Over the past few years, Sue Wilson through the Media Action Center has received anecdotal complaints from TV viewers in small to mid-sized Television markets nationwide. Viewers say when they turn the channel from a local news program on one station to a local news program on a different station, they see exactly the same news duplicated on both channels.
This appears to happen when one company has licenses for more than one TV station in the same market, and also when one company has Shared Service Agreements and Joint Sales Agreements with two to three TV stations within the same market. It commonly occurs with Top Four Duopoly stations. In some of those markets, it appears that only one newsroom is servicing entire communities.
Media Democracy advocates have been warning for decades that a single corporation could dominate all local news and information in Anytown, USA. It appears that dystopian threat to democracy is now becoming a reality. It is vital to our very democracy that we develop sufficient data to determine exactly what is occurring – now while we can still stem the tide.
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