From Publishers Weekly
The last decade has seen a blossoming of Internet and cable television news sources—and, say many critics, a deterioration in the quality of reporting. The problem, according to Cohen and his left-leaning colleagues, is the ever-increasing concentration of media outlets owned by only a "handful" of massive corporations. In 1983, for example, a seasoned media insider estimated that 50 companies controlled 90% of America's news diet; by 2000, that number had plummeted to six. While Republicans and Democrats both take issue with what they consider a bias in news coverage, the core of this book's argument is that the system is too top-heavy, and that the corporations that own the news organizations wield too much control. For example, there's the case in which a Fox TV executive defends the spiking of an exposé on agricultural product provider Monsanto with the assertion that "we paid $3 billion for these stations; we'll decide what the news is." The contributors to this fine and serious-minded volume (which include MSNBC columnist Eric Alterman, Mother Jones
publisher Jay Harris and former FCC chair Reed F. Hundt) exhaustively diagnose the problem of corporate-owned media from a variety of angles and, to their credit, don't hold back on addressing the obvious dilemma: what to do about it? (They suggest everything from disseminating news through Web logs to writing congresspersons to put pressure on the FCC.) Photos.
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"An important, relevant and often riveting look at the news...and what we can do about it!" -- Robert Greenwald, Producer/Director, Outfoxed: Ruppert Murdocks War on Journalism, and Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the War in Iraq
"News Incorporated is a varied, vigorous, and significant collection of essays about the most important trend in today's media
" -- James Fallows, National Correspondent, Atlantic Monthly, and author of Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy
"Read this book ...you're inoculated against the epidemic of stupidity, cupidity and propaganda sludge that vomits from...the American press." -- Greg Palast, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: Expanded Election Edition and Joker's Wild: Dubya's House of Cards
"This book is an indispensable reference for anyone wishing to understand why the mass media fails to serve our democracy." -- Chellie Pingree, President & CEO, Common Cause
"This timely collection of essays...is deeply disturbing and exposes what can only be called a national crisis." -- Tuscon Citizen; May 12, 2005
voices to illuminate the concepts and challenges within the media democracy movement
a primer for the budding media activist" -- Znet review