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People Still Get Their News From Local Newspapers And TV Stations?

from the massive-overreaction dept

I don't understand why people get so worked up about the FCC's various proposals to tweak the rules regarding how many TV stations and newspapers one company can own. The ownership of local newspapers and TV stations was important in the 20th century, when people only had a handful of choices on where to get their news. Local newspaper and broadcast television stations are becoming one small corner of a vastly larger media universe that includes dozens of cable television stations, thousands of news sites, and millions of blogs and podcasts. Nowadays, the real question isn't whether local newspapers and TV stations have too much influence; the question is whether anyone would notice if they disappeared.

Which brings us to FCC chairman Kevin Martin's New York Times op-ed defending his remarkably timid proposal to allow a newspaper in one of the 20 largest cities to purchase a TV or radio station—but not one of the metro area's four largest TV stations. Under his proposal, none of the FCC's other media ownership rules would be changed. In other words, a newspaper would be allowed to buy an also-ran TV station in a cacophonous media market like New York or LA, but the vast majority of cities would see no changes at all. Yet some members of Congress seem to think that even those miniscule changes are too much and have introduced legislation to require the FCC to spend even more time debating the issue, even though, as James Gattuso points out, that the FCC has been debating the issue for 11 years already. On the other hand, as ridiculous as the situation is, it's hard to have too much sympathy for the broadcasters. After all, they were happy to raise bogus fears of media concentration to stop the XM/Sirius merger this spring. Now the broadcasters are getting a taste of their own medicine.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Joel Coehoorn, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 1:56pm

    People would most certainly notice if local newspapers or tv news outlets disappeared, even those who get all of their news from the web. The fact is that even the internet-only news outlets rely on them to do most of the legwork. If you follow the chain of links for a story to it's origin more often than not you'll end up at the web site for a local newspaper or tv station.

    Allowing one company to become too powerful in a local market may not have an effect on how you get national or global news, but it can have serious implications on the debate of local issues.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Gracey, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 2:13pm

    Local News

    I still read the local papers - I don't read the "big" papers and I don't watch tv news.

    The local paper carries local news, the rest of them don't.

    Would I notice if it disappeared? You bet I would.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Johnny D, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 2:18pm

    Local News

    Not too mention the problem of what happens when an organization with too much bias to the left or rights controls too much information...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    techdirtReader, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 2:41pm

    slippery slope

    Fear of the slippery slope. Fear of having 3-7 huge company running 95% of all the channels and newspapers. The slippery slope starts with a few reasonable laws easing consolidation regulations, each enlarging the precedent and redefining what is reasonable, and then growing from there.

    "well we are already allow corporations to own a,b & c types of media, it makes no sense that they aren't allow to run type d. In fact, companies that operate d are in a uncompetitive position because they can't operate a, b, and c. This new legislation eases the consolidations restrictions and brings in more fairness and consistency".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Pro, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 2:44pm

    TV news

    Why would anyone - in this day and age choose to acquire their news from the TV, when the internet provides up to the minute news on demand?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Bob, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 2:46pm

    Ditto for Joel Coehoorn

    Although my local newspaper is online I reference it mostly for archive purposes. On a daily basis it is still easier to browse the paper version. I spend enough time in front of a Screen.

    For the exact reasons Joel listed we would notice if they were gone.

    The corporatization of local media is more quickly noticed in radio where local shows and personalities are replaced by Bob and Jack FM - very bad....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    DadsDrive, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 3:06pm

    Broadcast and Print lies by ommision

    The very point of keeping ownership diversified would or should be so the masses are actually informed.
    The media giants have asked for this, All four owners, Rupert Murdoch's Fox and other holdings, Sony's CBS, General Electric's NBC, and last but not least Disney's ABC.
    I have never read where the general populace demanded from the FCC that there should be fewer owners and more control by fewer owners!
    Airwaves (that belong to the citizens)are entrusted to be of fair use by the governing body that is the FCC in the USA.
    Subscription services are excluded by the very nature of the beast, you pay for use.
    Have you ever wondered what happened to the local TV station editorial? Yes they used to be a part of every station as was the seal of good broadcasting standards.
    News outlets regardless of point of view should be locally owned and operated period, as they used to be.
    It seems to me true investigative reporting has been replaced with talking head "Repeaters" of stories they were
    told to read or print.
    Check out
    http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/F/htmlF/fairnessdoct/fairnessdoct.htm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Tim lee, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 3:32pm

