Friday, December 22, 2006

AP: a monopolist "news" provider

Anon in the comments:
I don't regret my choice to go into journalism some 30 years ago. Your observations and gripes are in the ballpark, albeit not very productive (sorry). (ed: i'm not sure if anon is referring to my comments or steven's)

Print media is very much the same corporate empire as broadcast. Make no mistake about that.

The changes, in my perspective, were a direct result of Clinton's support and signing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

It's a thorn in my side when asked to support any Clinton. Corporatists know no party boundaries, and corporatism is the fast lane to fascism.

So, after 1996, Gannett amd MediaNews and a handful of others bought up lots and lots and LOTS of print properties, many in the same markets, and print also bought radio and broadcast in the same markets, as did Sinclair and others. The FCC had forbidden monopolies in any geographic market, to ensure diversity of opinion.

And, it was after Clinton signed the 1996 act that the Associated Press started hiring a full stable of reporters. It still has tax exemption as a nonprofit "cooperative" of independent media -- about 90% or more of its transmissions were simply shared stories from member independents, with member credit info -- but after 1996 it certainly began operating as a monopolist "news" provider. It transmits almost exclusive NOT to independent media that can't afford reporters beyond their limited geography, but rather serves the very few megamedia companies (except what bloggers steal, heehee).

The quality of that AP news judgment now is inconsistent. And you'll see poorer, more propagandist judgments as us oldies are pushed out .... UNLESS something is done to change that. Wake up your federal legislators, while there still is a free Internet to use to counteract the battle MSM will put up.

As for Webb, it's not a certainty in my mind that he committed suicide. Maybe, but it's very, very difficult for someone to shoot themselves in the head twice, as the coroner said of Webb. And I can tell you that some of his sources continue to be in the wilderness talking to us, and there are people who would like to learn more about where to find those sources.

Webb had good reason to feel hopeless, as his peers moved on as corporate shills, but I think we'll never know for sure that his death was suicide.

The Cockburn St. McClair book, "Whiteout," gives an extremely well documented and authentic history (according to some shared sources) of the making of Webb's "Dark Alliance" series.
thanks anon. i agree with most of that - in particular your comments re AP. my disdain for them is well documented.

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