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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  January 2003, Week 1

COMMUNET January 2003, Week 1

Subject:

one of few 'heavy hitters' regarding protection of media diversity

From:

"W. Curtiss Priest" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Community and Civic Network discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 3 Jan 2003 17:57:48 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (96 lines)

Given our parallel interests, it is surprising that
Jeff Chester and I have not, yet, met :)  (see
announcement below)

Regardless, I am always pleased to see them 'step up
to the plate' on media issues!

There have been several commentators that replied
to Michael Powell's assertion that "with so many
channels (and the net)" -- how could the media be
co-opted ? -- with the reply that if a leaf drops
in the forest, and no one has heard it, "does it make
a sound?"

The point is, in an era of continued media concentration
and the need for a few large players to "make a buck" -- do
they all move their programming down to the lowest common
denominator ??

I think they do, especially given the recent book about
Murdock's empire.

Media will continually lower itself to smut and violence,
disguised as "news."

Is this a true description of the "human condition?"  I
say, certainly not -- as our Boston Channel 5, with
"Chronicle" has shown, there surely is a market for a grade
of programming that has maintained high enough ratings to
survive.  The program brings us, not what the latest star-
oriented stars have done with their lives (or not) -- but
pieces on local cusine, local industry, and local folk who
have done something remarkable with their lives.

Emily Rooney pits herself against the same 'trash' when
PBS / WGBH airs opposite the conglomerate fare.  I was
most amused to watch her interview her father (Andy) about
his new book !  This had substance.  It was "worth watching."

I believe our society is dangerously close to the presumption
that "if it feels good, do it."  And, I think that if we all
just did what we felt like doing, well, some would be better
off and a whole lot more would be worse off.

Are these value judgements?  Damn straight they are.

Without noble or elevated values, a society crumbles into
rubble.

And, as I grow older and 'less wise' I don't have all the
answers anymore.

But, I still know that a society that accepts media concentration
is a society dombe to extinction.

Will capitalism save us?  Absolutely not.  It is a system
that must exist under a higher order system so that its
excesses, its greed, and its poverty of human values can
be ameliorated.  And ameliorated by whom, we the citizens
of the United States of America and our elected officials.

Regards,

Dr. W. Curtiss Priest
Editor, CITS Media Watch

FCC PROPOSAL "INTELLECTUALLY FLAWED," CLAIMS CDD
With the deadline for filing comments upon them, groups of media experts
such as the Writers Guilds and the Federation of TV and Radio Artists
submitted evidence today that the Commission's proposed overhauling of
media
ownership rules is unjustified. According to comments filed today, media
outlets in America are controlled by fewer owners, demonstrate less
diversity in content and offer fewer opportunities for creative
expression.
Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy,
calls
the FCC's rationale "intellectually flawed," noting that the proposed
rulemaking would "[turn] over control of both old and new media to a
tiny
handful of commercial giants, none of which will be required to act in
the
public interest."
[SOURCE: Center for Digital Democracy]
(http://www.democraticmedia.org/news/cdd_fcc.htm)

from benton.org
--


           W. Curtiss Priest, Director, CITS
      Center for Information, Technology & Society
         466 Pleasant St., Melrose, MA  02176
         Voice: 781-662-4044  [log in to unmask]
      Fax: 781-662-6882 WWW: http://Cybertrails.org

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