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Globalisation Of The Media Part 1 Ownership

2339 words - 9 pages

Essay #1 - Media OwnershipMass media is ideally what its name suggests, a voice for the masses. But, as the line between the business and editorial side of journalism grows hazier, it is instead becoming a tool for the minority of corporate and political elites. Increasingly concentrated ownership has created an oligopoly in the media industry. The result is homogenized and watered down content heavily influenced by owner and advertiser interests. Journalistic integrity is taking a back seat to the bottom line.A good journalist's aim is to produce a product that is diverse, innovative, has substance, and is independent from business or government influence (Croteau, 150). The aim of a good owner is to maximize profit. The respective sides' goals often conflict. It is the owners who win this conflict, as in the free market money is power.The propaganda model best shows how the system works. It names five filters that determine what is news and how it is covered: Ownership, advertising, dependence upon business and government experts, flak, and anticommunism (Herman, 77). Concentrated ownership and profit orientation of media firms is the primary factor, contributing largely to the other four.Advertising as the primary source of income separates media from other consumer products. Those who consume media do not directly pay for it. They do so indirectly by purchasing the advertised products or services. This distorts the model of supply and demand, creating a model that does not necessarily meet the public's needs (Croteau, 30).Dependence on experts is initiated in the interest of objectivity. A journalist must use credible sources for their stories. Whether justified or not, one values the word of a government or corporate leader over that of an average citizen. One asks. "Who is he to say?" However, these experts can manage the news, steering reporters in one direction or another (Schiller, 17). Minimizing costs increases this dependence upon experts. Media owners do not want to spend the money to double check questionable sources or pursue alternative viewpoints.Flak also controls media firms because of the costs associated with it. Flak is negative feedback from government officials, business or consumer groups, or individuals. It can take various forms including letters, phone calls, petitions, lawsuits and speeches (Herman, 87). Large amounts of flak can create a bad reputation for the firm, lower ratings, and scare away advertisers. Legal costs are also possible if the objector files suit.Thanks largely to the Cold War and "red scares" in our history, people react negatively to the threat of social rather than business control of media, or any industry for that matter (Herman, 89). This affects how foreign policy is covered and restricts liberal viewpoints in media, labeling them as communist.The values associated with each filter affect the decisions that turn raw news into a completed product. As outlined in the Bass double action model,...

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