11/9/2009 1:07 AM
McAdams On: Ownership
I'm not sure I can agree with most of your assertions. Of course less diversified ownership yields less diverse coverage - that's because with singly owned multiple news outlets, news resources are shared, and the same take on the same stories is repeated on the venues owned by one corporation, say the town newspaper/radio station/TV station. It may certainly be that in small markets, stories on differently owned stations will be similar, but they will not be reported on in exactly the same way. With luck, independently owned stations can develop expertise in a certain area - say, health, crime, or sports - that can't be exactly replicated elsewhere in their market.
Moreover, just because people haven't awakened to the fact that their news could be more thoroughgoing is no reason to exacerbate the problem by turning the news into public relations organs for major corporations.
Broadcast journalists need to step up, and yes, sometimes bite the hand that feeds them. Otherwise its another VNS, and not really the news.
Asst. Prof. of Broadcasting
Jacksonville State University