Born 1920. Ben Bagdikian began his career in journalism
in 1941. Within a few years,
he started focusing on the inaccuracies of the decade's most prominent news
commentators, and eventually widened his investigative net to analyze the entire
industry. His dedicated research into the problems of media conglomeration
and news suppression have earned him many prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize
In 1977, he accepted a teaching position at UC Berkeley
and would eventually become Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism.
Bagdikian has written several books, but his most popular by far is The Media Monopoly
published in 1983. At that time, he estimated that fewer than fifty companies control virtually
all the world's media outlets, and was branded an "alarmist" for warning of an imminent trend toward
increased conglomeration. As it turns out, he was absolutely right, and has since released revised
editions of The Media Monopoly which keep shrinking the number of distinct media owners (it's now down to about six).
As a public speaker and columnist, Bagdikian's lucid
, sobering media criticism
has often been compared to the
political essays of Noam Chomsky
. Leftist commentators like Jello Biafra
are particularly fond of using The Media Monopoly to show the inherent conflict of interest
and the widening credibility gap
in modern, corporate-controlled media.