Univ. of Illinois Prof. Robert McChesney is one of the leading fretters about the concentration of media ownership. Surveying the contemporary mediascape, he generally sees nothing but darkness peering out of a total blackout of alternative views and freedom of expression that existed, well, some time in the fabled Golden Age of something or other.
Writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, Carlin Romano finds McChesney's most recent book-length whine worth thumbing through but unconvincing:
If American citizen "Jose Garcia" can get all the information McChesney or John Dewey might think he needs to be a fully effective citizen by regularly reading The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal-and In These Times, Mother Jones, and The Nation-how does dominance by corporate media frustrate the democratic abilities of citizens? McChesney endlessly cites Madison and Jefferson, but neither they nor any logic implicit in democratic political theory requires people to get their best information from mainstream media. It may not be pleasant for one's favored media to be small fry, but McChesney provides no argument for why mini truth-tellers among the maxi-deceivers don't meet the constitutional aims of the Framers, who were concerned with availability of ideas, not market control.
In 2004, reason talked about McChesney's and other folks' media "Domination Fantasies" in a great–and grotesquely illustrated–cover story by Ben Compaine.
Hat Tip: Arts & Letters Daily.