As Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation's largest television owner, faces mounting scrutiny for its mandatory scripted segments and pending merger with Tribune media, a consumer advocacy watchdog is targeting the company with a week-long advertising campaign on several of its own stations.
I tried sounding the alarm some decades ago, when the Gannett chain (owner/publisher of USA Today) bought my local daily, in print continuously since the tail end of the 19th century, and for which I once worked.
Every corner that could be cut, was. It stopped sending reporters to cover council meetings, eventually closing all of its statewide bureaus; it jacked ad rates, raised prices nearly 1000 percent and cut the number of pages to less than one-third. The only thing keeping it afloat by now is the law requiring legal notices to be published in dailies having >x circulation.
I’ll shed no tears upon its eventual demise, but I wonder if we might come together to crowd-fund a truly independent and non-partisan source of information? Samizdat, anyone?
You just posted on a “truly independent and non-partisan source of information”, GuildF3125.
Perhaps the executives at Sinclair are making a case for themselves to be appointed to a high position in the Trump dictatorship which they are hoping becomes a reality. They probably would like to be in charge of providing state propaganda.
You might be on to something.
I’m with you on the samizdat.
Who reads, watches or listens to msm tv, radio, or newsprint propaganda anyway? All bad fake news completely fixated police blotter style with a smile.
What your statement indicates is you have very bad judgement about what is true and what isn’t, Your statement says a lot about you, but really nothing much about the mainstream media.
Trump already has Ajit Pai who serves that function.
And Sinclair is already in a position to partially do it and with this merger will move closer to the objective.
No need for them to wait to be appointed to Trump admin. The problem is already happening.
Need to flood Ajit Pai with a big fat NOOOOO!
What’s happening with that Net Neutrality bill in Congress? I thought it was close to having the votes to overrule Pai.
Perhaps Murdoch’s selling off Fox Media to Disney in order to “focus on the Fox News brand” is his way of competing against Sinclair for the broadcast rights to the new Empire. Or maybe they’ll just merge to form the “Fox Sinclair Media Group - Broadcasting Freedom throughout the World” where freedom has been bastardized into subjugation.
As we sit here in our independent media bubble, it’s easy to forget that the vast majority of the public still “consumes” the MSM. And thanks to social media algorithms, Red Baiting, and Russophobia, social media links to independent media are being filtered out and sites like Common Dreams, Alternet, Consortium News, Naked Capitalism etc have seen their visitor traffic plummet as a result.
Even John Oliver, who I wouldn’t exactly call a champion of independent media (since he once suggested buying a subscription to the Bezos Post…er the Washington Post), pointed out the high number of people who get their news from local media, which makes Sinclair’s takeover of the local news stations alarming.
Local news has had the most news eyeballs for 4 generations and counting. Part of the reason for that is the 2/3 of the local broadcast that covers local interests, especially weather, which is still the number one draw to the local broadcast.
If you were a student of media in the 90s and aughts in academia, you’d recall that the focus of everyone’s concern was consolidation of local information outlets. Everyone knew that was the key battleground, not national consolidation (which is still important, obviously).
Trump’s problem is the US government is not the only source of information. The free press is still functioning and based on the increase in NY Times subscriptions since Trump’s election is doing fairly well. Sinclair is making moves to end the free press but there remains a long way to go. Sinclair is serving as a good model for a state-controlled press which is worrisome.
No one wants to point out that overturning the Telecommunications Act of 1996 would fix this?
As with restoring the Fairness Doctrine, that’s a “consumation devoutly to be wished for,” but unlikely without a massive shakeup in our political landscape. Thanks a lot, corporate Ds.
I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, if the preponderance of “blame it all on the wicked Rs” articles are a fair measure. In fairness, it could be worse; hiring Rachel Maddow as a regular, for example, would be the final straw for me.
What I envision is a funding source which can guarantee a decent living for its reporters in the field, in addition to all the overhead which is usual for any journalistic enterprise.
Not so sure about that. Look at The “march for our lives”, Women’s march and the teacher strikes in W. Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and so to be Arizona.
There is a wind of change in the air!
I don’t mind being a grain of sand as long as I am part of a landslide.