National media are increasingly catering to the highly mobile,
globalized, mostly white middle class, leaving those who can't afford
access to slip into a separate and unequal world of second-class
The music industry lives in fear of downloadable media, but artists
have the vision to re-engineer our collective psyche.
New forms of participatory media have changed public discourse,
enabling people to publish, share and disseminate their own media
creations. But will only the affluent be able to play?
Fewer minority-owned outlets means fewer minorities in the media. With
such threats to public discourse, what will become of our voices,
points of view and interests?
The collapse of journalism and the rise of commercialism is sparking a
reform movement that will fight to ensure the First Amendment endures
in the digital age.
Compliant coverage of the Iraq War proved the news business is morally
compromised, no longer driven by creative people with something to
tell but by global corporations with something to sell.
We don't need to buy a network to get our message out--just creatively
use an array of low-cost tools from the Internet to iPods, cellphones
and whatever comes next.
If the promise of new media is to be fulfilled, progressives must chart
a course of activism that confronts the increasing concentration of
ownership among the Big Media powerhouses.
A key House committee--with the support of many Democrats--has approved a
measure that eliminates the last remaining government policy
insuring local oversight on communications companies.
Under pressure from Wall Street, newspaper journalism is being
frog-marched out of the media marketplace. And once it's gone, how will
we know anything?