If corporations have not completely taken over society, then they at least have infiltrated our lives at a level higher than any other point in history. Whether it is the handful of corporations that own and dictate the flow of news and other information, or the corporations hired by the U.S. government to carry out outsourced tasks, the role of the corporation has become powerful in its ability to wield a lot of control over our democratic society.
It seems as if everything is sensationalized, even the harder news stories, and I often find myself thinking, “This is news?” either when I am watching television or reading online.
The Nation article on the death of newspapers speaks of the need for government intervention to bring about a reform in journalism. Although the idea of the government management in this area is unacceptable to many people, the idea does bring up many valid points according to the articles authors, John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney, specifically:
It was the government’s action in the first place to allow deregulation and media monopolies; is it possible to reform that decision and disassemble the current media monopoly? “…the government should be prepared to rewrite rules and regulations and to use its largess to aid a variety of sound initiatives,” the authors write, adding, “Only government can implement policies and subsidies to provide an institutional framework for quality journalism.” The authors describe other solutions such as tax breaks for Americans who buy newspapers, millions of dollars in funding for public media that would build a “press ‘infrastructure project’ that is necessary to maintain an informed citizenry and democracy itself,” and government funds to provide for media production materials in middle schools, high schools and colleges, to name a few.
These are really good ideas that, when implemented, may even succeed, and that would be a great thing. However, I do find some fault with the reality of these solutions taking place. Corporations, their lobbyists, and their millions, ultimately have more power in combating legislation that will affect them negatively. It will take principled government leaders to lead the change, and create or amend legislation that currently serves a handful of individuals (corporations) and denies the rest of American citizens the variety of news and information choices that truly reflect a democratic society.