    Re: slippery slope

    We're nowhere close to "3-7 huge companies" running 95% of the media outlets in the country, and things certainly aren't going in the direction of more concentration. There are dozens of large companies in the media business and hundreds of small ones. And on top of that, people are increasingly getting their news on the Internet, and on the Internet there are literally thousands of high-quality, independent sources of news from across the political spectrum. Large media conglomerates are struggling to hold onto the market share they've got in the face of an explosion of new options.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Petréa Mitchell, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Ditto for Joel Coehoorn

    What they said, and I'd add that there are a ton of ways I can get national and international news from the Internet, but absolutely nothing to match my local paper. (Including its Web site, which sucks.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  

    Local paper tops

    I need my local news. I too love to read my local paper, and it also sucks online. I ignore all the other news except what's going on in my local area. Other than that, you can throw all the other papers in the trash.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Haywood, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 4:16pm

    LOCAL news

    I live in a fair sized city 40 miles from to very large cities. We get mention on the TV news and internet but not in depth reporting. Our local government is rather corrupt, and the local paper kept them in check pretty well until it was bough out by Belo, now it is more just a branch of the Meteo news. It is still much better than nothing and they still take the local government to task when the corruption boils over, but the nit picking is gone and missed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2007 @ 6:34pm

    That's it! I can't take TechDirt any more. They have no historical perspective whatsoever.

    Who needs independent local news sources - MY GOD!

    It's plainly run by a bunch of uneducated children who have learned NOTHING from history.

    They may as well hire that troll Dorpus who shows up here from time to time.

    I am outa here - for good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Nov 14th, 2007 @ 10:35pm

    Re:

    Who needs independent local news sources - MY GOD!

    Er... that's not what Tim said... but, why bother actually reading when you just want to insult us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Nov 15th, 2007 @ 12:04pm

    Rock The Vote?

    TV and newspapers may be shrinking in importance, but it's naive to think that, just because we netizens get our news from the web, they are irrelevant.

    There are scores of people out there who still couldn't define the word "blog" for you, but could surely define "jumble". And lots of folksy folks tune in everyday at 6 to learn about, "What's in your home that could be killing you."

    But an important consideration is this: What percentage of people with MySpace pages votes, versus what percentage of nightly news watchers votes? Personally, I think newspapers and TV news have a massive influence on who gets elected, and as such, I'm not as eager to give control over to Rupert Murdock as Tim is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Leah Diaz, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Re: TV news

    Dear;People watching,

    My name is Leah Diaz. I live in Canada. In the coldests 6 months of winter even in a very warm home, I literally cannot breath and talk or walk. I go fast into strokes. The M:R:I: of my brain shows 12 veins ruptured. This is apparently happening ALL over my body. I have a rare illness Called Vasculitis some doctors think it might be Wegener Granulomatosis. In a warm climate I feel much less pain and can function better and the disease progresses slower.

    We have managed for 5 yrs. to go out of country on credit now we owe over $30,000. When we return this April 25th, 2009. We will need to declare bankruptcy and loose everything. I AM NOT ASKING YOU TO PAY OUR DEBT!!! But I am asking for one more year of life. Because in the winter of 2009 we have no way to escape winter.

    The plane fairs, the apartment in the other country and some medical needs ALL together costs $5,000! I know it is still A LOT TO ASK!!!Canada has not helped us with the costs of these trips and refuse to do so even with plenty of medical proof. THE HUMAN`S RIGHT COURT ORDER TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE from Colombia, South America, a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY pay for my M.R.I.`s , specialists and some drugs not all, while I am in their country!!! I AM NOT COLOMBIAN!!! I AM A CANADIAN!!!

