As we learned last week in our blog, conglomerates are taking over the media, especially television. There are approximately ten companies that own majority of the television stations, broadcast and cable. One may ask why doesn’t the government step in and help diversify TV? They do have regulations in place that limit ownership of a single company from owning television stations that would reach more than 39 percent of U.S., but with loopholes and sweet talk, many companies haven’t gotten around that. And 39 percent is a large percent already.
Through years of debate and lobbying, this number has been slowly increased and many are still arguing for it to increase. The debate that occurs is a confusing one because many want to diversify what the audience receives, but they also believe the media should be a complete democracy and have no government regulations. The problem with that is when you remove government regulations, diversity goes out the window. Big corporations come in and buy out the entire spectrum of waves and only produce what they think viewers want. Having the same people decide what is good for everyone creates a TV world that lacks in diversity.
This regulation benefits big corporations. Like a lot of other regulations that the FCC has implemented, they side with the big corporations because that’s where the money lies. If the government played more of a governmental role and made the regulations stricter, there would be more diversity on TV. But then it’s argued that it wouldn’t be a free media. I agree, it doesn’t limit TV ownership, but in a way it would also allow for more expansive TV ownership. The goal would obviously be to prevent monopolies or oligopolies within the media ownership. I would even go a step farther and say ownership shouldn’t be mixed within different forms of media. Right now it’s allowed, to a certain extent, for a corporation to own a TV network and a newspaper, I think that should also be regulated more. All in all I am not a fan of media conglomerates and I think the FCC could do a better job implementing regulations to prevent this.