A:     I just saw an info-graphic on the internet that said that over 15,000 television and radio channels are controlled by only a handful of companies. All this power in the hands of so few, doesn’t it scare you?
S:     Most companies are subsidiaries of larger companies, even competitors are sometimes owned by one giant conglomerate; this is standard business practice, why should it scare me?
A:     Because this is not some company selling hair product, this is the media, our source of information. The modern human world and especially our politics are increasingly being dictated by the media men; the person that controls the airwaves controls the narrative that is fed to the people. How easy would it be for one conglomerate to pit its weight behind one ideology, one candidate, and skew the narrative in their own favour? Remember FOX news? It still remains resolutely anti-Obama.
S:     Yet Obama managed to come into power, and even get elected for a second term, despite this. Most of what you are saying is true, but this is not as much of a problem as you think it to be, usually if one conglomerate backs one candidate, the other backs his opponent. It’s basic economic strategy to hedge bets, so I don’t believe a media company would ask all its channels to parrot one line. The Internet might make all of this redundant, considering the speed at which it is blooming.
A:     Yes those provisos and exceptions sound nice but that only happens in some cases and not in others. Sometimes all the big fish are on the same page, sometimes there is no competitor media house of similar size and influence, in those cases the CEO’s and their bankrollers get to decide what is true and what is not. I propose that a company should be limited to a maximum of one channel; that way, buying of channels would be impossible since there would be so many independent channels and all shades of opinion will be represented. The people get to choose the truthful narrative.
S:     That’s an interesting idea, but I can’t help but notice a flaw in your plan. If there are hundreds of news channels on air who would I trust? It would be chaos. We need large companies, because they become large because people trust in the veracity of their reporting. No one has the time to trove through all the narratives to find the truth.