Elite is a word we use in our daily conversations but few people probably know the origin and the history of the word. Elites (French élite, from Latin eligere, to select or to sort out) are a small group of powerful people who hold a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege, political power, or skill in society. In the end, this elite class controls what we read, watch, or listen to.
Today, their impacts are more felt in our online news intake and media consumption habits. 37 years ago, 50 companies control the media in America. Fast forward to 2011, American news outlets are controlled only by 6 powerful corporations. Back in 2018, Jim Morrison, a singer, songwriter, and poet, who served as the lead vocalist of the rock band, once said: “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”
He was right. Today, Americans think they have an unlimited variety of entertainment and media options right at their fingertips. But it is all a lie. This illusion of choice was fabricated by the media elites. In the early 90s before the mainstream adoption of the Internet, the media landscape used to be simple and straightforward. Today, 6 media giants control a whopping 90% of what we read, watch, or listen to.
Objectivity in journalism is an illusion created by the elite class to give the appearance of balanced news. However, there is no such thing as unbiased news. Journalists who work for these six corporations answer to their owners and ultimately serve their agendas. For example, no logical thinking person will expect Washington Post to write a fair and objective story about its owner, especially a story that Jeff Bezos reportedly cheated on his wife. The point of all these is that the media outlets don’t necessarily serve the interest of the people they control, instead, they serve the interests of their owners.
In today’s startup-centric economy, it is almost impossible for independent media outlets to compete with these six giant corporations that distribute and control a majority of the media in this country. While it may seem that we have limitless options, the simple truth is that we don’t.
We’re been fed what the media oligarchs want us to eat. The same can be said of the big tech companies that own the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. These tech overlords silent dissents and censor content that do not fit the elite agenda.