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Media: The Big Six Essay

2602 words - 10 pages

Society today receives almost all of its information from the media. Since the media is mostly owned by just a few companies, views and ideas can be shaped by what one sees on the internet, television, and in newspapers. Because of the monopolizations from those few corporations that own what is viewed and read, it becomes fairly easy for the general public to instantly believe what is seen just because “the newsman said so.” Mass media not only has a huge and dangerous impact on the way society views politics and members of society, but also how media can affect the youth.
“Media has been around in America since 1690, when the first newspaper in the United States, Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick, was published” ("Milestones …”). Since 1690, media has grown to unforeseen numbers. “There are six corporations in America that own over ninety percent of what we listen, read, and watch, as compared to the fifty companies that controlled the majority of the American news media in 1983. The ‘Big Six’, which consists of: Time Warner, which owns networks like HBO and TNT; Walt Disney, who controls ESPN and the Disney Channel; Viacom, who leads Comedy Central and MTV; News Corporation, which manages Fox and DIRECTV; CBS Corporation the owner of CBS News; and finally NBC Universal, which is in charge of MSNBC and the Weather Channel. These corporations dominate and regulate over seventy percent of what is watched, as opposed to the other three thousand seven hundred plus businesses that control the other thirty percent. In the movie industry, the ‘Big Six’ had box office sales of over seven billion dollars, which doubled the succeeding 140 studio industries” (Lutz, Ashley; "Who Owns The Media…”). It is clear that these six corporations make up a more than significant aspect of one’s daily life.
Many would argue that too often do people forget just how beneficial mass media can be on society. “If mass media is truly to be blamed for the violence in this country, then should not the same concept apply to media covering the importance of education as well? If mass media has effects on violence, why can not one make the same argument that media convinces us to perform kind works with ‘feel-good’ stories? Mass media can only affect someone as much as that person allows it to affect them. Society gets to choose what they listen to and watch, so if one does not like what is being showed, then they can easily change their source of information. Media allows us to feel like we are part of many stories. For example, many people felt connected to 9/11 because of the thorough and instant coverage of the attack. Media is a tremendous source of connecting the public with the stories” (Bellingham, Kendrick B). It is true that media can be used positively, but the fact is that the “Big Six” is not affecting media in a mainly positively fashion. The mass media twists stories in ways to appeal viewers and gain ratings. True media should...

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