Hood spoke in Jackson at a luncheon sponsored by the Capitol press corps and Mississippi State University’s John C. Stennis Institute of Government. The audience of about 20 did not include any high-level editors or news executives.
Several Mississippi newspapers, TV stations and radio stations are owned by out-of-state corporations. The Associated Press is a worldwide, not-for-profit news organization based in New York, and it has an office in Jackson.
“In the old days, you had the wire, so there was some centralization involved,” Hood said. “But you had mom-and-pop printing presses out there and they printed what they wanted to and they had their own thought processes.”
Hood, a Democrat in his second term, said he wonders what will happen to the American media if news organizations become explicitly partisan.
He said he worries that newspapers’ editorials are dictated by out-of-state corporate offices.
And, he said he is bothered by the proliferation of blogs – including some on newspaper Web sites – that allow people to post anonymous comments.
Hood praised public broadcasting, saying it provides an independent voice.