Trends in the Ownership and Control of the Mass Media.

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Mind Map on Trends in the Ownership and Control of the Mass Media., created by o'keeffen07 on 03/05/2015.
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Trends in the Ownership and Control of the Mass Media.
1 Ownership and Control
1.1 Bagdikian (2004) points out that, in 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the USA. However, by 2004, media ownership in the USA was concentrated in 7 corporations.
1.2 Curran (2003) suggests that concentration of ownership of British newspapers is not a new phenomenon. By 2002, just 3 publishers controlled 2/3 of national newspapers sold in the UK.
1.3 Horizontal integration refers to media companies owning a diverse range of media
1.4 Vertical integration refers to media companies attempting to control all aspects of their industry.
1.5 Diversification occurs when firms diversify into new business areas in order to spread risk.
1.6 Global conglomeration is the trend for media corporations to have a presence in many countries and operate in a global market.
1.7 Synergy is a mutually advantageous combination of distinct elements, as where two or more related businesses work together to promote or sell a product more effectively than they would have done individually.
1.8 Technological convergence refers t the trend of putting several technologies into one media product.
2 Why Should We Study Ownership and Control?
2.1 Doyle (2002) suggests that there is a need for societies to have a diverse and pluralistic media provision so that all points of view can be heard and abuses of power can be avoided.
2.2 However, Pluralists may argue that these concerns are exaggerated. They argue that media owners manage their media in a responsible fashion, because content is largely determined by the demands of the consumer market.

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  • However, Pluralists may argue that these concernsa are exaggerated. They argue that media owners manage their media in a responsible fashion, because content is largely determined by the demands of the consumer market.
3 The Pluralist Theory of Media Ownership
3.1 The behaviour of media owners is constrained by the market. The consumer is the real power holder because the exercise the right to buy or not to buy. Concentration of media ownership is aims at maximising audience sizes in order to reduce costs. Vertical and horizontal integration reduce costs because media companies no longer have to contract services out to other media companies. It is practically impossible for owners to interfere in the content of newspapers and TV programmes because their businesses are economically far too complex for them to take a regular interest. Whale (1977) argues that media owners have global problems of trade and investment to occupy their minds and so do not have time to think about the day to day running of media.
3.2 A range of media products are available and, as a result, all points of view in a democratic society are catered for. If some viewpoints have a greater range of media representing them, this is not necessarily biased.
3.3 A significant share of the media market in the UK is taken up by PSB which have a world wide reputation for impartiality.
3.4 The power of the media is also restricted by state and government controls. For example, OFCOM monitors the content and quality of TV and radio output on both the BBC and commercial channels . This combination of audience and regulator prevents unscrupulous media owners imposing biased content upon the general public.
3.5 The professionalism of journalists and editors means they would never allow owners to compromise their independence. Journalists have too much integrity to be biased regularly in favour of one particular perspective. The media also have a strong history of investigative journalism, which has often targeted those in power.
3.6 Audiences do no passively accept what is being fed to them. Audiences are selective and often critical of media content.
4 The Marxist Critique of Media Ownership and Control
5 The Glasgow University Media Group
5.1 The journalistic desire not to rock the boat is mainly motivated by profit. Curran argues that jounalists are now only a moderating influence. their objectivity and impartiality has been undermined by the fact that journalists are not immune to the way the labour market has changed in the UK over the past 10 years. Unemployment has grown considerably among journalists and there is an increasing tendancy for media employers to take on staff on temporary contracts. Compliancy with the ethos of the owner is therefore more likely to secure a journalist a permanent position.
5.2 The result of journalistic consensus is that the media decide ehat issues should be discussed by society and which ones should be avoided - this is known as agenda setting. The media present us with a fairly narrow agenda for discussion. We do not get presented with the really important information and this results in cultural hegemony.
6 The Fallacy of Choice
6.1 Barnett and Weymour (1999) argue that the quality of TV has been undermined by commercial pressures. they argue that the main aim of TV companies, including the BBC, is to achieve the largest audience. They argue that this has had a hegemonic cultural effect in the sense that education, information and news have been increasingly side lined. Despite hundred of TV channels, we do not have more choice, just more of the same thing. Curran notes the same pressures in the popular press as the rising costs of newsprint in the 1990s led to a major decrease in serious and political news stories.
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