Taking America: When Billionaires Own The Media

Barry Gander
11 min readJun 19, 2022

A public media alternative is fundamental for democracy.

A new study shows unequivocally that high levels of secure funding for public media systems is consistently and positively correlated with healthy democracies, together with strong structural protections for the political and economic independence of those systems.

In America, we are now seeing the obliteration of free opinion by very rich people who are buying up the media.

The wealth of these billionaires has subverted and perverted America’s tax system to ensure that they have a degree of wealth not seen since the 1920’s.

Just to be clear, by “public media alternative” we mean the provision of a solid taxpayer-funded media alternative to capitalist news. Not the suppression of capitalist news, but a neutral alternative channel for people to access — one that has America in mind, and not the profits or viewpoint of the owner.

In most of the world, these public channels are trusted outlets.

“Public” news today has an illustrious past; a descendant of the tradition of the ancient Rome newspapers. Ancient Rome had the Acta Diurna (Public Events) paper to “Publicize And Propagate.” These papyrus newspapers were distributed throughout the capital, like at the public Baths. The newspaper was carried by courier throughout Rome’s vast empire and was eagerly read for current news from Rome.

It kept the Romans current on events of common public interest: weddings, births, deaths, crimes, trials, monies in the treasury from the provinces, the cost of the supply of grain, movements and events in the Imperial family, gossip columns on the latest amatory adventures of the rich and famous, gladiator events, military and political news as well as some human-interest stories (lost dog finds its way home) and astrological readings.

It also kept them together, as a trans-national society.

This has evolved today to a spectrum of media practices. Brazil is an example of capitalist-funded news: a small number…

Barry Gander

A Canadian from Connecticut: 2 strikes against me! I'm a top writer, looking for the Meaning under the headlines. Follow me on Mastodon @Barry