Dr. Robert Jensen

Dr. Robert Jensen is convinced American news media has no one but itself to blame for its fall from grace.
Jensen, a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, will speak at Texas State’s Mass Comm Week. The name of his speech is “The Impact of Media Conglomeration on Global Issues.”

“Everyone knows the business model for journalism is in free fall,” Jensen said. “Journalism is in collapse, but the news media wants to believe that the problem is all technology change.” Jensen said the reality is harder to confront.

“We need to think about corporations and how they are at fault. Media concentration has been getting worse and worse,” Jensen said. “The greed that fueled all this concentration left them vulnerable.”

Jensen said examples of this concentration surround the American populace.

“Local TV news is, frankly, a joke. Cable TV news isn’t any better,” he said. “This has become the primary vehicle for news and info, yet it produces the least quality product. The professional press has never performed as well as they would like us to believe.”
Jensen said, although the tendency of news organizations to operate by the bottom line has always been a part of American media, this tendency has grown too quickly — leaving behind the view of media as a public service.

“Instead of being a public service, it became a money-making business,” he said. “We have an overwhelmingly privatized media system. It has always been this way, but I’m suggesting it’s gotten worse.”

Jensen said the solution to this and other issues of media concentration will be addressed in his upcoming speech Tuesday at 12:30-1:50 p.m., OM 234.

“Media concentration is forcing people into new experiments,” he said. “…some of which may prove to be fruitful in charting a course for a more independent press.”

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