Posted by: carolbcarolb | October 23, 2011

Can it be reformed?

I find it difficult to not feel a sense of hopelessness and dread when thinking about any possibility of change or reform to the commercially owned media system.  After enduring the mainstream media’s coverage of our government and corporations over the past decade, I can see how more and more people are becoming depoliticized. The feeling of powerlessness that comes from reading and listening to the mainstream media’s drinking-of-the-kool-aid reporting even causes me to disengage. If I’m just reading official sources’ talking points and journalists are “merely stenographers to those in power” who are unable, due to professional constraints, to undertake any investigation of the story, then why bother? If our media abides by the internalized values of their profession (which seem to consist of expressing the values and political aims of their commercial owners and advertisers, as well as not questioning the government), how can we say that we have a free press in this country?

I’m not sure what the solutions are (I’m not entirely convinced that there are any that could work in our current political environment…?). McChesney brings up the need to increase funding of public and community broadcasters and newspapers based on their success in other nations at being a “stalwart of quality independent journalism and a way to buffer against commercial degeneration.” But, the political right in this country has been waging an all-out war against public broadcasting and PBS/NPR may be destroyed before we know it.


Were you struck by McChesney’s discussion of the Soviet journalists that visited the states: Do you see parallels between the Soviet journalists who (operating under the internalized values of the their system) report stories that coincide with the needs of the party & the state and US journalists who (operating under the internalized values of their system) report stories that coincide with the needs of corporate ownership & the government?

Do you think that more public and community ownership of media is a solution to counteract the corporate owned media? Do you think it is inevitable that PBS and NPR will cease to exist as we know it today?

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