Topic 1 - Trend in the Ownership and control of the Mass Media

Victor Mendon
Mind Map by Victor Mendon, updated more than 1 year ago
Victor Mendon
Created by Victor Mendon almost 6 years ago
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A level Sociology (The Mass Media) Mind Map on Topic 1 - Trend in the Ownership and control of the Mass Media, created by Victor Mendon on 04/29/2014.

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Topic 1 - Trend in the Ownership and control of the Mass Media
1 The mass media are agencies of communication that transmit information, education, news and entertainment to mass audiences
1.1 The print media
1.2 The audio visual media
1.3 Cybermedia
1.4 Growth of tv channels, internet, said that 7 coroporations owned all media output in USA
2 Horizontal integration - refers to fact that bigger media companies often own a diverse range of media
3 Vertical integration - owning all the stages in production, distribution and consumption of a product, this gives media companies greater economic control
4 Diversification - the practise of spreading risk by moving into new, unrelated areas of the business e.g. Virgin is a diversified company, it has major interests in music, cinemas, tv, internet and in addition also sells insurances and banking services as well as train and airline services
5 Global conglomeration - trend for media corporations to have presences in many countries and operate in the global market
6 Pluralist Theory of Media Ownership
6.1 From a pluralist view point, modern capitalist societies are democratic; all interest groups are given a platform to express their views
6.1.1 Mass media is seen to be essential component of this democratic ideal because most people obtain their knowledge about politics from newspapers and tv
6.2 Power then according to pluralist thinkers lies within the consumer or the audience rather than the owners, the media therefore gives public what audiences want rather than what owner decides
6.2.1 Pluralists argue that concentration of media ownership is aimed at maximising audience sizes in order to reduce costs and attract advertising revenue
6.3 The globalization of media and conglomerates that have resulted are just attempts of finding new audiences and increasing audience sizes in order to increase profits
6.3.1 Vertical integration, horizontal integration and diversification have reduced costs as media companies no longer use external media companies who may be competing with them
6.4 One writer argued that media owners have global problems of trade and investment to occupy their minds, so do not have time to think about day to day details of running media businesses
6.5 Pluralists argue that the range of media products available to audiences is extremely diverse, meaning all points of view in a democratic society are catered for
6.5.1 E.g. if majority of newspapers raise concerns of young people carrying knives, they are mirroring concerns of majority of citezens
6.6 Pluralists point to public service broadcasting which are media outlets controlled by the state and have responsibility of providing impartiality
6.6.1 Best example is the BBC which has a legal obligation to inform, educate and entertain full audience spectrums
6.6.1.1 Pluralists see the public service broadcasting as the epitome of impartial and objective media and counter weigh any potential bias in the private sector
6.7 Pluralists also argue that power of media owners is restricted by state controls e.g. some societies do not allow owners to own too much media or different types of media in order to reduce possibility of ones persons views or groups views becoming dominant
6.7.1 Another form of state control on media ownership is fact that BBC and other channels have powerful regulator e.g. Ofcom whose function is to monitor content and quality on television
6.7.1.1 This stops media owners imposing biased content upon general public
6.8 Pluralists also argue that audiences do not passively accept what is fed to them by the media, audiences are selective and often critical of media content
6.8.1 They say audiences are very diverse and interpret and use the media in different ways
7 Marxist Critique of Media Ownership
7.1 Marxists argue that the economic system of the UK i.e. capitalism is deeply unfair because if generally benefits minority (ruling class)
7.2 Marxists argue that inequalities in wealth and income and therefore poverty are a direct result of the way capitalism is organised
7.2.1 Capitalist class exploit labour power of working class, this inequalitity is passed through each generation
7.2.2 False class consciousness - thinking capitalism is a fair system which benefits us all
7.3 The capitalist society uses cultural power to transmit ruling class ideology (hegemony) but persuading the majority that capitalist society is meritocratic
7.3.1 They are able to do this as they own social institutions that diffuse values and interests into society (mass media, religion and education)
7.3.2 Ruling class divert attention away from exploitation
7.4 Marxists see the main function of the media is to convince the general public that ruling class ideology is the 'truth' and 'fact'
7.4.1 Role of the media is to shape how we think about the world we live in
7.4.2 Blinds working class
7.4.2.1 We are never encouraged to be critical of the capitalist system
7.4.3 It have been suggested that governments are no longer interested in controlling the activites of media owners
7.5 Evidence supporting Marxist Critique
7.5.1 In Italy is has been demonstrated that Silvio Berlusconi control of 3 television stations which reached 40% of Italian audience was instrumental in his party winning the general election and resulting in him becoming prime minister
8 The Glasgow University Media Group (GUMG)
8.1 The GUMG take a hegemonic approach to media ownership and control
8.1.1 The way in which the ruling class project their views on the world so it becomes consensus view
8.2 The GUMG suggest that media content does support the interests of those who run the capitalist system but this is an accidental by product of the social background of journalists and broadcasters
8.2.1 These tend to be overwhelmingly white, male and middle class
8.3 GUMG argues that journalists desires not to 'rock the boat' is mainly motivated by profit, media is generally a profit making business
8.3.1 It makes these profits by attracting advertising revenue
8.3.2 If viewers or readers are put off by the content provided because it is interpreted as offensive or upsetting then profits are likely to decline
8.3.3 This is generally why newspapers and tv production usually play safe by excluding anything that may be seen as offensive or upsetting
8.4 Agenda setting - controlling the issues that come to the public eye
8.4.1 The GUMG notes that the media decide what issues should be discussed by society and which ones should be avoided, but it is said that the media usually present us with a narrow agenda for discussion
8.4.1.1 E.g. we often talk about the size and shape of celebrities bottoms but often do not discuss the massive inequalities that exist in society
8.4.1.2 GUMG argue that we do not get presented with really important information that would help ordinary members of society make real choices about how society should be run
8.4.1.3 Agenda setting therefore results in 'cultural hegemony' with the basic principles of capitalism being presented and 'normal' and 'natural'
9 Fallacy of Choice
9.1 Commentators have suggest that the BBC is increasingly abandoning its public service broadcasting aims because it is losing its audiences to commercial and satellite television
9.1.1 As a result of this the BBC has become more comerciallized and populist in an attempt to keep audiences
9.1.2 In order to compete they have had to set yo BBC digital channels and also internet news in response to competition
9.1.2.1 Which pluralists claim can only be good for audiences
9.1.3 Largest possible audiences are needed to attract advertising revenue and BBC need to justify licencing fee
9.1.3.1 And in order to attract largest audiences are achieved by targeting lowest common denominator, content primarily based on entertainment as its least likely to bore viewers
9.2 On tv now we get a lot more cheap american important and we are also likely to experience more repeats
9.2.1 Time allocated to new programming has fallen dramatically and more time has been allocated to celebrity news
9.2.2 To conclude despite hundreds of TV channels we not have more choice but more of the same
9.2.2.1 So this dramatic expansion in number of television channels may have led to less overall choice
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