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Renowned journalist and media critic Ben Bagdikian died Friday at his home in California. He was 96.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

“Without question, Ben Bagdikian paved the way for the work we do at Free Press every day. His book Media Monopoly is one of the most important and influential works of media criticism ever published, a prescient though unfortunately unheeded warning about the dangers of too much media power in too few hands. That’s just one of the many highlights in his long career as a reporter, critic, researcher and professor. A former dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Bagidikian taught journalists that their obligation was not to their bosses, editors, sources or careers — but rather to the public, a lesson that should be posted in every newsroom. We send our condolences to his family and many friends."

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