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Author Topic: Take Back The Media
Star Pilot 111
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I was reading the posts in the Topic : "The Union of the USA Workers- The TUUSA."
I had a need to look up, Who Owns What. On the web address takebackthemedia.com I found some thing that might encourage some thoughts to be shared on the subject.
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The following, I copied directly from that site :


The New Media Monopoly describes the cartel of five giant media conglomerates who now control the media on which a majority of Americans say they most rely. These five are not just large — though they are all among the 325 largest corporations in the world — they are unique among all huge corporations: they are a major factor in changing the politics of the United States and they condition the social values of children and adults alike.

These five huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — own most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, and movie studios of the United States.

These Big Five (with General Electric's NBC a close sixth) do not manufacture automobiles, or clothing, or nuts and bolts. They manufacture politics and social values. The media conglomerates have been a major force in creating conservative and far right politics in the country. They have almost single-handedly as a group, in their radio and television dominance, produced a coarse and vulgar culture that celebrates the most demeaning characteristics in the human psyche — greed, deceit, and cheating as a legitimate way to win (as in the various "reality" shows).
It is not just national economics that is at stake — though their power has led to the government's somnolence of anti-trust action. Nor is it just the neglect of broadcast media giantism by the government agencies that by law are still required to operate "in the public interest." The public interest is to have the country's largest broadcasting system in the world provide diversity in news, opinion, and commentary that serves all Americans, right, left, and independent, as well as access to their local stations as well as true choices in national programs.

What is at stake is American democracy itself. A country without all the significant news, points of view, and information its citizens need to be informed voters is risking the loss of democratic rights. Voters without genuine choices and without the information they need to choose what meets their own needs and wishes has produced something alarming: on Election Day our voters are forced to vote for what is the narrowest political choices among all industrial democracies of the world.

The New Media Monopoly, by Ben Bagdikian, describes these dominant media giants, how they cooperate with each other in the manner of a cartel, who runs them, and how this all came to pass in such insidious ways. It reminds a whole generation that has forgotten, for example, that the public owns the air waves, not the broadcasters. The book describes how all our media grew, including the Internet (and intriguing information like the first time in history that a computer crashed).
This book is designed to inform, to raise the alarm, and at the same time be readable in the living room and classroom.

The New Media Monopoly can be purchased at local bookstores or ordered directly from Beacon Press, 25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA.
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I've feared for a long time that the information we receive from the media is selective and only satifies the desires of a few. This seems to be the case. With these coporation big pockets feeding many of our elected officials it seems as though we the middle and lower class voters have no chance to change this condition. In the past 6 years many laws pertaining to monopolies have been changed, to allow big companies to get more control over smaller ones. I remember a few years ago the FCC allowed some one to take more control of the air waves. There was a big stink about it for one day, then I never heard anything about it again. I even tryed to find it in the local papers, but could not find a word.
So being one of the many people who have to spend most of their time trying to make a living to pay bills and support families,and get educations, I forgot about it.

That's the way it works, and these big companies and politicians count on us being to busy with life, so we don't notice, or don't have the time to do anything about the things they do. I think Mark Twain said that the politicians depend on the voters having short memories. When I first read those words I got angry [Exploding] because it's true. The greedy wealthy coporations depend on the same short memories. It's all based on manipulation for profit, and control. Whoever dies with the most wins.

Take your time, research and think about these things. The gap between the upper 5% and the lower 95% is getting wider. Of course if some of you are on the upper side of the gap, virtually, you don't have to concern your self, but in reality you could.

What do you think? [Confused]

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Kent
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What about the AP?
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RickyB
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"2. Who owns The Associated Press?
The Associated Press is a not-for-profit cooperative, which means it is owned by its 1,500 U.S. daily newspaper members. They elect a board of directors that directs the cooperative."

Source

Which means that those who own the 1500 newspapers ultimately own the AP.

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Cytania
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Associated Press is locked in a duopoly with Reuters. However the real problem is newspapers trying look good to Wall St. whilst circulations dwindle. One response in the last decade or so has been phasing out foreign correspondents. Permanent foreign correpsondents are expensive to keep on when news in their region is low. So papers share a correspondent or rely on AP/Reuters or a local independent. This means that overseas news has less variety and less contrary viewpoints.

Sure when there is a major crisis all the majors dispatch reporters but they are bound to know less about the culture and stay in the international hotel. One of the tragedies of the Serbian war was the death toll of journalists; around a quarter died in that conflict. No wonder reporting of Gulf War II is so timid. This leaves us with embedded reporters being driven round safe areas in humvees and local stringers who might not be very impartial at all.

