If you’ve become disenchanted by mainstream national news sources, welcome to the club!
After many years of sifting through opinion-infused news stores for the simple facts of a story and watching overly aggressive interviews where the host tires to rhetorically beat and humiliates his guests for the ratings rather than use their conversation to teach viewers about the differing viewpoints on a topic, I finally had enough and went searching for a news outlet with some integrity.
I won’t turn this post into a plug by naming the news source, but it’s an independent, family owned news source that I trust to be objective in its reporting and transparent in its opinions.
I recently learned that my news source, like so many others, is in serious danger.
In a $65-billion-dollar deal, Charter Communications is attempting to acquire two of its key competitors: Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. This media mega-merger would join the fourth, (Time Warner), seventh (Charter), and tenth (Bright House) largest multi-channel video programming distributors in the country, making them nearly as big as Comcast. If the merger is successful Charter and Comcast would control over 70% of the mainstream media. This is a duopoly!
Why is this merger dangerous for independent programmers?
Charter has a history of mistreating independent programmers by flatly refusing to carry their networks and instead offering them unfavorable, anti-competitive terms. Public interest groups are concerned that this character flaw is a sign that Charter would leverage its monopoly power to oppress and suffocate the independent news sources and gain further control over the market.
Charter has declared bankruptcy several times in the past decade, so their attempt to dramatically expand when they haven’t been able to keep their original business solvent is already a troubling idea.
Approval for the merger is pending as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reviews the application for the merger.
MoveOn.org has an open petition for anyone who supports independent media programmers or opposes monopolizing power in the American market place.
Photo Source: www.corporations.org