According to media-watchdog organizations including Accuracy in Media and Free Press, six corporations control most of the news presented to most Americans: TV, cable, radio, newspapers, magazines, books and bookstores are increasingly dominated by a handful of businesses. At the same time, major corporatations are pressing for relaxation of rules limiting ownership of newspapers and television franchises within markets while media heavyweight Rupert Murdoch of NewsCorp continues to buy up smaller operations. Most recently, Murdoch moved to acquire Dow Jones and its publication, The Wall Street Journal.
The prospects for meaningful media reform will be the subject of a Mountain Area Information Network presentation, “The Progressive Response to an Undemocratic Media.” MAIN Executive Director Wally Bowen says his speech—which he gives and updates periodically—will explore “the latest assaults on our democratic media and ways citizens can help create sustainable media in Western North Carolina.”
Introducing Bowen and participating in a Q&A following the talk will be Jerald terHorst, a journalist, author and President Gerald Ford‘s first press secretary. TerHorst may be best remembered for his resignation in protest when Ford pardoned President Richard Nixon in 1974. Before his White House stint, terHorst was a newspaper reporter who had covered Ford’s career since 1948. After resigning, he returned to the Detroit News as a public-affairs columnist.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Jubilee! Community Center (26 Wall St. in downtown Asheville) on Thursday, May 24, at 7 p.m. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 255-0182.