Who Owns the Right to Know?

The edifice above is an approximate rendering of a media barony, a very important part of the political, economic, and social geography of America today. Quite aside from states, counties, and municipalities, the country is divided into a patchwork of powerful, lucrative holdings through which a relatively few owners dominate the means of communication. Who owns your favorite TV station? The radio station you most rely on? The local newspaper? Very likely one man or family or company owns them all — and several in other cities as well. As we promised some months ago, after our critique of the Federal Communications Commission, “Is the FCC Dead?", and FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson’s warning, “The Media Barons and The Public Interest,”we present in June a modest Atlantic Peerage of the American Media Barons. Some you will recognize, like the ubiquitous RCA (five TV stations, six AM and FM radio stations, Random House), or CBS (five TV stations, seven AM and FM radio stations, the New York Yankees, Holt, Rinehart and Winston), or Time Inc. (magazines, radio and TV, Little, Brown, teaching machines). Others may surprise you by the variety of their holdings and the amounts of money they make from their control over what they like to call “the people’s right to know.”

Also:

INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT FOR BEGINNERS by Roger Fisher THE LAST WORDS OF DUTCH SCHULTZ by William Burroughs WHEN BERKELEY WAS YOUNG AND GAY by John Kenneth Galbraith