Independent, critical media are essential to an informed and healthy democracy.
Citizens must have ready access to news and information to make responsible informed choices as voters and to carry out their other duties of citizenship.
The United States’ original communications policy was the 1st Amendment. Freedom of the press was guaranteed in the Constitution because an exchange of ideas and an unfettered debate were considered essential components of a democratic society.
Today, however, government policy is designed less to enhance public deliberation than to boost the profitability of media corporations.
Our media laws and rules promote the formation of huge media conglomerates while discouraging competing voices. As a result, the mainstream media is increasingly cozy with the economic and political elites whom they should be investigating. Mergers in the news industry have accelerated, further limiting the spectrum of viewpoints in the mass media.
With U.S. media overwhelmingly owned by for-profit conglomerates and supported by corporate advertisers, investigative journalism is in an alarming decline.
Since governments too often have an interest in controlling the flow of information, we must constantly guard against official censorship. In our society.
However, large corporations are a far more common source of censorship than governments. Media outlets kill stories because they undermine corporate interests; advertisers use their financial clout to squelch negative reports; powerful businesses employ the threat of expensive lawsuits to discourage legitimate investigations. The most frequent form of censorship is self-censorship: journalists deciding not to pursue certain stories that they know will be unpopular with the advertisers.
In response, to fortify the media’s crucial watchdog function and to help create a more diverse and lively exchange of ideas in America. we need to:
- Strengthen citizens’ influence over the broadcast media.
- Break up the dominant media conglomerates.
- Boost the number of community and non-profit news outlets, all to fortify the media’s crucial watchdog function and to help create a more diverse and lively exchange of ideas in America.
For more details on solutions, please see Media Reform Solutions.
Sources: Green Party