Many of us have intense and intimate relationships with our media sources, and we enjoy the sensation of the world at our fingertips. How many corporations mediate our access to that world? Do you know? Should we care? The blogger known as Frugal Dad argues that we should, and he expresses alarm that our media experiences are in increasingly fewer hands; his infographic was published in November 2011 on the Frugal Dad blog.
- In his introduction to the infographic, Frugal Dad uses metaphor to argue that we should be as mindful of our media consumption as we are of our food consumption. Is the metaphor effective for you? Why or why not?
- Jason Zinser, whose article “The Good, the Bad, and The Daily Show” appears in Chapter 15 of your text, claims that “non-traditional news outlets can be catalysts for political and social change,” and he focuses attention on media products such as The Daily Show and Rush Limbaugh’s radio broadcasts. Do Zinser and Frugal Dad make complementary arguments? How are their arguments similar? How are they different? Would Frugal Dad’s infographic do more to support or to refute Zinser’s argument?
- Keep a log of your media use for two days. Include all of the programs and periodicals that you read, watch, and listen to. When your log is complete, check all the entries against Frugal Dad’s list of the six major media companies and their products. (You will need to trace ownership of programs and publications.) What proportion of your list is owned by the six major companies? Is your figure higher than you expected? Lower? Are you surprised by the results? Why or why not?
- Frugal Dad’s inference is that the extreme consolidation of media ownership is undesirable and presents a threat to the free flow of and access to information. Do you agree? Write an essay in which you address this question: Does the consolidation of ownership restrict the spectrum of ideas and positions that are available to a general U.S. audience? Support your argument with examples and appropriate citations.