Free Press Foundation

Media ‘cartel’ controls most once independent news outlets

by WorldTribune Staff, February 26, 2017

A major media “cartel” has taken control of what had been privately-owned U.S. news companies, Pulitzer Prize winning media specialist Ben Bagdikian said.

The trend leaves small community newspapers and broadcast companies as outposts for independent American  journalism.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post have announced no guarantees of editorial autonomy or ethics provisions to avoid conflicts of interest. / Patrick Fallon / Bloomberg / Getty

Six corporations now own 90 percent of U.S. news media outlets. The six – News Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS and Comcast – own 90 percent of the TV stations, radio stations, movies, magazines and newspapers that Americans go to for news and entertainment.

There are major news organizations not owned by the “cartel” but they are also liberal giants that include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times (both owned by the Tribune Company). “Even those publications are subject to the conglomerate machine,” Bagdikian said.

“What we should be most concerned about is the narrowing of choices, because that removes from voters the full spectrum of views and information with which to choose its government — a dangerous trend that threatens democracy itself,” Bagdikian said, according to a documentary on media ownership for PBS.

Bagdikian, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, former Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley and author of The New Media Monopoly, describes the five media giants as a “cartel” that wields enough influence to change U.S. politics and define social values.

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Google, Facebook and Drudge reduce former news giants to boutiques

by WorldTribune Staff, December 1, 2017

The narratives that wind up as the “news of the day” for Americans are heavily driven by just four Internet giants – Google, Facebook, Twitter and the Drudge Report.

According to Pew Research Center, 45 percent of Americans say they get some of their news from Facebook.

“That means these news consumers are increasingly influenced by digital behemoths whose methods for news referrals are mysterious and for which there is little accountability,” Jeffrey McCall, a professor of communication at DePauw University, wrote in a Nov. 30 op-ed for The Hill.

“One must wonder if news consumers are better informed on matters of substance or if their heads are filling up with mush.”

What ends up as news of importance “depends on the quality of the gatekeepers who determine what news topics get traction in the public mindset,” McCall wrote.

“Those media agenda setters used to be grizzled, professional journalists who understood news and public dialogue. Sure, power was centralized in the hands and heads of powerful news editors of the big television networks, wire service and major dailies. But, at least, they were journalists who had some conception of their civic duties as public surrogates and had the noses to sniff out news of substance.

“Today, the gatekeeping role of establishing the national news conversation falls increasingly on social media sites, search engines and news aggregator web sites. The backgrounds and motivations of the technical whiz kids should give the nation pause to consider the broader implications of this newfound influence.”

President Donald Trump has been critical of Facebook, tweeting, “Facebook was always anti-Trump.”

Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg responded by saying, “Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like.”

McCall noted that, “despite Zuckerberg’s claim, Facebook has generally been suspected of pushing left-leaning content.”

Several former Facebook workers confirmed in a published interview last year that they suppressed news on conservative political leaders. There is also evidence Facebook and Twitter both suppressed information on the WikiLeaks 2016 DNC documents. Twitter blocked a campaign ad earlier this fall by Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn before later backing down.

A study by Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research found that Google searches on the 2016 presidential election routinely ranked pro-Clinton articles ahead of pro-Trump articles.   MORE

 

Silenced: U.S. social media giants bow to China’s Xi Jinping

by WorldTribune Staff, October 26, 2017

Sacrificing principle, not to mention truth, for the elusive attraction of China’s massive market, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have bowed to Beijing and compromised the standards of journalistic integrity once fiercely upheld by the American free press.

The most recent suspension by Twitter means that three social media platforms have jointly effected a virtual global blackout on the nonstop revelations by a billionaire Chinese dissident who has exposed corruption and intelligence secrets at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Guo Wengui had already been silenced in China.

The three social media giants that threaten to effectively displace traditional U.S. news media outlets, have relented under intense pressure from China’s increasingly powerful communist party ruler and restricted Guo’s accounts. The crackdown over the past several months has been chronicled by national security correspondent Bill Gertz.

Guo said several Twitter accounts he used to reach more than 700,000 followers had been suspended while YouTube restricted live streaming of his widely-watched channel.

Facebook, which has feverishly sought, though unsuccessfully, to enter the Chinese social media market, blocked pages associated with Guo after receiving a complaint last month.

It’s no coincidence the Globe ran an early edition fake headline that the Pats lost in the Super Bowl. Consumed by their hatred for Trump and by extension Brady, the moonbats at the Globe couldn’t even wait for the Atlanta Falcons to have actually won before gloating over the Pats’ supposed demise. READ MORE