Monday, January 29, 2007

If you can't silence the media, buy it.

You have to ask yourself why a large Australian bank would be interested in owning over 40 small newspapers in the U.S.? Well maybe it's because Macquarie Bank is Australia's largest capital rising firm and has invested billions in purchasing roads in U.S., Canada and U.K.
With the rising opposition to the Nafta Superhighway mounting, the investors are feeling the heat. In many of the small communities in the Trans-Texas corridor these newspapers are very important. "The newspapers are the main communication tool for many of the rural Texan communities, with many citizens at risk of losing their homes and farms through eminent domain," Costello wrote.
Many of these small papers have been very critical to the whole toll road project.


Sal Costello said...

Great Headline Bobkatt!

Sal Costello
The Muckraker

coboble said...

This has me thinking, of a stance I took on a specific election issue.

I was arguing (with those who would listen to me) that the right to free speech does not necessarily include the right to purchase speech.

I have re-evaluated this stance since, and have not changed my initial conclusion; however I do see that drawing the line is not easy. In fact it is so complicated, that it may not be worth doing at all.

People do choose what media they read and/or listen to. So can we trust people to make the right choices, or do we regulate who can buy speech?

Bobkatt said...

Coboble-I appreciate your comments and the fact that you seem open minded.

Many of these newspapers are in small rural communities of 5000 people or less. When you say that people choose to read/listen to what they want to I agree if they are offered a choice. However, in these small communities I doubt if they have rival local media to choose from and often times the rural areas have little to no internet connectivity except maybe dial-up. You will also have to admit that there has been almost no media coverage on this TransAmerican highway except for Lou Dobbs on CNN. You really have to ask yourself why an Australian company would be interested in these newspapers that just happen to be along the area of the proposed route.
Living in Oregon it has me worried that the same Australian and Spanish companies that are pushing this Nafta highway are currently up here telling the local governments that they need to be allowed to build toll roads here. They are being seduced by up front payments that are arranged by Wall St. investment bankers. It never ends between the monumental national debt and the selling off of our national assets soon there won't be an America left. I'm old enough to remember when Americans could do anything, even put a man on the moon. Now we are being told that Americans can't run the ports, can't defend our own borders, can't fund our schools or build our own roads. We are being told that there are jobs that Americans won't do and that we have to compete with a world that earns a dollar a day. I inherited the greatest country in the world and feel that it is our duty to hand off to our youth the same or better and it's just not happening.

coboble said...

What we have is a clear problem (which I agree is a problem) with no clear solution.

What is the best wait to insure people get the "correct" information, without being flooded with information which is over biased?
Is there such a thing as non-biased information?

What do you propose, as far as what laws should exist to determine who can own what media?

This is not the only example. This one might be more obvious based on the likely motives of the media purchaser. However, I know that there is plenty of media, where the media owners views are pushed, sometimes at a cost to the full truth.