The media in my city, my state, and in this country, has deteriorated to such an extent that I no longer watch or listen to any of it -- with the exception of NPR and occasionally PBS (although the defunding of PBS, and its increasing reliance on corporate sponsorship, has resulted in its deterioration).
My primary source of news, outside of NPR, is now foreign, including the CBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, and other online sources.
Democracy relies on a vibrant public sphere, and the media play an essential role. American democracy is becoming increasingly dysfunctional as a result of our hyper-commercialized, pundit-driven, opinion-based media, which now exists primarily to manufacture audiences and sell them to advertisers, through cheap spectacle.
This country needs to make a serious and sustained investment in high quality public media, with investigative journalism and informed public deliberation. To accomplish this, I recommend creating a tax on all advertising expenditures in the US and using that money to finance quality public media and to open up new channels for non-profit organizations to air high quality content on diverse issues (environment, labor, social justice, etc).
If you would like more specific details I would be happy to provide them, as I am a professor of Communications and I teach media policy and media reform among other things.
Dr. Michael Karlberg
Associate Professor of Communications
Western Washington University