Journal of Mass Media Ethics 24 (2-3):90 – 109 (2009)

Minorities comprise a tiny fraction of media owners, and continued media consolidation exacerbates existing disparities. This article examines this problem by integrating the work of Jurgen Habermas and Jacques Ellul. These theorists identify a common concern—described alternately as technicization and colonization—involving homogenization of content, loss of localism, and decreased ownership diversity. In different ways, each acknowledges the possibility that social action can make a difference. Habermas' discourse ethics provides a normative foundation for arguing on behalf of ownership diversity and policy reform. Though Ellul is skeptical of institutional reform, he offers a complementary vision of concrete action on the part of local, independent community groups. While their solutions are different, we argue that both are necessary. Media reform efforts must incorporate both Habermasian and Ellulian approaches by supplementing federal regulatory reform with independent grassroots activism. A combination of such efforts is essential to the movement's success.
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DOI 10.1080/08900520902885194
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The Technological Society.Jacques Ellul (ed.) - 1964 - New York: Knopf.

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