Race, Politics & the Deadly Rise of (Corporate) Media Sovereignty

July 27, 2008

Democracy Now!https://i2.wp.com/annenberg.usc.edu/images/events/big/unity.jpg

For the more than 10,000 attending the 4-day Unity Journalists of Color conference-the largest single gathering of journalists in the United States- one theme overwhelmingly dominated all others: how the thousands of under and unemployed journalists attending the conference signal a colossal crisis of U.S. journalism-and U.S. democracy. Whether it was the many traumatized and fear-filled workers we encountered , or the obvious humiliation of Truth in Journalism we heard on panels or the unprecedented lack of government transparency we discussed, the hallways of Unity were buzzing with devastatingly bad news.

The primary source of the bad news?: the sinister and extremely anti-democratic concentration of media ownership and power in fewer and fewer hands. Many of us are returning home clear of how one of the great threats to any democratic functioning is the deadly rise of Corporate Media Sovereignty. Nowhere was the threat more palpable than around that most critical of media issues of our time, Net Neutrality, the struggle to keep the internet open and free from the clutches of the exploiters of journalists, the purveyors of candy-coated UnTruth and enablers of government secrecy: Big Media.

I for one return from Chicago more convinced of the need to support the Death Penalty, the Corporate Death Penalty as applied to those companies that devastate the public good. We need to get back to those days when bad corporations lost their legal right to exist for violating the Public Good. This was the case from the foundation of the country until the late 19th century and we need to bring back the power of the people to apply the Death Penalty to corporations by denying them what in legal terms is known as “corporate personhood.”

This interview on Democracy Now explores these issues in the context of the interplay between race, media and politics. We discuss how, for example, Janet Murguia and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) -the same folks who supported the nomination of war criminal Alberto Gonzalez, are silent on Iraq and accept money from and promote the Pentagon- have been silenced and neutralized around Net Neutrality by the money they get from telecommunications companies eager to control the Internet. So check out how DN co-host (and now NAHJ Hall of Famer) Juan Gonzalez and author Amy Alexander and I explore these and other issues. Enjoy!

3 Responses to “Race, Politics & the Deadly Rise of (Corporate) Media Sovereignty”

  1. Jane Says:

    As I see big corporations are who run are country today. Ask the state of Mississippi’s judicial system. There are corruptions, extortions, false claims and one family caught in between. http://www.mftms13.wordpress.com

  2. Ramón Says:

    OK – good are article that states the obvious, but where have all you journalists been for the past two decades, and why did you wait for merger after merger to take place before going public and exposing these takeovers as the danger to journalism and freedom of expression that bound to become?
    I think that plenty of red flags popped up during the time when Murdoch and such went on their shopping sprees.

  3. robvato Says:

    Thanks for the note, Ramon and Jane. I for one was not neither a journalist nor really involved in media issues when this stuff began way back when. More importantly, I’ve become aware of late of how powerful and and how deep the threat to our lives the media consolidation really is, and will be writing more about this. Thanks again, R

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