Mass Media - Private and State Ownership

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Number of media outlets available to the general public has increased dramatically. Although these changes appear to offer us a greater amount of choice, some sociologists argue that recent trends in the ownership of the media, indicates this 'choice' may be an illusion

  • Bagdikian - Concentration of Ownership
  • in 1983 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the USA
  • by 1992 22 companies owned and operated 90% of the media
  • by 2004 media ownership in the USA was concentrate in 7 corporations including: Time Warner, Disney and NewsCorp

The move towards cybermedia:

  • many of the above companies have now started to move into cybermedia. Until recently microsoft, apple, google and yahoo dominated, however NewsCorp now own myspace and google has bought YouTube.

British Print Media

  • Curran - concentration of ownership of British newspapers is not a new phenomenom. In 1937, four men, known as the 'press barons' owned nearly one in every two daily newspapers sold in the UK. Today seven individuals dominate newspaper ownership.

Public Service Broadcasting - The BBC

  • state funded
  • license fee
  • governed by the BBC trust under a Royal Charter which ensures that the BBC remains independent and that the interests of the license fee payers are met
  • state has influence over the cost of license fee
  • no advertising

Commercial Television

  • ITV owns the majority of commercial, terrestrial TV
  • access to satellite, digital and cable TV in the UK is generally controlled by NewsCorp and virgin media
  • The British Music Industry is owned by six major companies but


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