In Ted Turner’s article, “My Beef with Big Media,” the author discusses how the consolidation of big media companies is taking over and producing a society in which the smaller media companies cannot compete. The firsthand knowledge that Turner has with the competitiveness of the media conglomerates and the inability for the smaller media companies became evident when he could no longer provide the means to make his own company, Turner Communications, successful and had to sell to one of the dominant media conglomerates, Time Warner. As time has progressed, the “little guys” have been pushed aside by the large conglomerates with no help from the FCC. The takeover of media companies such as Disney and Time Warner has resulted in an increase in the selectiveness of what the media broadcasts along the decline of quality programming in order for the “big guys” to make money faster.
As Turner discussed, through the 1990’s the FCC was very clear in its desire to adhere to its own regulation of promoting diversification, localism, and competition. In accordance to this policy, rules were set up to control how much a single media corporation could own. “In 1990, the major broadcasting networks—ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox—fully or partially owned just 12.5 percent of the new shows that aired” (Turner, 2). However, with increasing pressure from these major broadcasting networks came the loosening of restrictions on how much could be owned. This has resulted in the media controlling what is broadcasted to their audience, which includes a decrease in localism and an increase in the stories broadcasted being censored to not compromise the mother-company. With the dominate media companies wanting to make the biggest buck in the shortest amount of time, the idea of investing in local stories has shifted to the focus being on national stories. “Local coverage is expensive, and thus will tend to be a casualty in the quest for short-term earnings” (Turner, 9). This also falls directly in line with the censorship of what is broadcasted on each major media network. As Turner points out, when Disney acquired ABC they immediately cut out a “20/20” episode that conveyed Disney in a not-so-nice light. These companies are more concerned with the preservation of their image rather than the integrity to the public.
Since the beginning of the early 2000’s, there has been an increase