Media Conglomeration

        CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, BET, Paramount Pictures, UPN, Spike TV, TV Land, CMT: Country Music Television, Comedy Central, Showtime, and
Blockbuster Video.  These are just a few of the companies that media giant
Viacom owns.   Viacom's website states that CBS is the most watched network
on TV.  It also says that MTV is the most widely distributed television
network in the world, Paramount Pictures is a leading distributor of motion
pictures, and infinity broadcasting is one of the largest radio operators in
the United States.  Viacom also owns book publishing companies, video
stores, and even amusement parks.  There is no doubt that Viacom is one of
the largest and most influential companies in the world. But does the
quality of the media go down because of these large media giants?  Do
companies care about the public being truly informed, or are they just out
Beginning with thefirst of the mega media mergers, Capital Cities buying
ABC in 1986, and then after the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which opened
the floodgates, the trend has been for large corporations to buy media and
broadcast companies.  According to the FCC there have been over 1000
broadcast deals in the last ten years.   But often the conglomeration of
media outlets hurts consumers by taking choice out of their hands and
putting it into the hands of corporations. The media giants have become
neglectful in their duties to serve a "public interest".  Instead they serve
their own narrow interest.  These narrow interests do serve the
stockholders, theoretically of which anyone can become, but this is not the
traditional position that media outlets should hold.
Corporate pressure to squeeze out every penny in earnings has forever
changed the look of news reporting.  Gone are the days of respected newsmen
such as Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow.  Gone are the …


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