You've heard of Global Warming, this is a Global

Warning.


June 1st 1995 - last update 13th September 1996
Internet Services providers blocking Email, Satellite Networks owned by the same people who print your daily newspaper, Phone companies buying up cable distributors, Media moguls sitting on regulatory commissions that are having their grasp and responsibility over broadcasting increased not decreased in the very near future and press barons buying titles like they were going out of fashion. Anyone buying or selling fibre optic cable?

Question 1. Is this a good or bad thing?

Question 2. What can you do about it?

Question 3. And will it make a difference?

Answer 1. If this is a good direction for Media to be heading in, who can it be good for. Is it good for you? Is it good for the mass audience or is it good for share holders dividends. I am not trying to claim that money should not be created by media to keep it going or even to turn massive profits for anybody, yes there probably should be a vibrant and competitive media but in the interests of the media and the audience not to turnover more profits. Is it in your interest? Do more TV channels mean more choice? usually not. Does more independent radio licensing decrease the need for a freer alternative? usually not. And is the only thing differentiating the bland newspapers we read, the crossword clues? Yes.

Don't believe the hype! Pay per view TV is here and it doesn't mean we will see TV we never saw before, it will definitely mean that we won't see TV we have always seen unless you pay up for a system and a surcharge per event.

So TV has gone to the dogs, "57 channels and nothing on". The Radio will save us and stop this rot, or will it. Radio is increasingly driven by industry hype and audience figures, it has been recently said that Radio Stations no longer have listeners they have a market share. While market share may well buy the products that these Radio Station add men sell, the long term forecast is bad, less and less people are listening to Radio. Radio formats have been played to death and if the medium does not see a burst of life not seen in the U.K. since 1964 or in Ireland since 1981, then the whole concept of Radio is Dead.

Cross media ownership, Synergy and Media Conglomerates are terms we are going to hear more and more about in the very near future. Can a press baron own as much TV, Radio, Magazine's and online services as National Press titles ? Depending on who you ask the question to, will depend on the answer you get. And put anyone in the place of the press baron and ask the same question. But I'll ask the question again Who is this good for ? And is this good for you ?

What is needed is a diversity of opinions not shades of grey, we needed to colour the spectrum, open our minds, and have a diverse media there to be able to give us an alternative point of view. Never mind alternative what we need is choices, not left and right or centre and right or even republican and democrat, what we need is all points of view heard and listened to, and who's going to do that- Yes You!

Answer 2. So What can you do about it. Unfortunately I will use an old cliche "if you can't beat them - join them". Strip the media or mediums down to your needs, your ideas and your choice of the means of distribution. So you want to set up your own media. Put Radio, Press, Flyers, Graffiti, Video, Film, TV, Fanzine, WWW Pages, News Groups, or any other media into the following example.

Sounds too easy. I bet nobody will like my ideas! If you find no interest in your suggestions then go it alone, the work load will be greater but the ideas will be pure. What if some law stops me Publishing what I want! If there is a law that prohibits you from doing what you want, far be it for me to tell you to break the law. Find a Loophole in legislation (they are everywhere), Change the law (if you Know a politician and have 1000 to spare), or oppose the law with direct actions against it, use your imagination.

Try cross media interest. eg. If you are flogging a Punk fanzine at cost price to bring your ideas to the people, try linking up with a local free radio station, do a radio show around your fanzine, the music, the people, the attitude, the news, all good ingredients for a radio show. Put your back issues on the internet so we can all read them (the digital quality will probably be far better than the cheap photocopy). Get the idea.

Answer 3. What difference will it make if you enter the world media. This world has belonged to the AOL CNN SKY TIME people for long enough. I am not suggesting for a minute that these company's or one's like them do not deserve the positions they have acquired. Nor do I think any one person can topple them but this does not mean that I can't say what I want to as well, nor does it mean that what I have to say should not have the space or spectrum to be heard. Many People everyday will have opinions that will go unheard in places where controls still exist to surpress people's ideas and freedom. Many voices go unheard many songs go unsung and many articles go unwritten. In a so called democracy it is the responsibility of everyone to express themselves, as with not voting, tame and unexpressed ideas and mass global media monopolies threaten our democracy daily.

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    By Brian Greene email: bhg@clubi.ie


    "Don't hate the media. Become the media." -Jello Biafra