Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Why We Need Democratic Media: Santa Barbara News-Press

'Cos billionaire owners can push what they think above what we think - how is it freedom of speech if there is nowhere to say it and nobody listening?

"The Santa Barbara News-Press Controversy refers to a series of events starting in 2000 after billionaire divorcee Wendy P. McCaw purchased the Santa Barbara News-Press. McCaw felt that as owner of the News-Press she had authority to choose its content, while the news editors and reporters felt her intervention unduly compromised the neutrality and credibility of the paper. The tensions between McCaw and the newsroom came to a head on July 6, 2006 when five editors and a long-time columnist abruptly resigned. The controversy has continued to the present, without resolution, and has illuminated issues of individual ownership of news outlets by the wealthy but inexperienced, the role of daily newspapers in contemporary communities, the modern role of unions, and the limits of corporate legal restrictions on reporters, employees, competing news outlets, and community members."


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