Last night, I went over to UC Berkeley to hear Robert McChesney speak on the subject of media control and reform. Media concentration is a big deal as was evidenced by the uproar over the FCC’s decision to cozy up even more to big money corporate media. The evening was sponsored by Media Alliance, who are doing great things in the realm of media activism. I picked up a copy of his latest book, The Problem of the Media, which l look forward to devouring. I took a bunch of notes on my hiptop, which I’ve pasted below. The first speaker was a white-haired dude named Jerry Mander who touched on global monoculture and the spread of global corporatism. His notes are first.
Media alliance talk, UCB
Media regime change
Global media conglomorates
8 corps own 70% of all global media
-Aol/time warner, disney, fox news, viacom, ge, sony, berlesman?
Avg home has tv on 8 hrs a day
More than 50% of americans watch 4 hrs of tv a day
Ppl watch tv more than anything else in life
Tv expresses corporate culture, not popular culture.
Tv is the original virtual reality
Baywatch is most popular show in the world
Globally we are craving the same commodoties
Avg viewr sees 28000 commercials a yr
$250 billion a year spent on tv adverts
$12 bill targetted to little kids, backed up by researchers who figure out what makes kids get parents to buy shit
Bush campagin understands immensely how advertising effects peoples minds
In the absence of contrary views, public will believe what is presented
Bad news about bush had less effect than $60mil ad campaign
As legit government goes down, corruption goes up.
Rumples – repub …
If media doesn’t hold prez accountable when he lies, then they are not doing their job.
Press coverage of Iraq invasion was worst in american history
Judith miller of ny times, was not run out of office for her coverage of lies whereas jason blair was.
voting in US is class based
50% of voters come from the richest 20%
Very few of 435 congressional races have close races. Maybe 10 or 12 are contested. All because of gerrymandering.
Only 4 or 5% of americans contribute to presidnetial campaigns
Whoever wins the wealth primary, usually wins the primary.
Political culture is a volley of political ads
12-13% of all tv advertising are political ads, up from 3% in the 70s.
Hypercommercialization – seperation of commercial and editorial, infomercialization
Vulgarity is cheapest way to sell shit
Avg kindergartner knows 200 corporate logos
The problem is the system that rewards the corporate media. It is setup perfectly to faciliate max profit.
Entire media system is built on policy and subsidies, not on free market enterprise.
Lucrative tv licenses and cable monopolies or satellite franchices (only 2).
Problems is corrupt policies created by lobbyists behind closed doors without public input.
Solution is to popularize the debate. Take it out of the backrooms.
Big media moguls this.
They have 1000s of lobbyists in dc.
media will not cover this, because its threat to themselves.
In 1800s print media was heavily subsidized by cheap postage, to promote more newsapapers. they understood the importance of a free press and lower barriers to entry.
#1 issue of journalism union is that corporate america is destryoying the field of journalism. Majority of journalists are depressed due to commercialization of journalism.
Myth: ppl are only getting what they want
60% ppl believe there is too much ads.
Myth: internet will set us free.
We have economics to have cheap broadband universal access, but not the political will.
Media activists are rising up, from the left and the right. Conservs are allies on lots of the issues.
Organize ppl can beat organized money.
14 mini confs around the country about media ownership
Moveon picked up on it and …
Localism task force put together by fcc michael powell
Late july, monterey fcc localism event.
Go to local radio station and check public file
SF cable franchise up for renewal
IRV doesn’t work according to some dood