The Society of Professional Journalists and Media Alliance presents a panel examining The Coming Media Monopoly: Concentration of Press Ownership and Its Effects featuring moderator Erna Smith and panelists Linda Foley, Tim Redmond, Stephen Buel, Brad Westerhold, and Sandy Close.
The last year has seen dramatic shifts in Bay Area media ownership:
MediaNews, the new owner of the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times, will soon control nearly two-thirds of local daily newspaper circulation; the two largest weekly newspaper chains, Village Voice and New Times, merged; and there's been an escalating scramble by several large media companies to control the expanding market for ethnic and foreign-language readers.
Can journalism survive in an era of Wall Street mergers and acquisitions?
What about public service and community needs?
What can be done in response to these trends to strengthen the quality of our news media workplaces?
Hear from journalists and media reformers who are responding creatively to the evolving media landscape.
STEPHEN BUELL, editor of the East Bay Express. New owner Village Voice Media is the Guardian's corporate nemesis. As a reporter Buel once covered consolidation.
SANDY CLOSE, founder and director of New America Media, will address the effects of consolidation in ethnic and foreign-language media.
LINDA FOLEY, president of The Newspaper Guild, a union representing newspaper workers nationwide. Prior to the sale of the Mercury News and Contra Costa Times, the Guild advanced an ambitious plan to transfer it and other former Knight Ridder papers to a "worker friendly" company.
TIM REDMOND, editor of the San Francisco Bay Guardian. The Guardian says it has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to unfair competition for ads since the two competing alt-weekly chains merged. How can the little guy compete when the "alternative" press is corporate controlled?
ERNA SMITH, professor of journalism, San Francisco State University.
BRAD WESTERHOLD, publisher of El Mensajero, a Spanish-language weekly in San Francisco, combined forces with Impremedia to battle even larger conglomerates.