The video of this article will be located at the bottom of the page
When it comes to information from the media in the United States, do Americans really have a choice in what they listen to, watch, or read? Given information provided 3 years ago, it would seem that we do not have a choice, but before I get into that, I would like to explain how I came upon this story.
I was searching for information regarding the recent Detroit shooting where 11 people were shot, one killed. I came across the Detroit Free Press and immediately, I realized it looks exactly like USA Today’s website. The layout of both is very distinct and is quite unlike any website I’ve ever seen before. Not only is the layout similar, but the article’s title and content is nearly identical.
At the top of the Detroit Free Press website, underneath its name, it says “A Gannett Company.” I have seen that name on previous news sites. I found those sites under very suspicious circumstances as well. While researching information about the James Boulware incident, I found three websites (carbon copies of one another) that had been posted a year ago, but were hosting a USA Today video that was supposedly shot a week ago, right after the Dallas PD Shooting. I did a video on what I found and will post it for everyone to see.
According to an article on Business Insider’s website, 6 companies own 90% of all media in the nation. That’s down from 50 companies owning 90% of all media back in 1983. That means the media industry is extremely concentrated. Given the oligarchical nature of the governments and corporations in America, it would seem many of these companies collude with one another to further increase each of their profit margins in order to drive down competition.
But the Gannett Company is not listed in this graph, even though it is the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by measure of its daily circulation. The Gannett Company owns USA Today, USA Weekend, the Arizona Republic, the Indianapolis Star, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Tennessean, the Courier-Journal, the Democrat and Chronicle, the Des-Moines Register, the Detroit Free Press, and the News-Press.
That’s not all it owns. It owns 46 TV stations through its spin-off corporation – Gannett Broadcasting – where it is the largest group owner of stations affiliated with NBC and CBS. It also owns Planet Discover, PointRoll, and many other digital media companies.
The Gannett Company was created in 1923 by Frank Gannett. Mr. Gannett started his newspaper business in Elmira, New York in 1906 and later formed it into the currently known Gannett Company. Gannet was a conservative and became a mogul by purchasing small, independently-owned and operated newspapers, then turning them into large chains. By 1979, the company had expanded to 79 newspapers.
Over the years, growth continued and the Gannett Company continued purchasing newspapers, and TV stations.
This might not prove that the company has any ill-will toward the public or that it pushes any kind of agenda, but the company openly punished 25 employees who signed a petition to recall Governor Scott Walker in 2012. According to statements released, the employees’ signing of the recall petition violated the company’s code of journalistic ethics, because their primary responsibility as journalists was to maintain credibility and public trust in themselves and the organization.
While it might seem reasonable for a journalist to stay neutral at all times, it is hard to agree with the suppression of 1st amendment rights of any citizen, regardless of his/her job title. What a journalist does in his or her ‘off time’ is of no concern to a corporation and no employer should be allowed to threaten job security in order to force one kind of ‘thought’ across its employees. This is irrefutable evidence that the company is more than willing to push an agenda onto its journalists, and by punishing those employees, it actually violated its own journalist-ethics ‘code’, because it is pushing its own agenda.
By threatening their employees with punishment for signing a petition, they are saying they disagree with the petition – I seriously doubt it has anything to do with ‘ethics’, especially since it is unethical to stifle the free speech of employees that hold the right to free press and free speech in such high regard. By the very nature of their employ, the first amendment is the most important to them. When a media company violates the free speech rights of its own employees, the media company should be dissolved in its entirety as it has then become compromised.
This is why it’s important that we find a legitimate, independently owned media source. Alternative media outlets abound and should be looked at as viable media outlets. We need to start ignoring the large, mainstream media in this country, because after the information I just gave to you, it’s clear that the media in the US is nothing more than a propaganda tool, either for the government, the corporations, or both.
One can find legitimate sources of information out there that has nothing to do with the mainstream. One thing to watch out for when choosing a “legitimate” source for news is whether that publication (in whatever form it takes) cites sources and whether the citations lead to ‘legitimate’ sources. When you find a media source you enjoy, and it is consistently pushing out information that is fair, balanced, and cited, then you might be able to rest easy knowing that its writers/editors are ethical in their treatment of information. But it’s important that everyone stays vigilant and to never become complacent and just take everything as fact, because it might just be the case that when your go-to alternative media source becomes large, it might have been purchased by a large corporation and turned into another propaganda tool.