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.
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