In the Age of Communication we are having a communication crisis. Until recently, many local newspapers provided a communication outlet for the issues that were important to their communities.
A large number of local papers have been bought out by APG Media. APG Media is owned by the ultra-wealthy Stephen Adams who, as of 2017, had amassed more than 100 small dailies, weeklies and shoppers, along with many other acquisitions.* Many more have been acquired since that time.
In similar fashion, the ownership of the mass media has consolidated. Rupert Murdock, who founded and owns a majority of Fox “News,” now owns National Geographic, The New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, along with numerous other publications. He is also a major shareholder in Disney.
Koch Industries (The Koch Brothers who founded ALEC and the Tea Party) is a major donor to Public Broadcasting.
The mega corporations Vanguard and Blackrock own significant interest in nearly all major media outlets including MSNBC. There are a number of other smaller, but still gigantic corporations that are also invested in media. They often own each other’s stock and have interlocking boards of directors. This web of the mass media is firmly controlled by the small club of the elite.**
The owners of the “Left” and “Right” wing media sources are deeply intertwined when not the same entity. Although they do not provide people with the crucial information needed to run our democracy, they breed polarization and hatred among various segments of our population.
This conglomeration of corporations also owns the banks, the oil companies, the chemical companies, the major agricultural companies (like Monsanto), the fast food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the hospitals, the weapons industries, the mining and manufacturing industries—in other words, most of the cornerstone infrastructure of our society. A tiny percentage of our population owns the vast majority of our country’s resources.
When we protest against the harms of these industries, we often wonder why media coverage is so biased. The clear answer is that the ownership of the web of corporations and the ownership of the mass media corporations is the same web, and they protect their interests.