Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Corporate control of U.S. media subject of
McChesney talk April 13 at North Central College

NAPERVILLE, Ill. - Can citizens be sure they’re getting fair, balanced, unbiased news when just one company owns all the news outlets for a given market? Award-winning author and media expert Robert McChesney, speaking at North Central College on Tuesday, April 13, thinks not.

McChesney will speak at 7:30 in the Harold and Eva White Activities Center, 325 E. Benton Ave., on “The Emerging Struggle for Control of the Media in the United States” and how ordinary citizens can get involved. The event, originally scheduled for January but cancelled due to bad weather, is free and open to the public.

McChesney’s most recent book, The Problem of the Media, has just been published to glowing reviews. Said one reviewer, “If you are sick of the dumbed-down, hyper-commercialized media and want to know how to change it, this is must reading. An essential call to arms.”

Author or editor of eight additional books on the role of media in democratic and capitalist societies, McChesney says that a wave of mergers in recent years has led to a concentration of media ownership that is unhealthy for the future of American democracy. He argues that the media have become an anti-democratic force in the United States and, to varying degrees, around the world; that increased “choice” (including the Internet) does not necessarily translate into more objective information; and that wealthy investors, advertisers and a handful of huge media, computer and telecommunications conglomerates are the principal beneficiaries of the Information Age.

McChesney is a leader in the burgeoning media reform movement that in the past year generated over a million phone calls and pieces of mail to Congress and the White House protesting the Federal Commerce Commission's June 2nd decision to further deregulate media ownership.

Since 1998, McChesney has been at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he is research professor in the Institute of Communications Research and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. From 1988-1998, he was at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was an award-winning classroom teacher. His Ph.D. is from the University of Washington. His most recent books include The Problem of Media (2004), Our Media, Not Theirs (with John Nichols, 2002) and Rich Media, Poor Democracy (2000).

White Activities Center is handicap-accessible.
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