Editorial: Media consolidation accelerates

There are efforts underway to consolidate the media in Tulsa.

Berkshire Harthaway (Warren Buffett) purchased the declining Tulsa World and then bought almost every other newspaper in the metro area.

Why would a billionaire, the “oracle of Omaha,” want to buy newspapers? The answer is he wants to influence public opinion by controlling newspaper content.

There has also been consolidation in the grouping of television and radio stations in Tulsa. The result has been fewer conservative voices in Tulsa – a conservative and Christian city.

Efforts to silence conservative media outlets runs deep.

QuikTrip recently declined to sell the Tulsa Beacon, Tulsa’s Family Newspaper, a week before Super Tuesday. No explanation has been given.

The convenience store chain actively promotes liberal newspapers like the Tulsa World but offers tacit support to a conspiracy of silence when it comes to the conservative press.

When monopolies rise, two things typically occur.

One is that prices go up.

Secondly, service goes down.

Imagine if all cell phones were controlled by one company, like Southwestern Bell. It would not be consumer friendly.

Tulsa used to have two thriving daily newspapers – the Tulsa World and the Tulsa Tribune. The World bought out the Tribune and immediately shut it down.

In a sense, that is happening over and over again with media consolidation. The Internet, talk radio and cable news channels afford some relief but it is getting harder and harder for conservative voices to be heard on a local basis.

And that spells trouble for our city and republic.