About a decade ago I told a friend of mine, who was working as a temp for a Boeing subsidiary, that it bothered me that Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merged. It bothered me because consolidation within the aerospace industry didn't seem to bode well for real competition in civil and military markets nationally. A lack of real competition at a regional level was a problem during wartime production in Germany in World War 1. I confess I'm not a huge scholar on World War 1 history but my brother is a WWI history buff and he told me that regional monopolies and pork barrel style deals harmed production quality in some regions during the war effort in Germany.
Big deal, you might say here in America, we wanted the Germans to lose, right? Well, how the so-called "peace" was brokered at the end of World War 1 had a lot to do with setting the stage for World War 2. World War 1 was ostensibly to do, among other things, defend the British empire, which if anything arguably destroyed it. That touches ever so slightly on an observation I made about Amaziah elsewhere on this blog about how a victory can ultimately be its own form of defeat.
Well, conslidating publishing is something people interested in a truly free press have been concerned about for decades. Arguably there are more avenues and options now in a variety of ways than ever before but the number of "official" or "authorized" authorities within a cultulral milleu has probably not truly grown. Stratification of "reliable" sources has often played out along ideological lines. There are people who listen to Olbermann and other people who listen to Limbaugh. There are people who listen to Maddow and there are people who listen to Beck. I am not entirely sure why either side is somehow better than the other except through the wildly filtering prism of one's own ideological committments.
Consolidation of ownership can still have its effect regardless of how many people are on the internet claiming to speak truth to power. Then again I've seen how in a lot of cases the so-called alternative press only differs in what kind of spin they put on things being covered in the "mainstream media". The cycle of spin and counterspin doesn't encourage me. I suppose that's neither here nor there for the consolidation of Christian publishers in its way.