Thanks to a variety of different factors, the number of independent news outlets is shrinking each year. A number of city newspapers have been bought up by billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch and Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Democratic Presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, feels that the news corps needs to be more diverse. Today, Sanders took introduced his new media plan that is meant to protect independent news outlets and independent journalists.
The Vermont senator wrote, “Today, after decades of consolidation and deregulation, just a small handful of companies control almost everything you watch, read, and download. Given that reality, we should not want even more of the free press to be put under the control of a handful of corporations and ‘benevolent’ billionaires who can use their media empires to punish their critics and shield themselves from scrutiny.”
Sanders wanted to avoid the mass layoffs that have become common as media companies. “In the spirit of existing federal laws, we will start requiring major media corporations to disclose whether or not their corporate transactions and merger proposals will involve significant journalism layoffs,” he wrote.
The senator also wants the federal government to look into mergers before they happen. He continued, “We will also require that, before any future mergers can take place, employees must be given the opportunity to purchase media outlets through employee stock-ownership plans—an innovative business model that was first pioneered in the newspaper industry.
The candidates entire plan can be read on the Columbia Journalism Review website.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.