By Stuart Adams
American news media is a parasite, infecting American political consciousness with sensationalist garbage meant to serve the interests of those in power, and leaving only the shell of journalist integrity for the American people. The average American who wants to learn about what is going on in the world around them cannot do so without constantly working to separate whether or not what they read is the truth, or a fabrication meant to serve the 6 media companies which control 90% of American media.
There is hope that as news media grows on the internet, journalistic plurality can return to American political consciousness. As a media landscape shaped by rules designed to create an equal and meritocratic space, it has opened up debates which have been largely avoided by corporate media and brought issues into the light which have been left in darkness by American news media.
Despite the admirable efforts of these internet journalists, most Americans do not know of them because their primary source of news media is not free from corporate media influence. Television, radio, and print media are primarily continue to control most of American political consciousness and propel our society towards an Orwellian nightmare, drowning out dissenting opinions with testimonials from experts whose only credentials are agreeable political positions, replacing investigation with sensationalism, and refusing to broadcast stories which cast their political allies in a negative light..
We who are aware of this information disparity can no longer sit idly by as millions are pacified by the media-political complex. We have seen what happens when the valiant efforts of numerous privacy groups are brought together in protest of draconian laws like SOPA and CISPA. However, if an increased effort is not made towards protecting free media and a dramatic shift is not made in the minds of concerned Americans, American politicians will continue to make attacks on free media until the march toward corporate censorship is complete.
The time has come for the fight for media access rights to go on the offensive. The orgy of deregulation which has continued since the Ronald Reagan administration must be reversed. The cross-medium conglomerates have become so large that they are now a destructive force facing American democracy. Had this system existed during early America, and foundational documents been passed under the scrutinizing eye of the British Empire, would widely know works of American political commentary like Common Sense have been widely circulated? Not likely.
The internet is a force which is frightening to those in power, a medium which by the virtue of its creator was made free and equal to all those which broadcast on it and because of that, it must be protected. The internet has elicited reactions from repressive governments all over the world, with Russia jailing bloggers, China maintaining nationwide internet censorship, and the United States persecuting those who use it to publish evidence of US crimes. However, the internet is of course consistently under attack, most recently by “regulators” who wanted to rewrite the rules of net neutrality which allowed the internet to be a free space in the first place. In order to protect the internet, we need to reclassify it as a common carrier, so that ISPs will never be able to give preference to certain kinds of internet traffic.
We know that the public would not willingly allow themselves to be fooled and have the integrity of their democracy pulled away from beneath their feet. To create a public of active agents in media representation, we have to educate the people in the methods by which media outlets set political agenda and stifle dissenting voices. The people must be shown that they have the power, both as a member of a democratic society and as a consumer, to make decisions which will put pressure on the media to be a check to government power, and not a collaborator with it. If the desire for reform is kept solely within the heart of the reformer, then those reforms will not outlive the reformer. But if the flame of reform is passed from person to person and shared widely, then we will constantly move towards a more equal society.