Reaction Post #9 – Well Connected

Well Connected is an interactive Media Tracker on The Center for Public Integrity’s website.  You can plug in your ZIP code and you will find out who owns the media outlets in your town.  I added 17404 (York, Pa.) and learned in the summary section there are 19 licensed television stations, 34 licensed radio stations, 10 matching cable communities, 11 reported broadband providers and 50 newspapers within 100 miles.  The top broadcast owners for this area are:  Clear Channel Communications Inc., Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. (Hearst Corp.), Cumulus Media Partners LLC, CBS Corporation, and Citadel Broadcasting Corp.  This is not new information to me as I have worked for FOX43 and for 93.5 WTPA, however, it was neat to see the interactive map with markers to click on and find out whose tower it is.  The towers represent AM Radio, FM Radio, Educational TV, Commercial TV and Low-Power. 

I prefer looking at this information in the interactive format as opposed to having reading the information.  I don’t think I would read the information if that was the only way it was presented.  

The multimedia tools are very easy to figure out and understand.  The link to the company profile is provided and informative.  The link I find most interesting is titled “political influence”.  I found the Cable One’s political influence statistics showing telecommunications, media and technology contributions of $51,440 (with 43.7 percent for democrats and 56.3 percent for republicans). I looked at the 2005 total parent company revenue for Cable One and I see that they made $3,553,887,000.  I wish more information was provided on the details of this money, but the charts at least start to paint the story.      

Comcast Corporation’s telecommunications, media and technology contributions were $5,781,695 (with 44.1 percent for democrats and 55.7 percent for republicans).  Comcast also contributed $19,151,000 to lobbying efforts between 1998 through 2006.  Wow, that is a lot of money.  Once I looked at the 2005 total parent company revenue for Comcast, I see that they made $22,255,000,000.  I guess the numbers for the lobbyist is really just a drop in the bucket.      

The one downfall is that the information is from 2006 or prior.  The data must be hard to keep current.  Maybe a disclaimer could be added as to when the next updates will be provided.  

It’s interesting to see how the telecommunications, media and technology companies are Well Connected.  I recommend everyone to take a peak.

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4 Responses to “Reaction Post #9 – Well Connected”

  1. TL Says:

    Hmm, now I think I know why my Comcast bill is so high! Glad you enjoyed the site — it’s an interesting one.

  2. ckissner Says:

    I took your advice and took a look at the site that you chose to critique. Well Connected was a very informative and interesting site. I found out some facts about the area that I recently moved to, it was cool. I have lived in the county ever since I moved to Maryland 7 years ago. I knew a little bit about different media sources and who owns them, but I had no clue about Canton or any parts of Baltimore City.
    I was amazed to find out that there are 39 newspapers within 100 miles of Canton, Maryland. Before visiting this site I would have guessed about 18 or 19 existed. I completely agree with you in preferring to look at the information as a visual map and page of facts than looking it up and reading about it. I definitely do not have the attention span to find out all of that information separately and on my own. I think that this site is useful, especially when you are new to an area.
    I also noticed that the information is a bit dated. I think it was last updated in 2006, like you stated in your post. In light of the state of the economy and the financial decline we have experienced, some of the newspapers, as well as other media sources may no longer be in existence. I agree that it must be difficult to keep up with the changes and keep the site accurate.

  3. marci10 Says:

    Wow this site was pretty incredible. The amount of money these medial organizations pay to politicians is crazy. I work in the government and I hear alot about lobbying and Congressman making their view known but I never imagined the amount of money companies paid out.

    I also took a look at my zip code, 21230. I know living in a major city that there are several media sources and I also work in media relations so I have contacts with many media outlets. However, after looking at the list I never knew there were so many media outlets in the area.

    The information was updated in 2006. I am curious to see the change in the numbers due to news papers closing and other media organizations downsizing.

  4. Links to Comments « Marci Green Says:

    […] https://michelleshry.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/reaction-post-9-well-connected/#comments […]

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