Is It Time to Rein in Kleptocrats Who Seek to Dominate the World’s Information?
It’s an increasingly prevalent phenomenon across the globe: media companies are being taken over by business tycoons and kleptocrats less concerned with honest journalism than with their own political and financial self-interest. Their wealth itself isn’t necessarily a problem. There are genuine philanthropists now sustaining serious news publications and opinion outlets, and serious investors seeking new revenue streams to pay for high-quality news. But the overall trend is disturbing.
What to do? Are there safeguards that governments can put in place? Does that even make sense in a digital age? How might governmental responses be squared with Western faith in free economic competition? Does that still offer a path forward, or is the global erosion of media freedom best described as a market failure?
On Thursday, December 1, Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative hosted the first in a series of debates on kleptocracy and democracy. Featuring Hudson Visiting Fellow Martha Bayles of Boston College and Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View, this event was held at the 5th & K Busboys and Poets.