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Media Power And Media Bias Essay

983 words - 4 pages

The powerful media barons have always altered broadcasts to achieve their personal or corporate agenda. What purpose does the media serve now? Measuring Bias on Television by Barrie Gunter has elaborated on the idea that news was originally set up to act as a national tool to stir thoughts. But is it? No! Is the media even enlightening the public now? After careful speculation of mass media and the communication world, I am under the impression that broadcasts have been used to entertain, frighten and cause controversy as a means to keep people watching.
First off, the media serves as an authoritative power. It strikes the public as informative, knowledgeable and some may even go as far to say that to audiences, the media is omniscient. With this being said, it can be noted that the media serves a power even higher than itself: major corporations. The communication industry acts as a vehicle of promotion for ten major corporations. According to excerpts taken from Stuart A. Kallen’s At Issue: Media Bias, Robert W. McChesney discusses how power operates in our society. We are dominated by 10 transitional conglomerates: Disney, AOL, Time Warner, News Corporation, Viacom, Vivendi Universal, Sony, Liberty, Bertelsmann, AT&T, Comcast, General Electric (NBC). These greatly impact media sectors, and based upon this reading I have come to believe that since these corporations are sponsoring and/or controlling news providers and what is being reported, the media is catering to big-time companies. McChesney infers how ironic it is that if the First Amendment grants us the freedom of press, then why do we need permission of the tyrannical billionaires in control of cable channels, books, magazines, radio stations, billboards, TV stations, etc. to launch a new movie studio or major daily newspaper? Freedom of press states that people have the right to “create our own media if they so desire” (Kallen 31). Consequently, although the media does hold a strong power over public ears and eyes, there is a higher power in which the media assists.
In terms of interests that the media serves, Kallen’s At Issue: Media Bias introduces a term that’s new and also striking to me. Not only is the public concerned with the political, economic and religious aspects of the news, but At Issue: Media Bias also explains that audiences crave more “infotainment”. Infotainment is engaging to viewers/listeners because it often deals with sex scandals, murders, celebrities, etc. “In a world where people are surrounded by innumerable media options… sex and violence are proven attention getters” (Kallen, McChesney 34). McChesney seems disheartened and disappointed when he says that political coverage in American media is “empty and meaningless”. The tough questions on important issues, such as the War on Terror, are being ignored and there is less and less of political coverage these days (McChesney 55). In opposition to this idea, David Niven’s novel, Tilt? The Search for Media...

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