Bill Moyers on Democracy Now

Bill Moyers was on Democracy Now earlier this year when he spoke to 3,500 activists, journalists and concerned citizens gathered in Memphis, Tennessee for the third National Conference on Media Reform. Speakers called for the preservation of a free and open Internet, the end of media consolidation and a more democratic and diverse media system. Moyers opened the conference with a stirring address.

Cue the slider to about 07:15 to begin the coverage of Moyers speech.

"A few huge corporations now dominate the media landscape in America. Almost all the networks carried by most cable systems are owned by one of the major media common conglomerates. Two-thirds of today's newspapers are monopolies.'

"As ownership gets more and more concentrated, fewer and fewer independent sources of information have survived in the marketplace; and those few significant alternatives that do survive, such as PBS and NPR, are undergoing financial and political pressure to reduce critical news content and to shift their focus in a mainstream direction, which means being more attentive to establishment views than to the bleak realities of powerlessness that shape the lives of ordinary people.'

"What does today's media system mean for the notion of an informed public cherished by democratic theory? Quite literally, it means that virtually everything the average person sees or hears, outside of her own personal communications, is determined by the interests of private, unaccountable executives and investors whose primary goal is increasing profits and raising the share prices. More insidiously, this small group of elites determines what ordinary people do not see or hear."

Read the transcript here.

It's also worth checking out this blog post about entitled "Media Solidarity" on the Hullabaloo blog by digby. Here's a snippet:
Atrios and Matt Stoller make a good point about how the press is covering the WGA strike. And it just proves how corporate values rule the media. After all, the strikers in this case are fellow members of the media themselves, and yet they're getting hostile coverage. And likewise, many of the news people who are covering them are in unions too. There can be no reasons other than corporate pressure to explain the hostility or the fact the strike is being virtually blacked out in the local press despite stars and political activists showing up to picket along with ordinary Americans.

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