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Colin JM0397
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Let us not forget Clear Channel for radio... Watered down, boring, same old crap.
Thank God for satellite and the Internet!

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Colin JM0397
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"The gap between the upper 5% and the lower 95% is getting wider."

That's technically accurate, but mostly big load of BS. Those stats are very easily skewed for class war baiting.

Lets say you make 100k/yr and I 25k/yr. We both get a raise; you get 5% and I get 10%. You now make $105,000/yr and I make 27,500/yr.

Guess what? The "income gap" just grew didn't it? It was a difference of $75,000, now it's $77,500.

Don't know about you, but I'm pretty happy with my 10% raise. Furthermore, if you look at lifetime earnings, you'll see you, at 100k, are probably in your 50's or 60's and at your life time earning maximum, while I, at 25k, am probably in my 20's and have a lot of raises and career improvements in front of me. Over then next 10-20 years, I will close and then surpass the gap until I'm the one making 100k/yr and someone else just entering the workforce fills the bottom rung.

The "income gap" is a not-so clever little trick the class warriors like to throw out to get us mid and lower level earners all fired up. It's not a static system, so "the income gap" is a mostly fallacy.

What's this all have to do with media monopolies, anyway? In that realm, it's about control of the news and information while the money aspect plays a secondary role.

[ October 20, 2006, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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Cytania
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A better way of describing the 'income gap' is a Paretto curve. If the curve is steep you have a small middle-class and hugely rich overlords but you will always have a curve. This sounds like Vilfredo Paretto proved capitalist inequality is the norm with economic theory. The rich stay rich because when everyone takes a loss they have deeper pockets. Wealth is sticky.

Yet this isn't perfect news for free enterprise. Paretto's ideas can also be read as the failure of capitalism. It isn't worth striving and risk taking because most of us will remain poor. Entrepeneur's are gamblers and those with the most stake-money win most of the time. Of course there are spectacular riches-to-rags stories and even once you accept your fate as a worker you still need to do the math and keep an eye open for opportunity.

It just isn't the American dream though.

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Colin JM0397
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No, it's not. That is pure bull shyt.
The American dream is you can be successful if you make the effort. IF!

While you might not get to Bill Gates-style riches, you can be comfortable and well off if you only apply yourself. There’s that big IF again…

The day you "accept your fate" as something less than you are capable of and less than you are worthy of, you only have yourself to blame. You just imprisoned yourself and threw away the key.

The problem most people have with "the American dream" is it requires hard work. Hard work is, well, hard.

Self-defeatist attitudes will be successful in defeating yourself 100% of the time.

People spend their whole lives explaining why they can't do something, who is holding them back, how “the man” or “society” set them up for failure, making excuse after excuse that it's not their fault... Yet they never once try to do that something they claim they can't or won't be allowed to.

Reminds me of the grossly obese lady I used to work with who, I swear to God, sat in the break room one day eating a large order of General Tso's Chicken while wondering out loud why she couldn't lose any weight.

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Jesse
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"While you might not get to Bill Gates-style riches, you can be comfortable and well off if you only apply yourself."

*I* can. I do. By most standards I am.

Not everyone can. Not everyone is all that bright, connected to the right people to make being of less than average intelligence and ability a minimal liability, or possesed of the social abilities to be able to network well or get along with other people.

Consider something.

Average wage for a truck driver with five years experience is 38k a year, with benefits. All you need to become a Commercial Driver is blood pressure lower than Dick Cheneys, no DUI's in 7 years, correctable to 20/20 eyesight and 50% of your hearing even with an aid. Oh, and four limbs, and the ability to read and do simple math.

We're short 40,000 truck drivers and millions of people are working multiple part time jobs at or near minimum wage. To me, that says even the seemingly most common skills and abilities aren't as common as many assume.

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Cytania
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Hi jm0397 never expected my little briefing on Paretto to upset you so much. First off much of the poor in society are so because they are lousey at math and assessing risk - I'm not apologising or asking for sympathy for them. Some people like to manage their money badly because it creates drama. For those of us who do understand odds and basic finance the 'try hard and you'll get it' creed is laughable. Each business venture is a small safe gamble but there's always the chance that the wind will blow against you no matter how hard you work. That's pure capitalism and I'm not railing against it.

The nature of the work is balanced against the reward. Truck driving may pay well but it's generally solitary, often involves long hours and huge physical distance from one's loved ones. Likewise multiple part-time jobs may appear dumb but you are unlikely to lose them all at once, it's a many-eggs in many-basket's strategy. Partly it's personal preference and lifestyle. The great thing about capitalism is that nobody compels you to drive a truck and if they are really screaming out for truckers then can always raise the wage.

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Jesse
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Heh, Cytania, there are loads of jobs out there that aren't long haul.

It's just that most of them involve at least some physical labor...and also pay a good deal higher on yearly basis and FAR higher on an hourly basis.

I'm just picking on something I know the details on, but from auto-mechanics to heating and ventalition, from CNC machining to welding, from pesticide techs to plumbing, there are loads of jobs out there that pay a living wage and don't require any advanced degree, all of which offer on the job training and have a high demand for workers.

It's just that all of these jobs require skills and abilities that seem common at first glance, and really aren't.

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Colin JM0397
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Cytania I'm not upset; I'm frustrated at the lost potential of folks selling themselves way short of what they are capable of.

Jesse, like anything, a job/career/business requires motivation and for someone to be able to think positively and envision themselves in that position.

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kenmeer livermaile
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For what it's worth, I'm happy to live in a nation/culture where we can all agree that everyone deserves to prosper, and that the structure of society and government should yield to and supprt that end.
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Redskullvw
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All of which sidesteps the issue at hand. A handful of corporations control the lion's share of media production. Something that was recently discussed on Fox, where they even questioned just how fair and ballanced they could be especially when reporting on media produced by sister companies.

Their answer was simple, they could be as fair or balanced as they wanted until their production heads pulled the plug.

Having spent almost 3 months wit only CNN as a news source, due to satelite problems, I can assure you there is massive differences in how Fox and CNN work. It is self evident corporate censorship that becomes apparent when you compare either channel after a long abscence. Different corporate masters require diferent facts and different priorities.

Thats a clear problem only when the news and media outlets become centrally controled as they are right now.

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Colin JM0397
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I'll have to see if I can dig up a transcript, if one exists. Last week I read a reference to a gentleman's retirement speech from a few years ago - he was either a lead editor at the NY Times or a VP or President or something at one of the main TV corps - a big-wig somewhere, in other words.

Everyone thought he'd give a nice "what a great time I've had working with you all" speech; instead he gave them all a hell of a lashing for being lackeys and how not a single person in that room had the freedom to report on the truth as he or she saw it. Of course, it didn’t get any media attention.

[ October 26, 2006, 10:03 AM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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DonaldD
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Wan't that Edward R. Murrow?
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kenmeer livermaile
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Ed was mmore than a couple of years ago, eh? I thik I read the article jm mentioned. Believe he was the NYTimes editor. He was harsh in his condemnation.
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DonaldD
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There you go - more plagiarism from the NYTimes!
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Daruma28
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If you don't like mass media, conglomerate reporting, than don't go out of your way to consume it. That's the beauty of living in a free country.

The whole supposition of "take back the media" seems to be that we are helpless little sheep that have no choice or alternative, and that we must all mindlessly follow whatever the big conglomerates say we must consume.

It's been over two years since I've stopped watching any and all TV news on any kind of regular basis. TV news is just not a good medium to use a primary source of comprehensive news coverage. It's ruled by the soundbyte and inevitable manipulation to take images, clips and statements out of context to promote an agenda rather than sticking to the facts and seeking to inform as completely as possible.

The answer here is to seek out multiple sources of news and figuring out that the truth usually lies somewhere between the two extreme's presented by the Conglomerate media.

Don't like the current state of the news? Don't watch it. Vote with your $$. That's the most effective means of "taking back the media."

Other than having me as a captive audience in an airport terminal, I never watch CNN (left wing, globalist propaganda) or buy the New York Times, because I don't like their means, methods, agenda or ownership. Same goes for FOXNews, which I no longer watch either, as I got tired of the same script, just on the other side of the partisan political coin.

I prefer to get my news from the Internet where the agenda's are clearly stated and opposing viewpoints can be read and analyzed by in depth comparisons.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Don't like the current state of the news? Don't watch it."

'zackto.

One CAN talk about apportionment of bandwidth et cetera, but what is transmitted over that bandwidht or on those newspapers is a matter of pure freedom. It's a private enterprise.

[ October 27, 2006, 12:43 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Colin JM0397
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Yup.

Best thing you can do for you, worst for "them" in control - this goes for anything, not just the media. Ignore them. They will go away eventually.

I'm going on 4+ years without watching any "news" from the main networks... Although I do catch a few minutes of headline news on occasion, but it usually makes my head start a' spinnin' after about 10 minutes.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Why should Big Brother watch us if he knows what we're watching?"

Mammoth Priest, circa 1980

Meanwhle, the Internet creates an new information paradigm...

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