Comments from the left on the threat to new media

Dateline: Fri 05 Jan 2007

My Left Wing, a name that is self-explanatory, has a timely piece by Betsy L. Angert about the threat posed by the big conglomerates -- AT&T, SBC -- to the freedom now enjoyed by Internet users. As communication company powerhouses move, suggests Angert, they will call the shots on what privileges Internet users have.

Here's the link if you want to read the entire piece, under the headline, "Media is threatened, Mainstream and the Individuals on the Internet":

For those wanting a shortened version, here's the opening graph:

"I have not come to terms with what seems contradictory. This year, Time Magazine chose you, us, Internet users as the persons of the year. Time editors recognized citizens are creating and documenting the news. We, the people have ample access. Currently, we have freedom of speech; yet, simultaneously, this right is threatened.

Here are Angert's concluding remarks:

"Perhaps we might ask ourselves, is a focus on money making as profitable as many executives think. If corporations do not serve their customers well, patrons will go elsewhere. When providers are "free" to satisfy the needs of the consumers, they likely will. The Internet shows us they have.

"Conventional and costly print enterprises are struggling to compete with the information highway and citizen journalism. Customers are canceling services. We are at a crossroads.

"In practice when suppliers dictate demands, there is much dissatisfaction.

"We have witnessed conglomerates are often not creative, people are! However, sadly, individuals rarely have the means to strut their stuff. Opportunities are few. We have one now. A window is open, though the space is shrinking.

"Currently, we have "net neutrality" and the Internet is infinitely popular, even profitable for those that accept the assets freedom affords. Notwithstanding, we cannot forget the power mongers; those that have the means, the money, and the where-with-all. We must consider, at times, a large competitor can obliterate Ma and Pop. Remember Wal-Mart!

"You may be the "Person of this year" and possibly even the next. The recent AT&T contract agreement provides only two more years of certain freedom. This is why I inquire, ultimately, who will survive? If users are as the majority of American voters, apathetic, we have much to fear.

"I invite each of you to consider the power you have. Let no one or no organization take your freedoms away."



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