The First Amendment, however, is assigned to individuals, not to legally prescribed corporations. Skipping over the obviously differing incentives of an owner invested in his home community and a manager assigned by a distant headquarters, know that widely held corporations are justified because they provide financing for hugely expensive steel and manufacturing operations. In respect to mass media, however, such arrangements solely work to secure monopoly and maximize profits.
Which brings us to the tyrants from whom your letter-writer would save us. The career of Adolph Hitler is instructive in that regard. Hitler sent thugs to attack newspapers, but the papers were the small, proprietary ones. The large national newspapers, even as they remained in “private” hands, he incorporated into the Third Reich. (Fascist economic ideology emphasized that mass media could remain private, but they must uphold the national interest as politically defined or have their editors’ legs broken.)
Years ago I was assigned to give a Soviet journalist a tour of our newspaper plant. He was a sports writer, so the conversation went smoothly until we got to a point where it was necessary to define a “free” press. He became adamant that only his country’s newspapers were free of subscribers and advertisers and therefore could dare offend capitalist values. Well, we are well on our way to fixing that.