|COMMENT Bob Weaver|
In 1983, 50 companies owned 90 percent of the media consumed by American public.
By 2012, just six companies — including Fox (then part of News Corporation) and Time Warner — controlled that 90 percent, according to testimony before a US House Judiciary Committee.
That six member empire is about to be narrowed to five.
It is highly unlikely that the FCC will exercise its power to prevent the latest merger, but will likely approve some frivolous conditions.
In times past, the US government and media services controlled by the FCC took a dim view of a few owners owning media markets.
As America has moved toward being a Corporacy or Oligarchy, government controlled by big money, the so-called "news" and entertainment industry becomes owned and designed by a few power brokers.
Few Americans express outrage regarding the shift, likely feeling satisfied by their own entertainment feeding frenzy, with their political polarizations being satisfied.
Also on the table is the re-regulation and parsing of the Internet to allow large corporations to create tiered access to make more money, the Net Neutrality battle, which will leave behind many Internet sites at the bottom of the food chain, or put them out of business.
Users will be asked to pay more money for "premier access" or better Internet speeds.
Net Neutrality has been the principle that Internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.
CONTROLLING THE CONTENT OF NEWS
Most of Americans perception of what is happening in the USA and around the world is being shaped by five giant news corporations.
While they appear to be delivering the "news," and sometimes they are, the messaging is shaped, not the least being that most "news" that people are watching (not reading much news) is delivered by the commentary-style of TV talking heads, not by journalists.
The five corporations have direct financial links to the political establishment and the economic and political power-elites of the United States.
The five conglomerates are Time Warner, Disney, Murdochs' News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS).
Their control spans most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, movie studios, and much of web news content.
These conglomerates are in large measure responsible for inculcating the social, political, economic, and moral values of both adults and children in the United States.
It was not always this way.
After World War II, three out of four US newspapers were independently owned, as was TV and radio stations. But the media-control numbers have been shrinking ever since due to mergers and acquisitions, and Washington approval.
It is notable, and should be emphasized, that all the five major media conglomerates are corporate members of the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think-tank whose members have been instrumental in formulating US government policies.
The voices of independent news outlets cannot compete, and more often than not, unheard.
In local communities, users often say they now get their "news" from Facebook.
Furthermore, polling on what Americans think about such national issues are being ignored by their democratically elected representatives, which at one time carried weight.
See HOW WILL AMERICA GET ITS' NEWS? - Grass-Root Reporting Fading Fast