Sociology A2- Unit 3, Mass Media. Introduction.

A2 Sociology, Unit 3 revision cards

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Brief History of The Media

1926- First broadcast from the BBC

1936- BBC launch TV

1955- ITV launched

1964-BBC2 (TV) launched

1967- Radio 1,2,3 and 4 launched/ Colour TV

1982- Channel 4 launched

1984- Cable & Broadcasting Act

1989- Sky TV launched

1990- Radio 5 launched

1992- National Commerical Radio, i.e Classic FM

1997- Channel 5

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Ownership and Control Of The Mass Media

Transnational Ownership  i.e Disney

Media companies are no longer restricted by national boundaries. Media ownership is a global concern, companies buy up smaller ones all over the world. This undermines smaller and more distinctive national and local production.

Media Concentration

Over the last 20 years the media have become more and more concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. If the American media were owned by seperate individuals, there would be 25,000 owners. Instead, only 5 own everything.

Vertical Intergration

This refers to the process whereby all the stages in the production, distribution and consumption of a media product are owned by one company. It's been a common feature of some aspects of the media, such as film and the press, for

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some time. The process is spreading to other areas of the media. The benefits: make more money, generate more profit.

Cross-media Ownership

This occurs when more then one form of media-e.g TV and radio-come to be owned by the same company, creating what is known as a media conglomerate, such as News Corp, and Rupert Murdoch.


Many companies move into areas outside the media so that one part of the business can support the other until things improve. Granada own TV Stations, computer rental outlets and motor service stations. Sony owns film studios, and music recording studios although its mainsource of income is through electronic consumer goods.

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Glasgow Media Group

The Glasgow University Media Group suggests that media content does support the interests of those who run the capitalist system but this is an accidental byproduct of the social backgrounds of journalists and broadcasters. These tend to be overwhelmingly white, middle class and male.

 A Sutton Trust report in 2006 found that leading news and current affairs journalistsare more likely to have been to independant schools, which educate 7% of the population.

Of the top 100 journalists in 2006, 54% were independantly educated. 

 The GUMG claims that these journalists and broadcasters tend to believe in 'middle-of-the-road' views and ideas, which are unthreatening and appeal to the majority of viewers. Anyone who believes in anything considered to be 'extreme' are rarely invited to give their opinion, and are often ridiculed.

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The Media & Ideology

CURRAN (2003)-owner interference + manipulation of UK newspaper content is strong. Four distinct periods can be seen with regard to owner intervention + consequent undermining of journalist + editorial integrity.

Media is happy to transmit r.c.i. through TV because owners are part of the ruling class which = more wealth for them.

Main function is to convince the public that r.c.i. is the truth, + fact.

TUNSTALL + PALMER (1991)- argues with regard to government regulations. They are no longer interested in controlling the activities of owners.

Marxists believe that media ownership aims to transmit a conformist ideology in the form of news and entertainment. Implies owners, wealth holders and political elite are united to brainwash. A02/ Silvio Berlusconi, controls 3 TV Stations and won elections.

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Owners ensure we get a narrow range of approved views and knowledge. As a result, a critical view is rarely heard.

MILIBAND (1973)- the role of the mass media is to shape how we think about the world we live in. We are never encouraged to be critical of capitalism and are rarely informed of important issues i.e. poverty

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amazing thank you! x:)

Natasha O'Connor

Great! Thank you :)

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