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April 24, 2009

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Depends on what the market is.

In the US, Rupert Murdoch controls a lot of stuff in New York City (two (maybe three) newspapers, and two cable networks); network consolidation posed a problem in the run-up to the Iraq War in the US, and has in the crash (the overleveraged Tribune Company, the NYT Company).

That said, I'm not entirely sure what the answer is. Instinctively, I'd want never to give anyone the Murdoch exemption again in the US, though it's rapidly going to become difficult to distinguish and determine markets, if we end up at a convergence of internet and tv in the way that seems at least plausible, thus making the cap on owning x number of outlets in any one market less important than it had been previously.

Given that, unlike the US, Argentina has had period of...difficulty in its democratic governance (though the Bush Decade probably counts as a Lost Decade, but more on that in ten years), I feel as if giving the government power to finger-wag at media "bias" is probably not for the best, but whatever regime that's arranged needs to be both anti-trust and defend against hte infringement of the government. So, something like Canada's system and something like the US system, I guess; though I don't place much stock in the FCC, given how perverted its become.

The media concentration law does sound like a good idea to me--Berlusconi media monopoly hasn't done good things for Italian democracy, and I'm half-convinced that Conrad Black might have wanted to do the same thing in Canada if not for his becoming a felon with foreign citizenship.

The media-bias law is something else entirely; NGOs can do a more credible job than a government agency, I think.

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