Parliament is currently considering a law that will permit U.S. media conglomerates to buy U.K. television and radio stations, and thoughtful people in Britain are skeptical. “In the area of impartiality, as in many other areas, we must ensure that we don’t become Americanized,” Greg Dyke, the BBC’s director general told the Financial Times. Dyke is worried, having just witnessed American networks covering the war and “swapping impartiality for patriotism.” Allowing America’s corporate news networks onto the British Isles will, he says, make “the White House and the Pentagon all-powerful, with no news operation strong enough or brave enough to stand up against it. This is particularly so since September 11, when many U.S. networks wrapped themselves in the American flag.”
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.