Media democracy is a production and distribution model which promoted a mass media system that informs and empowers all members of society, and enhances democratic values. Robert W. McChesney’s, John Nichols and those who created Censored 2007 are part of a social movement evident in states all over the country which attempts to make mainstream media more accountable to the public’s they serve and to create more democratic alternatives. Its proponents advocate monitoring and reforming the mass media, strengthening public service broadcasting, and developing and participating in alternative media and citizen journalism. Adam D. Thierer, a conservative man who believes the media is fine the way it is, opposes Nichols and McChhesney’s work with hard strong facts why nothing needs to be changed in the media. The current structure of our media provides the audience with what they want to see and hear so technically it’s not a bad thing although few adjustments could be made to help improve our economy.
One of the main themes of Nichols and McChesney’s work is that “deregulated media” is a complete misnomer. The media is, instead, a governmentally sanctioned oligopoly, owned by a few highly profitable corporate entities with excessive hypercommertialism. These concerns jealously guard their privilege through legislative influence and through use of their control of news coverage, by which means they distort public understanding of media issues. Other problems that are addressed to the media conglomerates is that they practice “stenography”, one sided news coverage only taking information said or given to them where as journalists should be provided with the resources to cover all sides of a story as well as being able to voice his or hers opinion freely (without any conflict of interest). “The current caliber of journalism is decidedly unsatisfactory for a democratic society. Democratic should provide a ruthless accountant of the power-that-be and the-powers-that-want-to-be, both in government and policies and in the extremely powerful corporate sector.” Pg. 62 Our Media Not Theirs. This is a progressive quote stating that there’s no balance within our government and media that’s able to provide people in a democratic society a fair share of good quality journalism. Unfortunately theirs currently a conflict of interest with in the media, “conflict between church and state.” As stated in Our Media Not Theirs. This refers to the ability of journalists and creative workers to conduct their affairs without having output determined by what serves the immediate interests of advertisers, or owners for that matter. The media should provide fair and honest new that’s in interest to the vast majority in an economy. “News is a source of information and/ or entertainment involving current events and possibly affecting our communities and the world.” Generated from 8am section of English 101B. Nichols and McChesney’s work clearly shows how progressive they are and that they stand on the far left side on the democratic table. A man that opposes them and a right wing man (for keeping the media the way it is) a strong republican, Adam D. Thierer.
“We have nothing of sort here in America; and so long as the marketplace remains open and free of government controls on entry and action, a “media monopoly” is impossible in this country.” Pg. 18 Adam D. Thierer, Media Myths. Thierer points out it doesn’t matter how large a media outlet is today, it’s really just one of hundreds of sources of news, information, and entertainment that we have to choose from. People have control over what they want to comprehend from the things they read, watch, hear and so forth. If the consumer chooses to watch a more titillating show, then the media will provide them with that. If the consumer chooses to watch or read more hard core news that involves with global warming, health environment issues and stuff on that matter then that’s what will be provided to them. The media only wants to give people what they want, not to decide what’s best for them and take away their ability and freedom of wants and needs. “The media industry is a business and that is not a bad thing. Unless we expect our media outlets to be entirely noncommercial and publically financed, we have to accept the fact that media companies must worry about their financial health and adopt business strategies that will keep them operational.” Pg. 83 Adam D Thierer, Media Myths. Thierer stands strong with his position towards the media and the only thing he believes the government should do is back off the media and don’t interfere at all. There are almost always two sides of a story; one which there’s no understanding for the other party’s reasoning thus is why “a middle man,” a third party’s opinion is needed.
McChesney and Thierer both have strong compelling arguments why the media should change or just stay the way it is with less regulations, but at the same time there both extremists in their field. As a third party perspective I believe the media should change slightly but not to the point where McChesney and Nichols want. People have the power to control their own lives and the amount of resources given to society enables them to seek and get as much as they desire. That’s where I stand with Thierer, but the media shouldn’t be out to make maximum profit without making an effort to enrich the society with news that will keep people safe and aware of all things, and this is where McChesney captured me. It’s obvious the media is a business just like Starbucks, Borders and so forth, and as an owner of a business you want to keep it running as healthy and smoothly as possible, so if we were to put ourselves in the shoes of the owners of the media, more than likely you would want your business to stay as profitable as possible. Now you may say no, I’m a person with good morals and believe in inequality. Well now’s the time to ask yourself this, If someone upright and gave you ten million dollars that you didn’t have to work for, would you go and split it equally with everyone in your community to help them out stating that’s the fair thing to do? I can’t speak for anyone else but yea right, I believe most people would keep that money and maybe few would donate to charity but that’s about it. So being an owner of a major corporation working hard to get where you are today, why would you want to give any of that up and what would be your motive/ incentive to do so.
Although there few problems in the media such as journalists practice stenography, the media’s for profit which causes a conflict between church and state we have to remember if we truly want change then not just a small portion of people can tune into stations like PBS and NPR, it will take a large number of audience to convince the media that this is what we want. Do to the stenography in the media today we don’t hear much of stories like the Kyoto Protocol Agreement. For those of you that are unsure what this is, it’s an agreement among all countries to lower their emissions level by x amount each year to help against global warming. The only two countries that have not ratified this treaty are the United Stated and Australia. President Bush and his economists felt that it was necessary to pull the United States out of the agreement do to the fact that we had more restrictions than other countries like China and India. The only reason why we had greater restrictions than other countries is because we’re one of the leading committers of green house gases. Now stenography took its toll playing the role favoring Exxon Mobil, a major oil conglomerate. If they were to say anything outside Exxon’s favoring that may lead to a conflict of interest. This is where the media crosses the line between church and state. They choose to leave important details out, keeping a one sided story that suits their sponsors rather than their audience. The only opposition to this is that they need their sponsors to provide them with the money to cover those stories. There’s a chance that we might not even heard about it if it wasn’t for those who sponger the media, giving it the affordable income needed to provide such things.
Solutions to a problem such as this might be generating more non-profit media’s like NPR and PBS. Something like this could help the media but at the same time what are some repo cautions in making this reformation? Higher taxes, cut funding from other government funded programs all for a possible way of informing the public with better media coverage. Someone might argue that the funding for a better cause and people in society can be more aware and at the same time there’s no conflict of interest within the media. The one thing I hold against a statement such as this is that no one has the right to say what’s better for an individual and despite the conflict of interest the media still provides the vast majority of people want.
In conclusion, the media structure we have today is fine although there should be a few changes. The news corporations shouldn’t be out there to maximize their profit capability, they should look into the better interest of their audience but as I stated before it’s all on morality. There’s only very few out there in the world who look in the interest of others. As the old saying goes “every man has a price” and it’s sadly true. For those who seek better sources of media find it while the rest of those who do not are on a verge swiveling away down an endless stream of media terrorism.