Is Big Media Okay?

“HAVEN’T YOU EVER HEARD THE TERM MEDIA CONGLOMERATE?”

That’s a line out of ALGORITHM. It’s used as a rebuttal against one of the character’s plans to “notify the media”. The optimistic idea we have is that if we find out something that’s amazing/important/news-worthy, all we’d have to do is let the local paper/blog/show know about it.

And then there’s this: According to the Los Angeles Times Comcast Strikes Deal to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 Billion

This should scare you. 

It’s not just because Comcast and Time Warner are two of the major proponents against Net Neutrality, though, that should be enough. 

It’s also not because it stifles competition, which affects prices to the end user. The fact is that, according to the BBC, the United States is 18th on the Internet Speed Charts. And, let’s forget the fact that the United States government (yes, the Department of Defense) invented the Internet. You’d think it would be faster here. Sorry. It turns out there’s a cost to being an early adopter.

The reason this Comcast/Time Warner deal should scare you is the amount of media it puts under the control of a single organization… an organization that is rapidly becoming unregulated.

The United States bases it’s government on a single document written over 200 years ago. Back then, before the Internet, the “founding fathers” thought the freedom of the press was important enough to make it the 1st Amendment to its constitution. That’s above the right to own a gun, the right to a fair trial, the right to not have to house the military in your home, at your expense. The people who wrote the constitution thought it was that important!

Does this mean Comcast or Time Warner Cable is evil? You be the judge of that. But, this amount of consolidated power has been limited in the past for a reason. Even the U.S. Government is broken up into three branches.

I leave you with 2 questions: How much of your worldview is made up of the media you consume? How much of that will be going through networks that could be owned by Comcast/Time-Warner Cable?