Media Concentration

Closeup of Compass found on many pages of the ALA Chapter Relations Office

Media Concentration

"With growing concentration of media ownership, independent voices decrease and locally produced and locally relevant information, news, and cultural resources diminish. Libraries cannot ensure “the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources,” unless they counter the detrimental impact of media consolidation on the diversity of ideas and localism in their communities. When media consolidation restricts the creation and dissemination of multiple perspectives, the public no longer has a healthy, open exchange of information and ideas. In an era when democratic discourse is more essential than ever, the information system is out of balance. Libraries must provide forums—both physical and virtual—that create opportunities for individuals to engage in the open and balanced exchange of viewpoints and ideas."—Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions (PDF)

| Media Concentration: Still Relevant 10 Years Later | Media Concentration: ALA 2007 | ALA Sources on Media Concentration | Additional Resources on Media Concentration: In the News, Who Owns the Media?, Background |

Media Concentration: Still Relevant 10 Years Later (2017)

Ten years ago, in June 2007, “Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions” was prepared by the now-dissolved American Library Association, Intellectual Freedom Committee Subcommittee on the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries. From article "Media Concentration: Still Relevant 10 Years Later," by Jamie LaRue, director, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Media Concentration: ALA 2003–2007

Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions (PDF) was prepared in June 2007 by the now-dissolved American Library Association, Intellectual Freedom Committee Subcommittee on the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries.

In June of 2003, when the Federal Communications Commission decided to relax a variety of media ownership regulations, many concerns were raised about media concentration, especially in those wanting to uphold the principles of diversity and localism.

At the 2003 Annual Conference, ALA Council adopted New FCC Rules and Media Concentration, opposing rules changes related to media ownership caps and cross-ownership rules that would encourage further media concentration.

Following that Annual Conference, the IFC established the FCC Rules and Media Ownership Subcommittee. Subsequently, its name was changed to Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries. It was charged to examine the impact of these mergers on intellectual freedom, access to information, and diversity of opinion in local communities, and to review how libraries could counter the effects of media consolidation by identifying innovative ways that libraries provide materials and information presenting all points of view.

To fulfill its charge, the subcommittee developed Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions" (PDF). This guideline is designed to provide libraries, library consortia, and library networks with a centralized list of strategies and actions to help them fulfill one of their key responsibilities: to provide access to a diverse collection of resources and services. Special attention has been given to the acquisition of and access to small, independent, and alternative sources—including locally produced ones—in all formats: print, AV media, and electronic.

Having completed its charge, the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries Subcommittee was dissolved at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference.

--information under heading Media Concentration: ALA 2003–2007 is from "Media Concentration," prepared by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

ALA Sources on Media Concentration

New FCC Rules and Media Concentration (ALA Council Resolution)

Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions (PDF)

Libraries and FCC Rules related to Media Concentration and Localism, prepared by Nancy Kranich

FCC Media Concentration and Its Impact on Diversity and Access to Local Information Resources, prepared by Nancy Kranich

Media and Democracy: Resources for alternative news and information, by Kathleen D. Rickert, in ACRL News, vol. 72, no. 1 (2011)

Additional Resources on Media Concentration: In the News, Who Owns the Media?, Background

Follow #mediaconcentration and #mediaconsolidation and #WhoOwnsTheMedia and #MediaOwnership

In the News

AT&T-Time Warner merger approved by federal judge (Boston Globe, June 12, 2018)

T-Mobile and Sprint agree to merge, create giant to rival AT&T and Verizon (Ars Technica, April 29, 2018)

Democratic Sens. Want to Freeze FCC Media Decisions (Broadcasting & Cable, April 26, 2018)

Don't Be Fooled by Sinclair's Shell Games (Free Press, February 22, 2018)

Sinclair Videos Renew Debate Over Media Ownership (New York Times, April 2, 2018)

Viral video raises worry over Sinclair’s political messaging inside local news (PBS News Hour, April 2, 2018)

Sinclair’s pro-Trump news is taking over local TV. See if they own your station (Vox, April 4, 2018)

What it’s like to watch Sinclair—and why that’s the story (Columbia Journalism Review, April 11, 2018)

Who Owns the Media?

Who Owns What Columbia Journalism Review

Who Owns the Media? Free Press

Media Consolidation Free Press

These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America (Business Insider, Jun. 14, 2012)

Media Concentration (Youtube, 2015)

We Still Need Diversity and Minority Ownership in our Media (Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office, January 19, 2012)

Media Ownership, by Pew Research Center

Background

Concentration of Media Ownership (Wikipedia)

Media Cross-Ownership in the United States (Wikipedia)

Media Ownership and Democracy in the Digital Information Age: Promoting Diversity with First Amendment Principles and Market Structure Analysis (PDF), by Mark Cooper, Director of Research, Consumer Federation of America Center for the Internet & Society, Stanford Law School Associated Fellow, Columbia Institute for Tele-information

Testimony of Dr. Mark N. Cooper, Director of Research on Media Ownership before the Senate Commerce Committee (PDF), Washington, D.C. (October 2003)

The Impact of Media Concentration on Professional Journalism (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media, 2003)