Pulling the veil off the media

Updated: 2011-12-27 08:19

(China Daily)

  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

The so-called independent Western media are actually controlled by a few giant companies, representing and serving only 1 percent of the population, says a commentary in the Chinese version of Global Times. Excerpts:

Independent media, a core concept of Western journalism, refer to privately controlled media, which are free of governments or parties in terms of ownership and finance. Western journalism believes only an independent media can be free of government or party control and maintain political neutrality.

Different from the exciting but bloodthirsty businesses, the mainstream media in the United States appear intentionally cold to and detached from the Occupy Wall Street protests. The media neither carry timely reports on the protests nor do they attempt an analysis of a possible outcome, and thus reveal their real face.

The so-called independent media is actually controlled by a few tycoons that rule over several giant companies. News Group, VIACOM in the US and Bertelsmann in Germany can be cited as ready examples. They are not only the largest media companies in the world, but also family businesses that control many famous media houses such as The Wall Street Journal, FOX, Times, CBS, MTV, United Paramount Network, RTL Group, Random House and Gruner Jahr. These media companies are becoming larger by the day through mergers and acquisitions.

An insight into their stock distribution and executive management structure reveals how some powerful consortiums have penetrated into society. The real controllers of the Western media are not the majority of the public but the most powerful and richest elites in the West. And it is this group that the media serve.

Can the media controlled by 1 percent of the population really stand for the interests of the 99 percent as they proclaim? The so-called independent media can act independently of a government or party but cannot be free of capitalists.

The media companies have all the profit-making guiles that are seen in big business. In fact, making money is not only the means, but also the goal of their operation. Henry Robinson Luce, former publisher and editor-in-chief of TIME magazine, was honest when he said the newspaper was just a business.

Isn't it surprising that the almighty media in the US didn't get wind of the global financial crisis, created by greedy tycoons and their executives, let alone suggest precautionary measures? The media think the Occupy Wall Street movement is of "no journalistic value".

The US Commission on Freedom of the Press warned way back in the 1940s that when the news media are only useful to and used by a small group of people, they would become dangerous for all. We see the risk clearly from the US media's reaction to the widespread protests in the US.

Capitalism believes in protecting private wealth and preserving the interest of capitals. The 1 percent elite that control the media benefit from free market capitalism and do everything to maintain the system.

The media controlled by a few can question or blame politicians, parties and governments. They can even get politicians dismissed or lose elections. But they do not and will never doubt, criticize or fight the system. They have downplayed the Occupy Wall Street movement because the protesters are pointing the finger at the systematic malady of capitalism.

Powerful capitalist groups even employ governments in the West, which makes these groups' bosses the real rulers of Western countries. Politicians are like hirelings of the capitalists. And when the elites are unhappy, they can always change their employees.

Media criticize governments not because of public supervision but because the masters want to reproach their servants. This is the real face of the so-called independent media of the West.

(China Daily 12/27/2011 page9)