NYC

David Sirota: 'Stop Sucking Up To Bloomberg'

New York Mayor and C40 Chair Michael Bloomberg speaks during the Rio+C40: Megacity Mayors Taking Action on Climate Change, a
New York Mayor and C40 Chair Michael Bloomberg speaks during the Rio+C40: Megacity Mayors Taking Action on Climate Change, a parallel event taking place alongside the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 19, 2012. While squabbling between rich and poor countries threatens to derail the Earth summit, the world’s mayors say they can’t afford the luxury of endless, fruitless negotiations and are already taking real action to stave off environmental disaster and preserve natural resources for future generations. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

By David Sirota

This week, Harper’s magazine is publishing a report I’ve been working on for the better part of the last year. The piece looks at a powerful paradox in the media world whereby major metro newspapers are becoming more politically influential even as they lose readership, revenue and reporting resources. In one-newspaper towns all over America, this has made newspaper owners into 21st century Citizen Kanes — able to suffuse both editorial page and news coverage with propaganda that serves their personal and political agendas.

You can find out more about the article here. As you’ll see, I cover monopolists such as Dean Singleton, Douglas Manchester and Sam Zell, and the havoc they’ve wreaked on cities like Denver, San Diego and Chicago, respectively. These kind of owners do not see newspaper monopolies only from a short-term financial perspective, whereby objective journalism generates profit. On the contrary, as documented in my Harper’s piece, they seem to see them as political investments whose returns in influence and power come about via slanted propaganda.

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