Making Media Democratic, by Robert McChesney
Our goal should be to craft a media system that reduces the power of a handful of enormous corporations and advertisers to dominate the media culture. But no one will press for reform until we have some ideas worth debating.
The starting point for media reform is to build up a viable nonprofit, noncommercial media sector. Such a sector currently exists in the United States, and produces much of value, but it is woefully small and underfunded.
In the absence of a mobilized constituency, even structural reforms will inevitably fall short of achieving their democratic purposes. Corporate interests will reassert themselves (or new corporate interests will arise) to corrupt even a decentralized media, and eventually chip away at the structural limitations on media concentration.
More in the "Future of Media" issue of the Boston Review.