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Unit 3: Mass media
Ownership & Control
Transnational Corporation (TNC): a large business with operations and outlets in a range of
countries. (Example - Facebook, Google)
Cross-media ownership: when a company owns a range of media forms such as TV and newspapers.
(Example - Newscorp)
Media Conglomerate: an organisation that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media
such as TV, publishing, radio and film. (Example - Disney)
Vertical Integration: when a media company controls every stage of media production e.g. it makes
and broadcasts TV programmes. (Example - Netflix: makes own shows)
Synergy: Integration of different media forms, 2 complimentary processes; Packaging media
products together e.g. Harry Potter Books, movies, theme park, games, toys AND Ownership of
different companies responsible in hands of one giant corporation e.g. Disney can use own DVD's to
promote films toys and books via cross promotion.
Key Media Developments
There has been increased concentration of ownership into a few giant media corporations.
Media companies have become more transnational. There is concern as these companies buy
smaller companies around the world they will undermine indigenous cultures.
Cross-media ownership e.g. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (cinema, broadcasting, newspapers and
Publishing) produces Media Conglomerates.
These media conglomerates have increased pace of vertical Integration.
Functionalist and Pluralist Theories
Market Mechanism: is a pluralist argument that media content is determined by audiences through
supply and demand.
Old Media: analogue media such as cinema, TV and print.
New Media: Digital media such as internet, PC's and digital TV.
Functionalists think the mass media is an agency of socialisation and helps integrate people by
communicating common values, norms and aspirations of society performing complimentary
functions to family and education.
Pluralist views came around as functionalist views became seen as outdated. Pluralists agreed mass
media reflects common values to an extent, but also argue society has become diverse with a more
complex system of stratification and the media has changed to reflect these developments e.g. there
are now TV and Radio Channels and progammes aimed at young people at minority ethnic groups.
Jean Blondell (1969) argues no single group in society had monopoly of power and control
Mass media is competitive and diverse so no single group controls it.
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There is a Free Media: Everyone has the right to set up newspapers etc. in capitalist society.
Wide range of views will be expressed.
Audience demand and the market mechanism: Size & diversity of mass media corporations means
Owners cannot control what is produced. Journalists and editors make decisions about content
based on demands of consumers if their needs are not catered for they will not watch or buy.…read more
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The news of the world) Marxists argue this shows he feels it is necessary to control politics of
tabloids aimed at working class and not those read by higher social classes.
Neo Marxists Also thinks the media helps spread ideology (values, ideas & beliefs supporting
capitalism) but do not see it as primarily the result of action taken by media owners.…read more