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Contents Preface 13 Introduction 18 Chapter 1: Democracy at the Crossroads: Why Ownership Matters Develops three main reasons why ownership concentration should be opposed: a democratic distributive principle, a political safeguard principle, and a goal of getting ownership into the hands of peo- ple most likely to avoid an undesirable focus on the bottom line. Considers various supplementary points. 25 Chapter 2: Not A Real Problem: Many Owners, Many Sources Evaluates claims that there are plenty of owners and that standard an- titrust law provides an remedy for any undue concentration. Offers a preferable, alternative consumer choice model of antitrust law but, in end, argues that it too is inadequate because it is too commodity ori- ented to take account of the democratic, process, non-commodified values developed in Chapter One. Critically evaluates the FCC's Di- versity Index and an argument that might make sense of the DI. 119 Chapter 3: Not A Real Problem: The Market or the Net Will Provide Rejects the view that, given adequate enforcement of antitrust laws, any worry about concentration is unwarranted because the market will provide whatever content and diversity people want or need. Critiques suggestion that any possible problems of media concentra- tion are now eliminated due to the Internet. 183 Chapter 4: First Amendment Guarantee of Free Press -- An Objection to Regulation? Ringing language in Supreme Court decisions implies that the First Amendment would be served by limiting media concentration. Nev- ertheless, recent debates invoke the First Amendment as a purported limit on government power to limit concentration. This viewrequires one or more of three assumptions -- relating to the grounding of press rights, the aims of the First Amendment, and the proper level of judicial activism. Both Supreme Court precedent and sound theory reject each assumption. Thus, this use of the First Amendment seems purely obfuscatory. The First Amendment should be understood as endorsing government power to engage in structural regulation. 250 Chapter 5: Solutions and Responses Describes 7 possible policies responses to the problem of media con- centration, with some cursory examination of European approaches, and strongly recommends strict restrictions on mergers. Also con- siders independent responses to each of three reasons for opposing media concentration. 324 Notes 398
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication:
Mass media -- Ownership -- United States.
Freedom of the press -- United States.