But “saving” newspapers is only part of the Sanders plan. The biggest of big media offends him, so his plan also advocates new limits on how many broadcast stations large broadcast operations can own. He also calls for new rules to make labor organization easier at media outlets; a scheme under which employees can buy for-sale media properties through employee stock-ownership plans; a requirement for corporations to disclose how many journalists will be laid off after a proposed merger or acquisition; and the prevention of mergers and deregulation decisions “that adversely affect people of color and women.”
One unintended result of these regulatory cinches would be to reduce the value of all the properties they touch, making it more expensive for owners to attract capital to grow or even survive. Is that what Sanders wants? I think so. It’s easy to beat up on big media. I do it almost weekly. They have a record of pulling punches for their corporate brothers. But Sanders unnecessarily fetishizes small media as if it is the only fearless purveyor of news. People who grew up in small towns where the newspaper was owned by locals can regale you with tales of compromised coverage of the local banks, the city council and the area car dealers. Neither small nor big is necessarily bad, only bad is bad.