporate chains have embraced digital to reinvent themselves
    • Challenge to local monopolies • Cheap technology means that barriers to entry are close to zero • Some corporate chains have embraced digital to reinvent themselves • Patch is struggling, but it represents new corporate thinking
    • The new media moguls • Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post, takes it independent
    • The new media moguls • Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post, takes it independent • John Henry purchases The Boston Globe from the New York Times Co.
    • The new media moguls • Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post, takes it independent • John Henry purchases The Boston Globe from the New York Times Co. • Aaron Kushner tries a print-centric approach with the O.C. Register
    • The new entrepreneurs • Glenn Greenwald et al. team up with Pierre Omidyar of eBay fame
    • The new entrepreneurs • Glenn Greenwald et al. team up with Pierre Omidyar of eBay fame • Kara Swisher takes her talents from the WSJ to an NBC-affilated site
    • The new entrepreneurs • Glenn Greenwald et al. team up with Pierre Omidyar of eBay fame • Kara Swisher takes her talents from the WSJ to an NBC-affilated site • Wonkblog founder Ezra Klein will start a new venture at Vox Media
    • What could go wrong?
    • What could go wrong? • The 21st century’s Big 5 have a different agenda from Ben Bagdikian’s 5 – – – – – Apple Google Facebook Amazon Microsoft
    • What could go wrong? • The 21st century’s Big 5 have a different agenda from Ben Bagdikian’s 5 • Today’s Big 5 would rather partner with than fight the telecoms
    • What could go wrong? • The 21st century’s Big 5 have a different agenda from Ben Bagdikian’s 5 • Today’s Big 5 would rather partner with than fight the telecoms • End of net neutrality could bring current openness to a halt