In short, capital alone now controls "our" economy, media, central bank, campaign finance system and so, in effect, our now money-driven democracy. In practice, the vast majority of wage-earning citizen's concerns and interests are systematically denied and disappeared. As a result, only capital's ideas, values, and distorted "free market" and "free trade" concerns reach the public -- and usually only a few days before legislators are expected to vote on thousand-page documents riddled with favors for capital, and evermore enclosure for labor.
While, in theory, politicians may threaten media owners with license review or anti-trust action, it is media owners who possess the greater weapon today -- i.e., one useful against incumbent politicians fearful of bad press, lack of access, and endorsement of opponents. Exactly this sorry, quid-pro-quo, relationship leads to media corruption and gridlock benefiting a ruling, corporate, class.
Without editor and editorial freedom we cannot displace oligarchy, oligopoly, and restore any effective democracy.
Today's concentration of media ownership and editorial power brings into sharp focus not only the immense responsibility, but also the freedom and estate of editors - in particular those with audiences in the millions, or even billions. Yet it is major-media owners, and their hand-picked editors, who decide what the vast majority see, hear, and read. Media owners and their editors have become the un-elected, and unregulated, keepers of the public trust and minters of the public mind.
In this setting, the vast wage-earning majority have no say in major-media editor hirings and firings and so possess no effective means to implement a balance. As commercialization and cleansing of the internet continues the people have little or no control over the content of their informational life-blood, within major media organizations. Instead, a handful of owners, editors, and news agencies control the facts and opinions flowing to ever-greater numbers. Thus, the impact of the editorial powers of a handful of private concerns grow to global proportions. This is an intolerable condition in a democracy.
A once freer, more representative and local, press has been replaced by a one-factor-owned "fourth estate" -- and one with but one ideology and infallible agenda, and people by journalists fearful for their jobs.
But whose information is it? Particularly in an era when for-profit mega-media is acquiring global influence, the problem with employee-editor relationships is that the public has no way to protect editors, or the public interest, from any owner's ideologies, influence, political candidate preferences, and retribution against dissident editors or journalists. Major media owners remain free to treat editors as at-will employees, and thus to manage opinion and content as their private preserve.
Given the importance of editorial positions, and today's degree of media concentration and control by one factor, editors within major media concerns need to be protected, and established, as quasi-public employees - i.e., those charged with minting, and not counterfeiting, our information currency. Where editors have no real independence or protection from their employers, the public's media rights and information interests are then jeopardized, if not ruined."
The public interest is clearly not represented nor balanced today against a major media owner's hiring prerogatives and ability to threaten the jobs and careers of employee editors. Given this state of affairs, media is per se corrupt as the public has neither ownership interest, control, equal amount of media, nor any recourse over those who edit a privatized information stream sold to, and foisted upon, the public for a for-profit purpose.
This corrupt condition is comparable to privatizing the federal mint and eliminating all regulation on those who print and distribute our money -- a dismal condition we already suffer. With media, our information currency in being minted in any amount, and ideological denomination, that corporate owners and their hand-picked editors determine. Given this condition, simply the potential for editorial corruption and imbalance is enough to warrant legislation protecting editors - i.e, those employed by major media and network organizations of a certain size and reach.
As a vital first reform, and prior to achieving any public-private, or factor-balanced, parity of media ownership, exactly this Editorial Freedom Act remedy should be employed to protect editors, and the integrity of our information stream."
The intent of the act mentioned here, and can be seen at EditorFreedom.com, is to remove the power of major media owners to pick their editors and producers. Instead, these "quasi public" employees dealing with the information currency, should be picked by some bipartisan panel, or even by the subscribers to a major newspaper.
Far more likely than ever getting any such act passed, however, is a re-instatement of the Fairness Doctrine -- a responsible and necessary regulation of our media and information environment. Without such necessary balance and proper media regulation we will drown in capital's propaganda to our own, our children's, our country's, and our world's detriment.