Rich Media, Poor Democracy (2003) (trailer)

If a key indicator of the health of a democracy is the state of its journalism, the United States is in deep trouble. In Rich Media, Poor Democracy, Robert McChesney lays the blame for this state of affairs squarely at the doors of the corporate boardrooms of big media, which far from delivering on their promises of more choice and more diversity, have organized a system characterized by a lack of competition, homogenization of opinion and formulaic programming.

Through numerous examples, McChesney, and media scholar, Mark Crispin Miller, demonstrate how journalism has been compromised by the corporate bosses of conglomerates such as Disney, Sony, Viacom, News Corp, and AOL Time Warner to produce a system of news that is high on sensationalism and low on information. They suggest that unless citizen activism can reclaim the commons, this new corporate system will be characterized by a rich media and an ever impoverished, poor democracy.

Buy the DVD
on Tue, Feb 22 2011 · 24,085 Views
Load Comments
You Might Be Interested In
11 min · A short film exploring the impact of media consolidation on news content and how this affects youth, both as viewers and media makers. In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. At the time, Ben Bagdikian was called "alarmist" for...
3 min · "A most important project" - Noam Chomsky, Institute professor MIT "...a magnificent and entertaining introduction and elaboration upon an important way to understand the crisis in American democracy today" - Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois prof. co-author, The...
2 min · Clear Channel neglects its emergency system, disaster strikes, and people die. Pentagon pundits profit from the same war they promote. Fox News gets a court ruling that news does not have to be true. And Radio Talkers rule. Media Policy is killing people in this country...
102 min · This is one of the definitive films examining 9/11. Instead of the focus being on physical anomalies surrounding the attacks, which have been examined extensively in other films, it focuses on evidence of a vast intelligence network that provided the aid necessary for the...
54 min · Lawrence Lessig explains how institutional corruption has affected every aspect of our government.  Quotes from the video: "The big change came in the late 1970s and 1980s when large corporate chains accelerated the long-term trend to gobble up daily newspapers." -- quote...
7 min · In MEF's powerful new release, The Bro Code, filmmaker Thomas Keith takes aim at the forces in male culture that condition boys and men to dehumanize and disrespect women. Keith breaks down a range of contemporary media forms that are saturated with sexism -- movies and music...
80 min · This 80-minute documentary focuses on the growing "wealth gap" in America, as seen through the eyes of filmmaker Jamie Johnson, a 27-year-old heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. Johnson, who cut his film teeth at NYU and made the Emmy®-nominated 2003 HBO...
17 min · We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.
2 min · Maxed Out takes us on a journey deep inside the American debt-cycle, where everything seems okay as long as the minimum monthly payment arrives on time. Sure, most of us may have that sinking feeling that something isn't quite right, but we're told not to worry. After all...
7 min · 'Gift' is a must watch short film that has a profound, heart-touching message about the importance of giving, and the true value of wealth. It’s a beautiful depiction of how we deeply touch others when we selflessly give our time, love and kindness. “Gift” is about a boy who...
5 min · The Disney Company's massive success in the 20th century is based on creating an image of innocence, magic and fun. Its animated films in particular are almost universally lauded as wholesome family entertainment, enjoying massive popularity among children and endorsement...
52 min · 'The New Rulers Of The World analyzes the new global economy and reveals that the divisions between the rich and poor have never been greater - two thirds of the world's children live in poverty - and the gulf is widening like never before. The film turns the spotlight...
Common Cause · The free flow of news and information, accessible to everyone, is vital to the success of democracy. And today in America, that flow is in doubt. Our newspapers, traditionally the most reliable source of civic information and investigative reporting, are laying off reporters...
Josh Silver · Today, the Federal Communications Commission blessed the merger of Comcast, the nation's largest cable and residential Internet provider, with NBC-Universal. The Justice Department immediately followed suit, removing the last obstacle to the unprecedented consolidation of...
Carl Gibson · What would you say to a family financial adviser who suggested your wisest investment would be to liquidate your own retirement account and empty out your kids' college fund to buy your wealthy cousin a new Bentley? Would you go ahead and gamble with your life savings in...
Jeff Cohen · I spent years as a political pundit on mainstream TV – at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. I was outnumbered, outshouted, red-baited and finally terminated. Inside mainstream media, I saw that major issues were not only dodged, but sometimes not even acknowledged to exist. Today...
Glenn Greenwald - Friday, Aug 1, 2008 · The FBI's lead suspect in the September, 2001 anthrax attacks -- Bruce E. Ivins -- died Tuesday night, apparently by suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to charge him with responsibility for the attacks. For the last 18 years, Ivins was a top anthrax...
Murtaza Hussain · In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and while a massive police manhunt continued for the suspected perpetrator, 19 year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, NBC journalist David Gregory would say to American television viewers: "This is a new state of terror the country has to get...
Matthew Toplikar · Comcast lobbyists are working the halls of Congress to pave the way for their big takeover of NBC. Unfortunately, the merger would mean more media consolidation and could be a serious threat to net neutrality.   When the same company owns both the production and...
Yes! Magazine contributors · Corporate power is behind the politics of climate denial, Wall Street bailouts, union busting, and media consolidation, to name just a few. And policies advocated by the 1 percent are bankrupting the middle class. But real people have power, too. Here are some of their most...
Like us on Facebook?