Courtesy of The Left Coaster comes these words from Chicago Trib’s Jim Warren:
The three journalists discussed troubling pressures that affect the ability of news organizations to report the truth. A major one is that with consolidation of news organizations into conglomerates like Time Warner, news outlets have numerous conflicts between their business interests and their reporting.
While NBC reports on the U.S. occupation of Iraq, its parent company, General Electric, has a half-billion dollar contract with the U.S. government to provide power generation in Iraq.
Warren said relatively smaller news companies like the Tribune, whose holdings include the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, probably have only one way to grow and catch up to companies like Time Warner and Viacom, and that’s to merge with other players.
In addition, the panelists said, the media are facing a blizzard of lies and propaganda from corporations and the government. But journalists at mainstream news organizations don’t feel free, under the conventions of “fair and balanced” journalism, to call a lie a lie, Hall said.
“Too many of us have become too passive,” Warren said. Journalists are scared of angering administration sources and losing access to Washington officials, which he mocked as “access to get lied to.”