    The M.P.P. Pat Hoy and his secretary know all about my situation. They have almost ALL the Dr. reports and the HUMAN RIGHT TO LIFE COURT ORDER from Colombia. They have tried to help with no success.

    The manager of The Brain Injury Of Chatham-Kent, Michelle Suiter also has ALL the Dr. reports and have tried HARD to help us. But they bought a new building and are in a lot of debt. O.H.I.P. has been notified and O.D.S.P. with No success.

    If you need any reports or other references that would be NO problem at all for us to send this to you.

    If you cannot help me can you find someone who can? PLEASE!!!!

    I REALLY need my one more year to live. I have been in the volunteer work for about 25 yrs. I LOVED IT!! THere SURE is more happiness in giving then receiving!!! I find asking for help VERY humiliating and a HUMBLING experience.

    PLEASE!!! Can You HELP?

    Sincerely, Leah Diaz

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Leah Diaz, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Ditto for Joel Coehoorn

    Dear;People watching,

    My name is Leah Diaz. I live in Canada. In the coldests 6 months of winter even in a very warm home, I literally cannot breath and talk or walk. I go fast into strokes. The M:R:I: of my brain shows 12 veins ruptured. This is apparently happening ALL over my body. I have a rare illness Called Vasculitis some doctors think it might be Wegener Granulomatosis. In a warm climate I feel much less pain and can function better and the disease progresses slower.

    We have managed for 5 yrs. to go out of country on credit now we owe over $30,000. When we return this April 25th, 2009. We will need to declare bankruptcy and loose everything. I AM NOT ASKING YOU TO PAY OUR DEBT!!! But I am asking for one more year of life. Because in the winter of 2009 we have no way to escape winter.

    The plane fairs, the apartment in the other country and some medical needs ALL together costs $5,000! I know it is still A LOT TO ASK!!!Canada has not helped us with the costs of these trips and refuse to do so even with plenty of medical proof. THE HUMAN`S RIGHT COURT ORDER TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE from Colombia, South America, a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY pay for my M.R.I.`s , specialists and some drugs not all, while I am in their country!!! I AM NOT COLOMBIAN!!! I AM A CANADIAN!!!

    The M.P.P. Pat Hoy and his secretary know all about my situation. They have almost ALL the Dr. reports and the HUMAN RIGHT TO LIFE COURT ORDER from Colombia. They have tried to help with no success.

    The manager of The Brain Injury Of Chatham-Kent, Michelle Suiter also has ALL the Dr. reports and have tried HARD to help us. But they bought a new building and are in a lot of debt. O.H.I.P. has been notified and O.D.S.P. with No success.

    If you need any reports or other references that would be NO problem at all for us to send this to you.

    If you cannot help me can you find someone who can? PLEASE!!!!

    I REALLY need my one more year to live. I have been in the volunteer work for about 25 yrs. I LOVED IT!! THere SURE is more happiness in giving then receiving!!! I find asking for help VERY humiliating and a HUMBLING experience.

    PLEASE!!! Can You HELP?

    Sincerely, Leah Diaz

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Leah Diaz, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re:

    Dear;People watching,

    My name is Leah Diaz. I live in Canada. In the coldests 6 months of winter even in a very warm home, I literally cannot breath and talk or walk. I go fast into strokes. The M:R:I: of my brain shows 12 veins ruptured. This is apparently happening ALL over my body. I have a rare illness Called Vasculitis some doctors think it might be Wegener Granulomatosis. In a warm climate I feel much less pain and can function better and the disease progresses slower.

    We have managed for 5 yrs. to go out of country on credit now we owe over $30,000. When we return this April 25th, 2009. We will need to declare bankruptcy and loose everything. I AM NOT ASKING YOU TO PAY OUR DEBT!!! But I am asking for one more year of life. Because in the winter of 2009 we have no way to escape winter.

    The plane fairs, the apartment in the other country and some medical needs ALL together costs $5,000! I know it is still A LOT TO ASK!!!Canada has not helped us with the costs of these trips and refuse to do so even with plenty of medical proof. THE HUMAN`S RIGHT COURT ORDER TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE from Colombia, South America, a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY pay for my M.R.I.`s , specialists and some drugs not all, while I am in their country!!! I AM NOT COLOMBIAN!!! I AM A CANADIAN!!!

    The M.P.P. Pat Hoy and his secretary know all about my situation. They have almost ALL the Dr. reports and the HUMAN RIGHT TO LIFE COURT ORDER from Colombia. They have tried to help with no success.

    The manager of The Brain Injury Of Chatham-Kent, Michelle Suiter also has ALL the Dr. reports and have tried HARD to help us. But they bought a new building and are in a lot of debt. O.H.I.P. has been notified and O.D.S.P. with No success.

    If you need any reports or other references that would be NO problem at all for us to send this to you.

    If you cannot help me can you find someone who can? PLEASE!!!!

    I REALLY need my one more year to live. I have been in the volunteer work for about 25 yrs. I LOVED IT!! THere SURE is more happiness in giving then receiving!!! I find asking for help VERY humiliating and a HUMBLING experience.

    PLEASE!!! Can You HELP?

    Sincerely, Leah Diaz

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Leah Diaz, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: Rock The Vote?

    Dear;People watching,

    My name is Leah Diaz. I live in Canada. In the coldests 6 months of winter even in a very warm home, I literally cannot breath and talk or walk. I go fast into strokes. The M:R:I: of my brain shows 12 veins ruptured. This is apparently happening ALL over my body. I have a rare illness Called Vasculitis some doctors think it might be Wegener Granulomatosis. In a warm climate I feel much less pain and can function better and the disease progresses slower.

    We have managed for 5 yrs. to go out of country on credit now we owe over $30,000. When we return this April 25th, 2009. We will need to declare bankruptcy and loose everything. I AM NOT ASKING YOU TO PAY OUR DEBT!!! But I am asking for one more year of life. Because in the winter of 2009 we have no way to escape winter.

    The plane fairs, the apartment in the other country and some medical needs ALL together costs $5,000! I know it is still A LOT TO ASK!!!Canada has not helped us with the costs of these trips and refuse to do so even with plenty of medical proof. THE HUMAN`S RIGHT COURT ORDER TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE from Colombia, South America, a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY pay for my M.R.I.`s , specialists and some drugs not all, while I am in their country!!! I AM NOT COLOMBIAN!!! I AM A CANADIAN!!!

    The M.P.P. Pat Hoy and his secretary know all about my situation. They have almost ALL the Dr. reports and the HUMAN RIGHT TO LIFE COURT ORDER from Colombia. They have tried to help with no success.

    The manager of The Brain Injury Of Chatham-Kent, Michelle Suiter also has ALL the Dr. reports and have tried HARD to help us. But they bought a new building and are in a lot of debt. O.H.I.P. has been notified and O.D.S.P. with No success.

    If you need any reports or other references that would be NO problem at all for us to send this to you.

    If you cannot help me can you find someone who can? PLEASE!!!!

    I REALLY need my one more year to live. I have been in the volunteer work for about 25 yrs. I LOVED IT!! THere SURE is more happiness in giving then receiving!!! I find asking for help VERY humiliating and a HUMBLING experience.

    PLEASE!!! Can You HELP?

    Sincerely, Leah Diaz

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    leah Diaz, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Just read aaand if you heart moves you help me out!!! I also help people in ColombiI I also help people in Colombi and love it!!! $10 fixed and old man´s entire whelchair!!!!

    Dear:Caring hearts help me help others but also get one year at a time of life!!!!!! ONE MORE IS ALL I ASK???

    My name is Leah Diaz. I live in Canada. In the coldests 6 months of winter even in a very warm home, I literally cannot breath and talk or walk. I go fast into strokes. The M:R:I: of my brain shows 12 veins ruptured. This is apparently happening ALL over my body. I have a rare illness Called Vasculitis some doctors think it might be Wegener Granulomatosis. In a warm climate I feel much less pain and can function better and the disease progresses slower.

