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Jeff Chester Finds His Digital Destiny

Veteran media activist Jeff Chester takes aim at consolidation in a new book Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy, released Jan. 8 by The New Press.

Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, sees the Internet as an important independent voice among rapidly consolidating media, but warns that those media are working hard behind the scenes in Washington and elsewhere to turn the 'net into one more asset to control.

Chester takes aim at the FCC of Michael Powell, chronicling the run-up to the courts' remanding of the FCC's deregulatory ownership rules, and argues that consolidation, with Powell as its facilitator, led to Iraq war boosterism in the press, undercoverage of dissenting views, and noncoverage of the media consolidation issue.

Chester makes no secret of his disdain for Big Media and the FCC, with chapter headings like "The Federal Consolidation Commission," "Cable Cosa Nostra...," and "The Brandwashing of America..."