About 40 years ago, I became aware that we in the United States weren't necessarily the be-all and end-all of all countries on the globe. I noticed that Sweden, for one, did not approve of our Vietnam policy. I thus became less of an ethno-centrist and began to pay attention to what others were saying about us. I also became aware of the fact that our government can and does lie to us, and that just because they may issue a particular statement as fact does not automatically guarantee it will be so. This uncertainty led me to question our government and look for other more factual sources of information than, say, CBS News.
One of my earliest intriguing sources of information was a delightful little magazine called World Press Review. It featured articles written by those outside our borders about us. These articles came from Tass, the then-official Soviet news agency, as well as Izvestia, the London Times, and many, many other official and state-run press agencies from all across the globe. This same coverage is now provided by the website www.Worldpress.org, but in the late '70s and early '80s there was no internet to go to, so World Press Review was invaluable.
Little by little, our media has changed. Like the rest of the country, our television and radio has become slowly more corporate. Clear Channel has turned what was once a bunch of independent radio stations with their own unique format into a mass of BORING stations from one city across America to another. Playlists have narrowed from a format of top 40 a generation ago to a mere dozen or 15 songs today, and a whole host of mainly right wing, mindless and often hysterical talk radio stations has emerged as a result. On the television side, various corporate buyouts and mergers have narrowed the field of major players to include only six, and has led to a dummying-down of what is offered to the public. Whereas the History Channel, for one, used to provide us with near-scholarly documentaries 15-18 years ago, today we find shows like "Ice Road Truckers" and "Pawn Stars", or "Modern Marvels" as the main offerings, and very little has anything much to do with history. They, and many other channels which showed promise years ago, have taken to showing mainly little vignettes that are primarily entertainment, rather than topical or educational,-oriented. That, my friends, is what corporate America is doing to our airwaves. IS IT ANY WONDER OUR STUDENTS ARE STARTING TO SLIP SO BADLY?
As it stands today, there are six main players which own virtually everything we see on TV. The U.S. media is completely dominated by these huge corporations who have basically gobbled up everything we see and hear. They have managed this, through a history of mergers and acquisitions, to concentrate their control over what we see, hear and read. In a number of cases, these companies control everything from initial production to finalized distribution. In the process, we are being horribly shortchanged!
Below is a list of these 6 major U.S. media players and which networks they control:
1. GENERAL ELECTRIC
***2009 revenue: $157 BILLION. Owns NBC Networks; USA; Oxygen; The Weather Channel; Sci-Fi Channel; others.
2. WALT DISNEY COMPANY
***2009 revenue: $36.1 BILLION. Owns ABC; ESPN Networks; Lifetime; oA & E Networks (A & E, History Channel, Military Channel, Biography Channel, History International); others.
***2009 Revenue: $30.4 BILLION. Owns FOX "News"; Wall Street Journal.
4. TIME WARNER
***2009 Revenue: $25.8 BILLION. Owns CNN; Headline News; TNT; Cartoon Network; TBS; others.
***2009 Revenue: $13.6 BILLION. Owns MTV; BET; CMT; VH1; others.
***2009 Revenue: $13 BILLION. Owns CBS; Showtime; the Movie Channel; others.
Even PBS has been polluted by corporate influence over the past 10 years. But there is still one network that is still 100% viewer-supported and COMPLETELY FEEE FROM CORPORATE INFLUENCE. This network is called LINK TV!
Formed in 1999, Link Media owns and operates the broadcast channel Link TV and www.linktv.org. Link is the first nationwide television channel and website dedicated to providing global perspectives on news, events and culture. Link’s programs provide a unique perspective on international news, current events, and diverse cultures, presenting issues not often covered in the U.S. media. They connect viewers with people at the heart of breaking events, organizations in the forefront of social change and the cultures of an increasingly global community.
You will find documentaries and programs you'll NEVER see on mainstream media networks. Programs like Amy Goodman's DEMOCRACY NOW, English language broadcasts from AL JAZEERA and other Middle Eastern news agencies, as well as interesting films like THE CORPORATION, Howard Zinn's magnificent YOU CAN'T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN, Greg Palast Investigates, Bill Moyers on Media and Democracy, American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein, as well as intriguing World Music and foreign music videos.
THIS IS INTELLIGENT TV, UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE!
You can see Link TV on the following satellite stations:
DIRECTV - channel 375
DISH NETWORK - channel 9410
It is also available on a number of cable stations. For a listing, go to their website at www.linktv.org and click on "About Link TV." But don't just stop there: peruse the site and you'll see what a valuable addition this channel can be to your viewing. Should you wish to contribute, just key in www.linktv/contribute, or phone in your TAX DEDUCTIBLE pledge at 1-866-485-8848!
Yes, Virginia, there is an alternative to BBC America! Urge others to watch LINK TV too, as a VERY welcome alternative to boring, uninformative mainstream programming---you will NOT be disappointed!!!