Friday, October 14, 2005

''MEDIA MATTERS: An analysis....''

"...of media literacy, communities of color and challenging the status quo. Timothy Butler is a 16-year-old student at Rainier Beach High School who knows a thing or two about the media.

He already has a good sense of what “media consolidation” means, and he understands, fully well, that most of what’s consumed as popular media is being generated by the newspapers and cable stations, wire services, photo agencies, radio shows, Web portals, film companies, music and book publishers, and magazines owned by five mega-corporations.

They are AOL Time Warner (CNN, Time, AOL); The Walt Disney Co. (ABC, Disney Channel, St. Louis Daily Record); Bertelsmann (Random House, (co-owner), Bertelsmann Music Group); Viacom (BET, CBS, MTV, Paramount, Blockbuster); and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (New York Post, Fox TV, HarperCollins, Twentieth Century Fox). (General Electric’s NBC is the sixth, but doesn’t come close to owning as much as any of the top five companies.)

In 1983, there were 50 corporations that controlled a majority of U.S. media. By 1992, there were only 14. Now, there are five, as Butler points out.

Butler, a sophomore of Native and African-American heritage, doesn’t want to go into journalism – there’s not even a school newspaper for him to write for if he wanted to – but he still watches the news regularly, trying to weed out what’s true and what’s not.

In this sense, he’s better equipped than the average person his age."-from the feature story in Colors Northwest.

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