4
Sep
2004

Media Reform Needed for a Continuing Democracy

by Peter Phillips

The First Amendment of the US constitution, guaranteeing freedom of the press, was established to maximize citizen cognition of critical issues in society. It was understood clearly by the founders that Democracy could only be maintained through an informed electorate. A daily newspaper, along with the three major TV networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, as well as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, are the major sources of news and information for most Americans. News stories and the invidious entertainment segments from these corporate sources generally have similar themes and common frames of understanding. This concentration of access to media sources leaves most Americans with very narrow parameters of news awareness and an almost complete lack of competing opinions.

Important questions that impact most Americans are generally ignored. Why are 45 million American without health care? Why is poverty increasing in the US? What happened to the safety net of social programs for the disadvantaged? What are the underlying reasons - other than oil - for the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan? Will the military draft be re-instituted in the US after the 04 election? What is the truth behind global warming and extreme weather conditions? Where have all the living wage jobs gone? Why is minimum wage now at 60% of its value in 1968? Who got rich in the 90s and kept the money? Who owns the electronic voting machine companies?

//www.dissidentvoice.org/Sept04/Phillips0904.htm
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