KMO talks with Professor Robert W. McChesney, freepress.net co-founder and author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy about the transformation of the media landscape over the past couple of decades. KMO starts off with a reading of John Perry Barlow’s 1996 manifesto: A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace. Prof. McChesney describes how the internet and media landscape has evolved in the ensuing years in response to commercial pressures and public policy that favors oligopoly over competition. Perversely, as information technology has put the power for creating and sharing media into the hands of more and more people, the number of people who make a living at journalism continues to dwindle. In all of American history, the view that the free market will create journalism in sufficient quality and quantity to allow for self-governance regardless of public policy is unique to the current moment.
Music by Lydia Ooghe.