There are more information sources now than ever before, but the number of people who own these sources is getting smaller and smaller. What does that mean for you? Here are four effects of media consolidation you might have noticed:
In the North Suburban metro area, we’ve had two local newspapers close in the past year, The Sun Focus (which still exists, but with a smaller coverage area) and The Lillie. This phenomenon is far from uncommon. According to a recent study, 1800 newspapers have closed since 2004.
2. Cookie cutter news segments created by media giants
Sinclair Broadcast Group owns 70 percent of local cable news outlets in the United States. They have become the face of media consolidation in recent years for having news anchors across the country read off identical, biased news reports.
3. A lot of talk about the FCC
The FCC and its Director Ajit Pai are at the center of the media consolidation debate. The original purpose of the FCC was to regulate the media industry and prevent monopolies. Pai has passed a series of deregulations in recent years which has led to a smaller number of media executives. However, lawsuits are continuing to challenge these deregulations at various local levels. The fight is far form over.
4. Less coverage of local elections & candidates
What does this all mean for you, the viewer? Less coverage of important local stories, such as municipal elections. Larger outlets simply don’t have the incentive to cover these stories, and as media gets bigger, these stories will be harder to find.