Friday, May 16, 2008

Senate Votes to Reverse FCC Decision Allowing Media Consolidation

Should media companies be allowed to own both a tv/radio station and the newspaper in a market? Does it hurt the consumer's ability to get all angles of a news story or is it essential to enable these institutions to survive?

In NYC, Rupert Murdoch owns TV stations and the NY Post; Cablevision is asking to own the cable plant on Long Island, plus News 12, and soon Newsday. And I say that's a good thing.

I am not in favor of government regulation. Less government is preferred over more. I am much more in favor of fair market conditions; lower the barriers to entry to assure that more players can come into the market. Let the consumer decide with their wallet where they want to get their news/information/entertainment. In addition, let new technologies create new means to communicate and share information. Open platforms that enable many more companies to market their products and services.

And so I see nothing wrong with media companies pursuing multiple platforms. It is their means to continued survival. Without allowing the big fish to swallow the little fish the other alternative is that these little fish simply die. If not a bigger company like Cablevision to buy Newsday, the alternative could be that Newsday simply stops publishing a Long Island paper.

Viewership and readership trends change and new avenues now exist via internet sites to provide multiple points of view. Different points of view can still be heard loud and clear. As long as these roads remain wide open, let free market conditions rule.