There’s an illusion of choice in the U.S., when it comes to securing information about current events. Specifically, there are approximately 1,500 newspapers, 1,100 magazines, 9000 radio stations, 1,500 TV stations, and over 2,400 publishers, BUT… they are owned by only six corporations! Furthermore, a mere 272 executives (calling the shots for those corporations) control 90% of what something like 277 million Americans see. hear and read regularly. (1)
What should this mean to us?
In an effort to clarify the scope of this dangerous dynamic, I conducted a survey with 508 educators nationwide. My random selection of interviewees included grammar school, high school and college teachers nationwide, covering every state in the country. Twelve — only 12 — respondents knew that the limited sources of news indicating by the figures above were a fact of life for concerned citizens and all others in the United States. And a mere 9 thought that it was something to be concerned about!
What should that mean to us?
One thing it says to me is that there’s nothing in gear to put an end to our ongoing (and illegal) wars abroad. Nothing of significance operating which is slated to put a dent in the proliferation of weapons overseas which are draining our domestic coffers (2), and depleting our moral stature in the world daily… more and more. The ignorance compounding ignorance — courtesy of our mainstream media outlets — is reinforced by our educational institutions, and seems to guarantee that we will continue commiting incessant, inhumane abominations on many counts.
What should a parent do?
Home school, perhaps. Certainly, proactively supplementing what a child is learning seems to be in order, whether one’s children are attending a public or charter school. Do everything possible to deter offspring from becoming part of the wars we’re waging?
Maybe making regular use of alternative news sources would be a good idea too.
(1) I secured this information from Paul Street’s “Reflections on the Not-So Public Broadcasting System” in the December, 2016 issue of Z Magazine; it included a graphic from Mint Press News, which included the facts and figures.
(2) The coffers of the news-controlling corporations and weapons manufacturers, of course, are not being drained.
Rachel Olivia O’Connor is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.