Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/12/23

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Who'd be a PJ in these troubled times?
From: Gary Elshaw <>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 03:59:44 +1300

Hi B.D.

This is one of the larger bones of contention when discussing the balance of
power in the world's media. I (personally) not only believe there isn't a
multiplicity of voice, but don't believe there is much of a variation in
voice when the majority of the world's media sources are invariably stacking
up to look like cartels. Most of my Media 102 students are sent to this site
for a little insight into media ownership

I don't have the stats at hand, but something like 50% of the world's media
sources are owned by a handful of companies, and those handful of companies
make 50% more money than all of the others combined. That's a great deal of

To bring this back on a LUG track, I know there are a lot of folks here who
have worked for the various press agencies in the past, who have all
mentioned the amalgamations and changes that have gone on with their past
work organizations. Most seem to concur on the limitations on sources, what
with all of these various conglomerations taking place. You and I have both
seen it, you don't need a degree in semiotics--the same photo in different
papers with a different caption that places a totally different spin on a
story. And of course, these are unbiased news sources.

I'm getting off the point I know, but I can't help postulate, that perhaps
an "ideologically imbalanced" view such as Green Peace's "newspaper" can
provide a truth that isn't evidenced by an "impartial" source such as the
NYT. I don't imagine any reporter being given the time to do a full
investigative piece on this by any editor--Newspapers are pretty reluctant
to sink money and time on journalists for extended pieces that may take
months to research and write, and who's to say if the investigation will pay
off for the advertisers who are the bottom line.

To use the example of the NYT, check out how much they own:
President & CEO: Russell T. Lewis
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange as: NYT

    * newspapers
    * broadcasting
    * investments


    * The Boston Globe
    * The Courier (Houma, LA)
    * The Daily Comet (Thibodaux, LA)
    * Daily News (Palatka, FL)
    * Daily World (Opelousas, LA)
    * The Dispatch (Lexington, NC)
    * The Gadsden Times (AL)
    * The Gainesville Sun (FL)
    * International Herald Tribune (50% with The Washington Post Co.; Paris)
    * Lake City Reporter (FL)
    * The Ledger (Lakeland, FL)
    * Marco Island Eagle (FL)
    * The News-Leader (Fernandina Beach, FL)
    * The News-Sun (Sebring, FL)
    * The New York Times
    * The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA)
    * Petaluma Argus-Courier (CA)
    * Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
    * Spartanburg Herald-Journal (SC)
    * Star-Banner (Ocala, FL)
    * TimesDaily (Florence, AL)
    * Times-News (Hendersonville, NC)
    * The Tuscaloosa News (AL)
    * Wilmington Morning Star (NC)
    * The Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Information Services

    * The New York Times Electronic Media Company
    * The New York Times Business Information Services
          * The New York Times Index
    * The New York Times News Service
          * TimesFax (summary of information sent via fax, satellite, and



    * KFOR (Oklahoma City)
    * KFSM (Fort Smith, AR)
    * WHNT (Huntsville, AL)
    * WHO (Des Moines, IA)
    * WNEP (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA)
    * WQAD (Moline, IL)
    * WREG (Memphis)
    * WTKR (Norfolk, VA)
    * Ovation (cable network, part interest)


    * WQEW - AM (New York City)
    * WQXR - FM (New York City)

Paper Products

    * Donohue Malbaie Inc. (49%, Canada)
    * Madison Paper Industries (40%, Maine)


    * ($15 million investment).

You'll have to fill me in on how life is going at MIT, and I want to know
how that VW is working for you! It's 4AM here, so before I go off on further
wild tangents, I'll call it quits for the night--to everyone's relief!

All the best,

> Hi, Gary, I am thanks -well. Anyway, while the mainstream press may have
> interlocked corporate owners, etc. etc. etc., on the editorial side the
> major American papers still at least strive for something approaching a
> reasonably balanced view of reality. While they don't always succeed, I
> would argue that they still succeed better than most of the rest of the
> world's media.
> Are you really equating the news pages of, say, The New York Times, with
> the pages of The Greenpeace Times  (or whatever it is called)? The Times
> exists to present news of the world to the public - no matter what you
> may think of the job it does. The Greenpeace publication exists solely
> to push the Greenpeace agenda.
> B. D.
"While Disney sought only to foster "an image of innocent delightfulness,"
defendants supposedly sought to convey an allegorical message of
significance. Put politely by one commentator, the "Air Pirates" was "an
"underground' comic book which had placed several well-known Disney cartoon
characters in incongruous settings where they engaged in activities clearly
antithetical to the accepted Mickey Mouse world of scrubbed faces, bright
smiles and happy endings." It centered around "a rather bawdy depiction of
the Disney characters as active members of a free thinking, promiscuous,
drug ingesting counterculture." Note, Parody, Copyrights and the First
Amendment, 10 U.S.F.L.Rev. 564, 571, 582 (1976). "

(9th Cir., 1978) (581 F.2d 751)

Gary Elshaw
Film and Media Studies Tutor
Victoria University
New Zealand

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