There Is No Media Monopoly…


By many useful metrics, some offered here, the empirical reality does not support any notion that in the United States, in 2004, consumers of content via the media have fewer choices of sources or fewer choices in diversity for any type of content that has been available in the past. Other than an anecdotal story here or there, there is no suggestion that the managers of major media companies are individually or in concert fostering a political ideology or suppressing an ideology through the media properties they program. To the contrary, this paper examines and debunks numerous consolidation myths.

That's the opening of an important new paper by media scholar Ben Compaine, who wrote our January 2004 cover story on the myth of media monopoly.

The study is online here (as a pdf).

Our cover story is online here.

NEXT: Amusing Ourselves to Life

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I think the critics complaining about consolidation are focusing on certain media, for example, newspapers or radio. And there are fewer of those outlets, but I think that might be because of a shakeout caused by competition with other sources, like cable and the net. So a wider view undermines that point.

  2. Get rid of the TV set and it’s not such a problem anymore. While some may find it distateful (myself included), what’s the big deal about the consolidation of media empires? Listening to their drivel is a voluntary act.

  3. “and, around here, Sploid.”

    Ahh, sploid is the shizzle. Except for one thing: whenever you click on an article and it takes you to the headline/summary screen, there’s that awful, awful ad for “screenhead”, with that awful, awful dude with the huge bloodshot eyes that makes me wanna throw up. And, like The Onion, Sploid has figured out how to subvert Firefox’s adblocker, by cycling the html addresses of the ads. But, I digress…

  4. I’m sorry, I can’t quite buy it. I live in Sacramento, where music radio has been pretty much destroyed as a result of one company (Entercom) being allowed to buy up just about every FM station in town.

    Maybe someday, when all or most of the spectrum has been auctioned to the highest bidders and can be reallocated among uses as the owners please, there will be enough competition that there won’t be any need for government to restrict how many channels anyone can own, but for now, there is.

    Michael Powell’s half-assed “deregulation” has done more to smear the good name of the free market than anybody in D.C. since Herbert Hoover.

  5. My head spins from the choice of media I have. Fook’s sake I was just now looking at An Phoblacht! The majors can consolidate all they want, they’ll still have as much effect on me as sports or Tommy Hilfiger has, zero.

  6. Evan, I don’t see any ads on sploid, maybe your adblock filters aren’t aggressive enough. They use javascript to cycle their ads so try this filter:


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.