2020 presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, known for his outspoken criticism of “corporate media” for the fall of independent and small news outlets has now diverted the blame towards big tech.
In a recent Columbia Journalism Review op-ed, Sen. Sanders had expressed several views with regards to big tech, corporate media, and what his future plans are for dealing with the aforementioned entities would be.
“Their monopoly power has particularly harmed small, independent news outlets that do not have the corporate infrastructure to fight back,” wrote Sen. Sanders.
While blaming Facebook-Google duopoly for the failure of small and independent news outlets, Sanders had also expressed that the corporate media is biased against him and is showing him in a negative light.
In his op-ed, Sanders wrote that, if elected, he shall police both big tech and the corporate media houses with a more stringent antitrust regulation for providing immunity to small and independent news outlets.
While Sanders mentioned statistics surrounding the duopoly of Facebook-Google taking the lion’s share of 60% of the digital ad market, he however also ended up mentioned a widely criticized statistic that says, “Google made $4.7 billion off reporting that Google didn’t pay for.”
Also, Sanders discussed a rather new approach to dealing with monopolies: He states that he would enforce a directive that will tax all the advertisements sold by both Facebook and Google; this tax money would be used to invest and support government-funded public broadcasting networks such as PBS.
Sanders wrote that doing so will useful “to substantially increase funding for programs that support public media’s news-gathering operations at the local level.” Also, he said that employees must be given a chance to own stock options in their media outlets before any mergers or acquisitions.
A harsh critic of big-scale mergers, Sanders vowed to enforce an “immediate moratorium on approving mergers of major media corporations.” He was also known to oppose the recently attempted merger of Viacom and CBS as Sanders felt that it would create a $30 billion monopoly.