No, "they" don't control the news because there are more outlets (spigots) available to more people than ever before in the history of the planet. In a few minutes I can read news of a world event from English language versions of news programs from a dozen countries if I choose. I can drill down through the news sources and compare them to eyewitness blogs. This is totally new and totally out of control. The traditional news sources are somewhat impoverished due to advertisers no longer stuck in a calcified market. There is no longer "the" news -- there is a incredible set of sources that vary from deranged fanatics like FTL to carefully researched sources like the NY Times or Times (London).
Concerning life, health and information, this time in history is the best that mankind has ever had it.
While there are tons of new sources for news content, all the studies show that 85% of Americans and Western Europeans still get their NEWS from variations of the same traditional news sources that they have for decades. You are correct that "in a few minutes I can read news...". That is how I get MY news but that is not the normal news consumer. The normal news consumer still turns on the TV or goes to one of the seven traditional news sources that has been around for decades.
Fox, FoxNews.COM, Sky, Sky Italia, Weekly Standard, Telegraph, The Sun, The Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal
: CBSNews, CBSRadio
Turner Broadcasting, CNN, CNN Headline, CNN International, CNN.COM
NBC, NBC.COM, MSNBC, MSNBC.COM, CNBC, CNBC.COM
NYT, Boston Globe, Herald Tribune, NYTimes.COM, Boston.COM
WGN, LATimes, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, LATimes.COM, Chicagotribune.COM
The map above is a couple of years old but maps out the general spread of what the spigot still looks like. 85% of Americans get their daily news feed from one or more of those sources listed above, and those guys are ALL OLD MEDIA.
"Concerning life, health and information, this time in history is the best that mankind has ever had it."
You are correct, and that is great. But that ain't NEWS, that is Information. It is news, current events, economy and policy that shape our existence that is being replaced by fluff and frivolous agita - the original point of the thread.