“Big media barons are routinely accused of dominating markets, dumbing down the news to plump up the bottom line, and forcing U.S. content on world audiences. But these companies are not as big, bad, dominant, or American as critics claim. And company size is largely irrelevant to many of the problems facing today’s Fourth Estate.” Benjamin Compaine
—Global MediaForeign Policy)
Since I’ve devoted class time and blog bits to lamenting the reach of multimedia corporations, it seems only fair to link to this opposing view. Interesting quotation from the article: “A merger of Time Inc. with Warner Communications and then with America Online dominates headlines, but the incremental growth of smaller companies from the bottom does not.” Weblogs are apt vehicles for promulgating the “media convergence is bad” meme, but if Compaine is right, then the growth of weblogs themselves is an argument against the idea that convergence is the dominant model. Another quote from the article: “Make no mistake: an activist with a dial-up Internet connection and 10 megabytes of Web server space cannot easily challenge Disney for audiences. But an individual or a small group can reach the whole world and, with a little work and less money, can actually find an audience.” That sounds more like the point of view expressed in the blogosphere.