Posted by: dandelion4good | November 22, 2011

Media Matters

McChesney, in The Political Economy of Media, makes a sound argument for media reform; both of the necessity and possibility, two overlooked or sullied points.

Perhaps the most tangible arguments against media reform and in favor of dismantling public broadcasting are also the most mundane. It goes something like this, “There’s no risk to society anymore in the concentrated, deregulated media system we have today, now that we have the Internet and new technologies.” (which McChesney claims, at least in the instance of the internet, would not even exist in a purely market driven system).

New technologies and the Internet allow citizen journalists to find and disseminate information. But if you think this addresses the issue of a profit-driven media system’s encroachment on culture, family and the human condition, I ask that you consider trying to make a go of it with your own blog. How often does anyone but your mom read it? How can a lone blogger, however competent or relevant, compete with a rival who can buy up not just internet space, but billboards, TV spots, magazine and newspaper placements, radio ads, lunchroom, community center and classroom presence? They can’t.

The link I’m including here is a rare (and reactive) example of the media covering media, concluding that the coverage of the Occupy Movement has been minimal, declining, and mostly followed a “horse race” like formula while failing to cover the issues at the heart of this global discontent.  The article, in it’s own limitation as well as it’s findings, illustrates the problem as well as the complexity of the situation. The article points to the fact that law enforcement will not recognize citizen journalists, refusing to grant them the access or immunity that someone with an official “press pass” would be afforded. Even sanctioned journalists are being arrested alongside the Occupy Movement. How can they respond? Journalists are losing their jobs because of this movement.

To me that suggests two things, the movement matters to our society in the ways that McChesney suggests media matters to our society and it challenges the media system’s service to oligarchy rather than democracy.


What do you think of McChesney’s proposition that it is possible to reform the system?

Are there meaningful parallels between the issue of media and other issues of consumption in regards to regulation and reform? McChesney points out the automobile. What else?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: