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Q: Do you think the concentration of media ownership limits the number of voices in the marketplace? Explain
A: A key idea of media democracy is that the concentration of media ownership in recent decades in the hands of a few corporations and conglomerates has led to a narrowing of the range of voices and opinions being expressed in the mass media; to an [ increase in the commercialization of news and information; to a hollowing out of the news media?s ability to conduct investigative reporting and act
as the public watchdog; and to an increase of emphasis on the bottom line, which prioritizes infotainment and celebrity news over informative discourse. Cultural studies have investigated changes in the increasing tendency of modern mass media in the field of politics to blur and confuse the boundaries between journalism, entertainment, public relations and advertising.[5] A diverse range of information providers is necessary so that viewers, readers and listeners receive a broad spectrum of information from varying sources that is not tightly controlled, biased and filtered.[6] Access to different sources of information prevents deliberate attempts at misinformation and allows the public to make their own judgments and form their own opinions.[7] This is critical as individuals must be in a position to decide and act autonomously for there to be a functioning democracy.[8] While it is vital to be able to scrutinize the choices made by media providers in terms of what information is included and excluded,[9] individuals possess distinctive knowledge, habits and interests that affect what media they will view and how they will be affected by the media they are exposed to.[10] The content is only one factor among many others that will shape an individual?s powers of judgment.[11] This concentration has been encouraged by government deregulation and neo-liberal trade policies. For example, the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 discarded most media ownership rules that were previously in place, leading to massive consolidation in the telecommunications industry. Over 4,000 radio stations were bought out, and minority ownership of TV stations dropped to its lowest point since the federal government began tracking such data in 1990. The past decade has also seen a number of media corporate mergers and takeovers in Canada. ]
mythmoh|Points 4689|
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Asked 5/3/2012 2:57:38 PM
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