COMMENT Bob Weaver

Most of Americans perception of what is happening in the USA and around the world is shaped by five giant news corporations.

While they appear to be delivering the "news," and sometimes they are, the messaging is shaped, not the least being that most "news" that people are watching (not reading) is delivered by the commentary-style of talking heads.

The five corporations control 90 percent of US mass media, with direct financial links to the political establishment and the economic and political power-elites of the United States.

The five conglomerates are Time Warner, Disney, Murdochs' News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS).

Their control spans most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, movie studios, and much of web news content.

These conglomerates are in large measure responsible for inculcating the social, political, economic, and moral values of both adults and children in the United States.

It was not always this way.

After World War II, three out of four US newspapers were independently owned. But the media-control numbers have been shrinking ever since due to mergers and acquisitions.

By 1983, 50 corporations controlled 90 percent of US media.

But now, just five giant conglomerates control 90 percent of what most Americans read, watch, and listen to.

It is notable and should be emphasized that all the five major media conglomerates are corporate members of the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think-tank whose members have been instrumental in formulating US government policies.

The voices of independent news outlets cannot compete, and more often than not, unheard.

Furthermore, polling on what Americans think about national issues are being ignored by their democratically elected representatives, which at one time carried weight.

The government is now more representative of an oligarchy, a structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people.

See HOW WILL AMERICA GET ITS' NEWS? - Grass-Root Reporting Fading Fast

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