This question was considered as follows in The History of the Culture of War:
The most significant development in the culture of war over the course of history has been the increasing importance of the control of information. In parallel with the developments of the printing press, the telephone and radio, television and now internet, the control of these media has been crucial for the maintenance or changing of political power, no less for bourgeois democracy than for authoritarian regimes. We have already mentioned one example: the important role of television in electoral campaigns, and how it provides an ever-increasing advantage to those who are wealthy or have access to wealth.
In recent years control of the media has greatly reinforced the culture of war of the state and military-industrial complex. Never before in history has there been such a concentration of communication power in the hands of a few multi-national corporations, Most media in the United States, for example, are now in the hands of five multi-national corporations. There was popular resistance to this a few years ago, but the media monopolies were supported by the responsible government agency, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The FCC was stocked with appointments of the Bush administration and headed by the son of General Colin Powell, the Secretary of State in the Bush administration who initiated the war in Iraq.
At the international level, a particularly revealing moment occurred when UNESCO considered implementation of the proposals of the International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems (UNESCO 1980). This is usually called the MacBride report after its chairman, the Nobel Peace Laureate Sean MacBride. The MacBride report recognized the dominance of Northern media and called for the “democratization of communication at national and international levels”:
[page 111]: “We can sum up by saying that in the communication industry there are a relatively small number of predominant corporations which integrate all aspects of production and distribution, which are based in the leading developed countries and which have become transnational in their operations. Concentration of resources and infrastructures is not only a growing trend, but also a worrying phenomenon which may adversely affect the freedom and democratization of communication . . ”
[page 253]: “Our conclusions are founded on the firm conviction that communication is a basic individual right, as well as a collective one required by all communities and nations. Freedom of information — and, more specifically the right to seek, receive and impart information — is a fundamental human right; indeed, a prerequisite for many others. The inherent nature of communication means that its fullest possible exercise and potential depend on the surrounding political, social and economic conditions, the most vital of these being democracy within countries and equal, democratic relations between them. It is in this context that the democratization of communication at national and international levels, as well as the larger role of communication in democratizing society, acquires utmost importance.”
When it looked like they could not block implementation of the MacBride Report, the United States and the United Kingdom withdrew from UNESCO, effectively removing a majority of its operational budget and putting enormous pressure on their allies that remained in the organization. When I was at UNESCO in the 1990s there was no question but that this topic had become taboo for the organization. And meanwhile the concentration of the power of media in the hands of the wealthy continues to grow. As A. J. Liebling once wrote, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one”.
Here are CPNN articles bearing on this question: