Contributions by Mahi Mofty, International Correspondent
When it comes to news, America’s trust issues can’t be more uncertain. 2017 has been called the year for “Agenda News”. Defined by a corporate owned America, trust in media has never been lower, where now 5 corporations control over 90% of all national media. These media offer only illusions of choice.
However, like local produce and organic farming, local news and true variety of thought is on the comeback.
Local news laser focuses and narrows its attention down to one thing – What is happening in our area. Because the owner also lives in the community, you will often find he or she has common values with those in that town or township.
Sure, corporate news or international news serve the purpose of breaking national stories, but many believe these stories also come with a corporate story-line and agenda.
Locally produced news focuses on road conditions, beach conditions, and also delivers you the true colors of your local elected leadership, as well as, items of local concern. Local news reporters look into the depth of holding local governments accountable.
While national corporate news generally provides two minutes of coverage on a story-line, local news correspondents provide a lengthier and a more detailed story. Local news outlets stay on the story until those accountable work to resolve the issue with residents.
Local news is better because it embraces the civic life of the town’s citizens. According to a study, it has been concluded that locally produced news is more relied upon especially when it comes to news about crime, local politics, taxes, real estate, events, and services.
According to an article by Belinda Luscombe of Time Magazine, it was found that when a town loses its newspaper, voter turnout also decreases, less people fight for local offices including county council and city council and incumbents continually get re-elected. Ms. Luscombe’s article shows that when people are less aware about their locality, people do not care as much about how they are being governed. This is a serious issue.
When it comes to America, 90% of its media is controlled by, now five corporate companies. The below graph by Frugal Dad was published in 2010. As you can see in 1983, 90% of American media was controlled by fifty companies. Fewer companies owning more media outlets means more media cross ownership which means growth and promotion of corporate media ideology. Since this graph was produced, Comcast has merged with Time Warner. Now 5 corporate news organizations control the media nationally.
A study by Jason at Frugal Dad, presented as an infographic, shows that almost all American media is owned by these , now 5, major companies. These five companies are News Corp, Disney, Viacom, (Time Warner/Comcast Merger) – Spectrum, and CBS.
US. News Corp owns many notable companies like New York Post, Wall street journal and Fox. Disney owns Pixar, ABC, Miramax, Marvel studios, ESPN etc. Viacom owns MTV, BET, CMT, Nick Jr, Paramount pictures, A&E, Lifetime, over thirty radio stations in the US and has partnership with other companies who own their own media corporations etc. Notable properties of Spectrum are Time, Warner Bros, CNN, HBO etc. CBS has ownership of Showtime, NFL.com, Jeopardy, 60 minutes, Smithsonian channel and many more.
Without emerging local news, the information diet of 277 million Americans will continue to be controlled by five large companies. The revenue that these five companies earn is enough to buy every NFL team twelve times. Their total revenue in 2010 was $275.9 billion. These five companies control 70% of the cable of Americans.
America learned in this century that picking green fruit, before it is ripe, loading it with chemical additives, then shipping it across ten states to market is not the healthiest way to feed ourselves. Likewise, getting a local news story approved by an agenda minded, corporate executive in N.Y. is also unhealthy.
As cord cutting increases nationally, the rise of local news organizations like MyrtleBeachSC.com and the growth of existing local news outlets, like the Charleston Post And Courier are sure to gain greater local trust.