A great image from News Corpse. This is a site  which deals with the sorry state of our corporate media and one you ought to be reading. This is the heart of the News Corpse mission statement:

Where there once was a diverse and independent community in American media, there is now an incestuous family of a few giant corporations. Where there was once a wall between honorable journalists and the subjects they cover, we now have network news operations that are owned by corporations that have interests in government, government contracts, and public policy. The news providers that we depend on to report objectively on our nation’s institutions are owned by conglomerates that are the benefactors and beneficiaries of those institutions.

In the 2004 election cycle, media affiliated PACs contributed about 8 million dollars to political campaigns. Between 1996 and 2000, media firms and trade organizations spent $111 million on lobbying Congress. Their investment recently netted them a deal that raised the TV station ownership cap to 39%. As it happens, that was just enough to allow Viacom and News Corp to keep all their current stations, which exceeded the previous cap. Since 1995, the number of companies owning commercial TV stations has declined by 40%. These media conglomerates fund our representative’s campaigns, lobby them generously, and collect the spoils via favorable legislation and regulations. How then can we expect objective reporting from such a self-interested community of journalists? Add to this mix the corporate mission and its insatiable appetite for ever-increasing profit. What you get is a media culture that round-files significant stories that reflect negatively on its patrons and promotes sensational stories that goose ratings and ad revenue. Since there is usually no financial incentive to produce hard-boiled investigative reporting, we won’t be seeing much of that.