Originally published November 14 2014
Just six powerful corporations control almost all the information you see and hear
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Thirty years ago, the diversity of the world's news media was broad. In 1983, some 50 companies owned "the media" in the U.S. and the world; obviously, with so many companies vying for listeners, viewers and readers, competition was intense -- not just for audience but for advertisers as well.
Fast forward to 2014: That field of media companies has been winnowed down to just a half-dozen companies: Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, Viacom (formerly CBS) and General Electric-owned NBC.
In a word, that's pretty scary. As observed by The Economic Collapse blog:
These corporate behemoths control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day. They own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites. Sadly, most Americans don't even stop to think about who is feeding them the endless hours of news and entertainment that they constantly ingest.
'The average American watches 153 hours of TV a month'
Do most Americans even care who actually owns the media they are exposed to? Probably not -- but they most certainly should. For comparison, think about what "media" is like in an authoritarian country like, say, China, or Venezuela, or Cuba, or Cold War East Germany and the Soviet Union; the people of those countries were spoon-fed their "news" and "information," most all of which was nothing more than pure government-created propaganda.
Today, because there are so few media companies in American (and global) markets, we, too, are being spoon-fed boatloads of propaganda on a daily basis (and if you don't think these corporate executives don't have political objectives and agendas, you are fooling yourself).
The fact is, subliminal messaging contained in nearly all broadcasts often heavily influences most viewers and consumers of entertainment and media. And, as The Economic Collapse notes, that influence is constant: "The average American watches 153 hours of television a month." Indeed, many begin to feel mentally and physically deprived if they go too long without watching or listening to something (much like teens have "withdrawals" if they go too long without Facebook or their smart phones).
Prediction that came true
So the fact that more and more media is concentrated in fewer hands is disturbing.
At the time it was published, Ben Bagdikian was called alarmist for pointing this out in his book, The Media Monopoly. As noted by the website Corporations.org:
In his 4th edition, published in 1992, [Bagdikian] wrote "in the U.S., fewer than two dozen of these extraordinary creatures own and operate 90% of the mass media" -- controlling almost all of America's newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, records, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies.
Then, as media ownership was dwindling, Bagdikian predicted that the number of media corporations would eventually fall even further, to about a half-dozen or so. At the time, there was widespread skepticism over his assertion. But with the publication of the 6th Edition of The Media Monopoly in 2000, it was apparent that Bagdikian was on to something: The number of companies, by then, had indeed fallen to just six. And since then, there have been even more mergers as the scope of ownership has grown to include new media sites on the internet.
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