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Topic 1: Trends in the ownership and control of the media

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…

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Richard Desmond, The Telegraph group ­ Barclay Brothers, The
Independent/Independent on Sunday ­ Tony O'Reilly, Viscount Cowdray ­ Pearson

Only 2 national newspaper groups are controlled by companies rather than individuals
(Trinity Mirror and The Guardian Media Group)

By 2002 just 3 publishers controlled two-thirds of national newspapers sold…

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`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. Virgin is an example of this, it has major
media interests in music, publishing, internet access and so on. It also runs a…

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whether or not they want to buy/view a product. According to the pluralists, power lies
with the consumer or audience rather than with owners. The media therefore, give the
public what the audience wants rather than what the owner decides.

Pluralists argue that the rational for media concentration is essentially…

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Pluralists note that the power of media owners is also restricted by state/government
controls. Many countries have cross-ownership rules preventing companies from owning
more than one media form in the same area.

Both the BBC and ITV have some formal legal requirements imposed upon them by a
powerful regulator ­…

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reality of their situation, that they are being exploited by a system that benefits only a
powerful minority.

The media and ideology:

Marxists believe that media owners aim to transmit a conservative and conformist
ideology in the form of news and entertainment. The main function of the media is to…

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1950 ­ 1974

Period seen as the great pluralist phrase in terms of newspaper reporting because there
was a greater delegation by owners to editorial authority and autonomy. It was a period of
investigative reporting. Group consensus emerged among journalists and editors that
proprietorial influence should be resisted. This did…

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believes in ideas outside this media consensus as `extremist' and consequently these
people are rarely invited to contribute their opinion in newspapers or on TV.

Economic pressures:

GUMG argues that this journalistic desire not to take on radical views is mainly motivated
by profit. The media is a profit making…

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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 and a
corresponding increase in stories with lowest-common-denominator appeal. This led to a
fall in journalistic standards. There is little choice…


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