Even Corporate News ‘Isn’t Just Another Commodity’

A Seattle Times op-ed column (7/4/09) by Free Press’ Victor Pickard and Joseph Torres discussing the fact that “the public’s changing media habits have eroded the newspaper industry’s monopoly on the local ad market” describes the corporate response thus: “The big media companies are pressuring Congress to prop up their failed business models by allowing more media consolidation and relaxing antitrust laws so they can collude on new ‘pay wall’ and pricing schemes.” Reaffirming that “despite the many shortcomings of newspapers, our democracy requires a free and vibrant press,” Pickard and Torres still maintain that these shortsighted measures aren’t the […]


Pelosi: More Corporatization for Failing News Corporations

Free Press‘ Craig Aaron and Joseph Torres (Guardian.co.uk, 3/26/09) promptly knock down the scary development in which Nancy Pelosi recently “asked attorney general Eric Holder to consider loosening antitrust laws to help out struggling newspapers by allowing more media mergers. Holder responded by saying he is open to revisiting the rules”: Pelosi’s request sounds innocuous at first–after all, struggling newspapers seem to need all the help they can get. But opening the door to more media consolidation is not the cure for the crisis in journalism. More of this bad medicine will only weaken reporting and worsen the health of […]


Digital Spectrum Conversion Cover-Up?

Industry news outlet TV Predictions has a commentary from Phillip Swann (2/22/09) telling us that when “roughly 36 percent” of local television stations recently stopped broadcasting ahead of the digital conversion deadline (“stations save money by switching early because they would no longer have to transmit both analog and digital signals”), “the FCC received more than 70,000 complaints in the first two days.” “Based on these developments,” Swann writes, “you would think that the early DTV switch was a major disaster”: But good luck in finding that story in many of your nation’s top trade and consumer publications, particularly if […]