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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by pudge (1) on 2003.06.01 20:38 (#20687) Homepage Journal
    As might be expected when there's an inherent conflict of interest, news outlets are not bothering to report that their ability to make money and not report news may increase via suggested FCC regulatory changes that not many people know about.

    Days after I saw an NBC representative discuss the issue on Newshour, the NBC Evening News did a several-minute story on it (and it was, as is normal for that show, fair and balanced).

    They didn't get deep into the debate on either side, as you might expect from any 30-minute national news broadcast, but they did explain each of the two main positions regarding the issue. For example, they mentioned that the networks say they need increased ability to compete with cable stations, and they mentioned that opponents say that the networks will be less likely to focus on local news, breaching the public trust, etc.

    I do agree that the issue has not been reported as much as it should be; but I do not agree that the news outlets have not been reporting it. Maybe some of them have not been, I don't know, I don't spend that much time watching the news. :-)
    • In addition, This Week With George Stephanopolous (ABC) did a big thing on it yesterday, FWIW.
      • Press coverage certainly did jump significantly after I published that. Unfortunately, despite massive opposition to the plan, the FCC had a party line vote and decided to allow further media consolidation [chron.com].

        Curiously, even Business Week had an article opposing the plan [businessweek.com]. Amongst the flaming liberals who publically oppose this plan:

        • The National Rifle Assn.
        • Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.)
        • Media mogul Ted Turner, founder of CNN
        • Entertainment and Internet mogul Barry Diller
        • Conservative New York Tim
        • While I am against the change (for the most part ... I have not done enough research on the specifics to be absolutely against it), I don't think that percentage is particularly meaningful. People don't respond in favor of most changes, only in opposition to them, as a general rule.

          But yes, it should have been reported earlier, and more.