    We have managed for 5 yrs. to go out of country on credit now we owe over $30,000. When we return this April 25th, 2009. We will need to declare bankruptcy and loose everything. I AM NOT ASKING YOU TO PAY OUR DEBT!!! But I am asking for one more year of life. Because in the winter of 2009 we have no way to escape winter.

    The plane fairs, the apartment in the other country and some medical needs ALL together costs $5,000! I know it is still A LOT TO ASK!!!Canada has not helped us with the costs of these trips and refuse to do so even with plenty of medical proof. THE HUMAN`S RIGHT COURT ORDER TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE from Colombia, South America, a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY pay for my M.R.I.`s , specialists and some drugs not all, while I am in their country!!! I AM NOT COLOMBIAN!!! I AM A CANADIAN!!!

    The M.P.P. Pat Hoy and his secretary know all about my situation. They have almost ALL the Dr. reports and the HUMAN RIGHT TO LIFE COURT ORDER from Colombia. They have tried to help with no success.

    The manager of The Brain Injury Of Chatham-Kent, Michelle Suiter also has ALL the Dr. reports and have tried HARD to help us. But they bought a new building and are in a lot of debt. O.H.I.P. has been notified and O.D.S.P. with No success.

    If you need any reports or other references that would be NO problem at all for us to send this to you.

    If you cannot help me can you find someone who can? PLEASE!!!!

    I REALLY need my one more year to live. I have been in the volunteer work for about 25 yrs. I LOVED IT!! THere SURE is more happiness in giving then receiving!!! I find asking for help VERY humiliating and a HUMBLING experience.

    PLEASE!!! Can You HELP?

    Sincerely, Leah Diaz

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    leah Diaz, Apr 8th, 2009 @ 11:53am

    Just read aaand if you heart moves you help me out!!! I also help people in ColombiI I also help people in Colombi and love it!!! $10 fixed and old man´s entire whelchair!!!!

    Dear:Caring hearts help me help others but also get one year at a time of life!!!!!! ONE MORE IS ALL I ASK??? My name is Leah Diaz. I live in Canada. In the coldests 6 months of winter even in a very warm home, I literally cannot breath and talk or walk. I go fast into strokes. The M:R:I: of my brain shows 12 veins ruptured. This is apparently happening ALL over my body. I have a rare illness Called Vasculitis some doctors think it might be Wegener Granulomatosis. In a warm climate I feel much less pain and can function better and the disease progresses slower. We have managed for 5 yrs. to go out of country on credit now we owe over $30,000. When we return this April 25th, 2009. We will need to declare bankruptcy and loose everything. I AM NOT ASKING YOU TO PAY OUR DEBT!!! But I am asking for one more year of life. Because in the winter of 2009 we have no way to escape winter. The plane fairs, the apartment in the other country and some medical needs ALL together costs $5,000! I know it is still A LOT TO ASK!!!Canada has not helped us with the costs of these trips and refuse to do so even with plenty of medical proof. THE HUMAN`S RIGHT COURT ORDER TO THE RIGHT TO LIFE from Colombia, South America, a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY pay for my M.R.I.`s , specialists and some drugs not all, while I am in their country!!! I AM NOT COLOMBIAN!!! I AM A CANADIAN!!! The M.P.P. Pat Hoy and his secretary know all about my situation. They have almost ALL the Dr. reports and the HUMAN RIGHT TO LIFE COURT ORDER from Colombia. They have tried to help with no success. The manager of The Brain Injury Of Chatham-Kent, Michelle Suiter also has ALL the Dr. reports and have tried HARD to help us. But they bought a new building and are in a lot of debt. O.H.I.P. has been notified and O.D.S.P. with No success. If you need any reports or other references that would be NO problem at all for us to send this to you. If you cannot help me can you find someone who can? PLEASE!!!! I REALLY need my one more year to live. I have been in the volunteer work for about 25 yrs. I LOVED IT!! THere SURE is more happiness in giving then receiving!!! I find asking for help VERY humiliating and a HUMBLING experience. PLEASE!!! Can You HELP? Sincerely, Leah Diaz

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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