Democracy and Media Ownership Essay

1893 Words 8 Pages
The press has historically hoisted accountability upon the people in power; it spread new ideas that allowed the repressed and controlled to realize freedom, and has continually been a bringer of transparency in government. American democracy was a direct result of the press; printers used the press to unify the country under propaganda of a single enemy. Yet, the traditional press is being commercialized, corporatized, and increasingly bent to the will of a select few. Meanwhile, a new press is rising from the disparity and demand of the citizenry. In the first chapter of Legal Principles and Analytic Framework, Dr. Mark Cooper, a specialist in how telecommunications shape social issues, discusses how media ownership influences the …show more content…
Additionally, Cooper reasons that the Supreme Court's continual assessment that “media policy should promote a vigorous forum for democratic ideas” contradicts any contention that approval by consumption is a reasonable way for the public to force accountability of the media owners (Cooper 35). Rather, the Supreme Court believes that such a position would discourage democratic discourse; Cooper includes an excerpt from Cass Sunstein, referencing Justice Louis Brandeis' quote, “[t]he greatest menace to freedom is an inert people” (Cooper 37). Consequently, the Supreme court has decided that wherever the ability to disseminate information amongst the public is limited to a select group by regulation, it is the court's prerogative to ensure that the public good is served. More specifically, Cooper cites the 1943 Supreme Court decision in the National Broadcasting Co. Vs. United States, as well as the subsequent case of FCC Vs. National Citizens Commission for Broadcasting, which both laid the groundwork for the the decision in the Sinclair Broadcasting Group Vs; the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the First Amendment is a mechanism to protect public democratic discourse, rather than purely a mechanism to protect the voice of an individual or entity (Cooper 38). That is, the First Amendment's provisions for free speech and a free

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