Yet another important issue not often discussed is cross-ownership. Simply put, this means that if you own a newspaper in any given city, you can’t also own a television station in the same area. This is supposed to encourage variety and diversity in the news we consume. Why is this important? Well, can you imagine getting the same news from the same corporation all day every day? Being spoon-fed information that is not verified by other media outlets? Listening only to the issues one company wants you to hear? Oh, sort of like what Rupert Murdoch strives for?
“Our reach is unmatched around the world. We’re reaching people from the moment they wake up until they fall asleep. We give them their morning weather and traffic reports through our television outlets around the world. We enlighten and entertain them with such newspapers as The New York Post and The Times (of London) as they have breakfast, or take the train to work. We update their stock prices and give them the world’s biggest news stories every day through such news channels as Fox or Sky News … And when they get home in the evening we’re there to entertain them with compelling first-run entertainment on FOX or the day’s biggest game on our broadcast, satellite and cable networks. Before going to bed, we give them the latest news, and then they crawl into bed with one of our best-selling novels from HarperCollins.” — Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation, 1999 Annual Report.
Murdoch’s company, News Corp, is huge. They have the ability to follow their consumers throughout the entire day. But Murdoch doesn’t want to stop there. Right now, he’s looking to bend the rules so he can obtain the LA Times. Jon Stewart decided to share his thoughts on the subject here. What do you think? Should companies be allowed to control multiple forms of media in one city, or should the cross ownership laws stay firm?