We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, September 20, 2013

Newspapers Are Becoming the Toys of Billionaires

Click here to access article by Roberto Savio from Inter Press Service.
...concentration of the media in fewer and fewer hands is a global phenomenon. Some media observers see in this a turn to the right, propelled by those with money. It is not a plot; it is simply that 100 people who own a Ferrari tend to have a more similar view of things than, for example, 100 people who own a Volkswagen.
I think that Savio is being a bit disingenuous or naive here. Most directors in the ruling class know how indispensable media are to shaping the opinions of the 99 Percent, and consciously use it accordingly. The same applies to all the other institutions of indoctrination--schools, Hollywood films, etc. That is patently obvious to anyone awake and reasonably aware of the history of media to support wars, to discredit labor organizing and strikes, to fear Muslims, etc, and how the CIA has infiltrated media to plant fake stories and influence others (see this and this).

Newspapers, and now media in general, have been not merely "toys" for the rich, but instruments of social control for well over a century. Recall how the Hearst papers strongly influenced the start of US imperialism in the Spanish-American War? Read Upton Sinclair's Brass Check (1919) in which he cites hundreds of examples of how newspapers publishers manufactured news to serve their interests and protect their system of capitalism.