The immediacy and intimacy of the internet, delivered exactly as we want it, when we want it, has made people move away from broadcasting in droves. That’s already happened.
The real challenges now come from user apathy and from corporate greed. People think they don’t need broadcasting, and they’re wrong.
…the other front in the war for broadcasting’s survival. Larger companies continue to swoop in and build huge broadcast conglomerates. Where a generation ago, it was practically illegal for one company to own more than a dozen stations, today you’re looking at companies that own a hundred stations. Most are fairly unknown, but these giants could reshape the landscape easily. They’ll do it by providing the same programs to every city, taking away regional character and making it harder for local merchants to compete. They’ll do it by insidiously pushing one opinion over another, on a national scale. And they’ll do it by eventually crushing smaller competitors until they are one of the only channels left standing.
Local journalists have always acted as a check against local corruption, but that’s getting harder to do. Newspapers are gone — let’s be honest, local papers didn’t have a chance when the internet came. Yet in past years local papers were really instrumental in helping people get involved. Today that’s not happening, because the internet isn’t picking up the slack. Local broadcasters can’t get into the tinier cities and towns, but at least they can report a local perspective — if they are allowed to by their corporate owners.