International Media Concentration
36 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2012
Date Written: September 24, 2011
Around the world, media ownership and concentration is an issue of considerable public interest. When the FCC in America tried to change the rules, it got over a million letters, both from the activist left and the activist right. Noted academics weighed in. Lawrence Lessig argued that 'within a few years, we will live in a world where just three companies control more than 85 percent of the media.' Contrast this with Adam Thierer (President of the libertarian Progress and Freedom Foundation): 'To the extent that there was ever a 'Golden Age' of media in America, we are living in it today. The media sky has never been brighter and getting brighter with each passing year. And this is most definitely not a case of looking for silver linings around the clouds; there are no clouds.' Both sides in this debate see themselves as protecting democracy, either from heavy-handed megalomaniacal proprietors, or from flat-footed government bureaucrats. And they sneer at their opponents as, respectively, lackeys of big media companies, or as luddites with tenure. Are the cassandras or the polyannas correct? This would seem to be an empirical question with an empirical answer.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation