Book to be Debated at June 24 Event
WASHINGTON D.C. - Are media companies in this country too big? How big is "too big"? Is the media diverse enough and competitive enough today? And what relationship, if any, does media size have to the health of our democracy? These are the questions Adam Thierer, Director of The Progress & Freedom Foundation's Center for Digital Media Freedom, explores in Media Myths: Making Sense of the Debate over Media Ownership.
In the new book by the PFF senior fellow, Thierer challenges head-on media critics and their claims that we live in a world of a media monopoly. "Contrary to what some media critics claim, to the extent there was ever a 'Golden Age' of media in America , we are living in it today," he argues. The bound book is available for purchase from PFF, and a PDF version of it is available on the PFF web site under a Creative Commons license.
Thierer will discuss the book and its themes at a forum hosted by The Progress & Freedom Foundation June 24. Former FCC Commissioner Susan Ness will be on hand to discuss the book's themes with Thierer and address the role the federal government plays as a regulator of media. The forum runs from 10 a.m. to noon, and will be at the National Press Club. Those interested in attending can register online. Questions should be directed to Eileen Goulding at 202-289-8928 or email@example.com. Media should direct their questions to Patrick Ross at 202-289-8928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Media Myths Thierer debunks the arguments in favor of media ownership limits. "Such rules do little to encourage increased media diversity and competition," he says. "Indeed, more often than not, they thwart important new developments that could enhance media diversity and competition." Citizens will be better off without such regulations, Thierer argues, because their private actions and preferences will have a greater bearing in shaping media markets than arbitrary federal regulations.
"No matter how large any given media outlet is today, it is ultimately just one of hundreds of sources of news, information, and entertainment that we have at our collective disposal," Thierer says. "It is just one voice in our contemporary media cacophony, shouting to be heard above the others. Information and entertainment cannot be monopolized in a free society, especially in today's world of media abundance."
Recently Thierer has authored a Progress on Point titled "Thinking Seriously About Cable & Satellite Censorship: An Informal Analysis of S-616, the Rockefeller-Hutchison Bill," and a Progress Snapshot titled "'Kid-Friendly' Tiering Mandates: More Government Nannyism for Cable TV."
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.