Walking Away From Conglomerate Media

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by S.A. Prince

What’s journalistic integrity? Where is the line, and how do news outlets under umbrella conglomerates maintain journalistic independence, specifically when owned in part by the power their meant to monitor.

An independent monitor of power.

That’s what CNN, ESPN, FOXNews, ABCNews, and MSNBC are supposed to be. That is a principle of journalism, one that us as viewers have either forgotten or no longer hold as a value. As soon as a company like ESPN is acquired by Disney, we should immediately become skeptical about everything they cover, but more importantly watchful for what they don’t cover. We aren’t in their backrooms or board meetings where they discuss what to cover and what to table. We only see what they chose to cover.

That should send up alarm bells. It’s a #RedFlag

ESPN would never cover Disney, but if they did, could they be objective in their coverage? Knowing and having access to the Disney’s interworking activities, would ESPN use that access to thoroughly investigate Disney on their own accord, without pressure from their audience?

ESPN and other conglomerated subsidiaries would say “Of course we would maintain journalistic integrity and investigate our partner/owner, even though it is a conflict of interest.” And to that I would reply, “Yeah, like a mother tells the police officer who comes to the door looking for her son, exactly where to find him.”

Because many media outlets are owned and influenced by Disney, Comcast, Time Warner, Viacom, and a handful of other conglomerations, I believe their messages to be marginally skewed at the least, either in coverage or by omission. For that reason we should seek out smaller and independent outlets.

A percentage of my monthly income is paid to independent outlets who don’t have the backing of conglomerates, and yours should too. We need independent outlets to not only survive but thrive, and balance the scales. Support local business and support independent journalists.

Here’s some links to independent journalists and commentators whose work you should check out:

Mumi Obasidian Ali

Brain Pickings

Pro Publica

Economic Policy Institute

On The Media

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