By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Danny Schechter on fixing the media

Nieman Reports has posted the contents of its spring issue, including my review of Danny Schechter’s book “The Death of Media: And the Fight to Save Democracy.” The book is an indictment of the “mediaocracy,” which Schechter defines as “a growing symbiotic relationship between increasingly interlocking media elites and their political counterparts … a political system tethered to a media system.”

Here’s an excerpt:

As Schechter observes, the cheerleading coverage of the war, especially on television, played out at a moment when the major corporations that own much of our media were seeking billions of dollars in deregulatory goodies from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). That the FCC was then headed by Michael Powell, the son of President Bush’s first secretary of state, Colin Powell, only serves to underscore this grotesque conflict of interests. And though Congress and the courts ultimately revolted against Michael Powell’s proposed giveaway, the corporations were not left empty-handed. General Electric, the owner of NBC, which offered perhaps the most flag-waving war coverage among the Big Three networks, later received a $600 million federal contract to take part in the reconstruction of Iraq.

Schechter’s blogging from Copenhagen today. He’s also got an article in Nieman Reports on the credit crisis facing poor and middle-class Americans.

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1 Comment

  1. Sven

    this might be the flaw in Schechter’s vision — the notion that, somehow, the truth will emerge from a cacophony of voicesI have big doubts as well. However, Yale’s Yochai Benkler makes an interesting case that it can in his new book, The Wealth of Networks. It’s available for reading online here.

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