Ownership and Control

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  • Created on: 14-01-14 16:11
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Topic 1: Trends in the ownership and control of the media
Key words:
Horizontal integration:
Known as cross-media ownership ­ the bigger media companies often own a diverse range
of media. For example News Corp owns newspapers, magazines, book publishers and TV
(Fox TV in US).
Vertical integration:
Some media companies are increasingly trying to control all aspects of their industry in
order to maximize their profits. For example, Disney; production = Walt Disney pictures,
distribution = Walt Disney studios motion pictures, user interface = films.
Diversification:
`Lateral expansion'
Firms diversify into new businesses areas in order to spread risk. Losses made in one area
may be compensated for by profits in another. For example, Virgin expanded from a music
label to cola, vodka, transport, banking, insurance, cinema and TV.
Global conglomeration:
Transnational corporations with a presence in many countries, operating in a global market.
For example, News Corp owns newspapers in Australia, the US and the UK.
Synergy:
Media companies are using their different interests to package their products in several
different ways. For example, Spiderman 2 was a movie, a game and a soundtrack album.
Technological convergence:
The trend of putting several technologies into one media product ­ for example the iPhone.
Market Mechanism:
Forces of demand and supply determine prices and quantities of goods and services
offered for sale - a pluralistic argument
The mass media are defined as those agencies of communication that transmit
information, education, news and entertainment to mass audiences. There are 3 types of
media: the print media, the audio-visual media and the cybermedia/digital media (new types
of media).
Bagdikian - Althusser - Miliband - Tunstall and Palmer - Curran - Whale

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Concentration of ownership:
Bagdikian points out that in 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news
media in the USA, by 2004 media ownership was concentrated in 7 corporations.
While access to satellite, cable and digital TV in the UK is generally controlled by two
companies ­ News Corp (Rupert M) and Virgin Media (Richard B).
The British music industry is owned and controlled by 6 companies, while only one of these,
EMI is British.
IPC owns 80% of the magazines in Britain.…read more

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Marxism (A.K.A. Instrumental or Manipulative Marxism)
Main points;
Owners of the media do interfere with media content
They spread ideologies of their dominant class power
Media managers have little choice
Audiences are passive robots favouring dominant ideology
Journalists censor their reports to assure it meets ruling class views and to avoid
criticism
Bagdakin: 5 global firms own most of the newspapers, magazines, book publishers, film
studios, TV studios and radios; Viacom, Walt Disney, News Corp, Time Warner, Berrelsmann.…read more

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Culture and the mass media spread the dominant ideology
Editors and journalists are forced to do this by their owners as it's what their belief is
Media owners don't have control, editors/journalists add content if they share similar
views
The audience do not receive a wide range of information
GUMG (interested in the bias of the press particularly how the right wing view is dominant in
the news) looked at the miners' strike.…read more

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