The media are overwhelming owned and controlled by billionaires and gargantuan corporations, who depend on the support of other corporations for ad revenue, and employ journalists from a narrow, privileged class whose careers depend on maintaining access to elite sources. It would be simply astounding in these circumstances if we had anything resembling a pluralistic media.
The data concerns UK outlets, but the same principles apply in the US.
One section makes especially disturbing reading. It is the little-discussed matter of the intelligence services' deep penetration of most western, and in some cases non-western, media organisations. In short, US intelligence services – and to a lesser extent British ones – have for many decades fed information to sympathetic journalists in key positions inside the "free" media, working with them hand in glove. Additionally, the CIA has sought to put its own people into publications to shape directly editorial content and influence public opinion. In some cases, these people may have reached very senior positions.
Nick Davies, of the Guardian, dedicated a whole chapter of his book Flat Earth News to documenting these practices. Strangely, that chapter is rarely mentioned. Journalists who praise the book instead concentrate on his less revealing concept of "churnalism" – journalism compromised by constraints of time and resources.