Synergy Bias and the Media <br />By Ben Woodard <br />And <br />Sarah Redohl <br />
What is Synergy Bias? <br />Synergy Bias as defined by “Media and Culture” is the promotion and sale of a product throughout the various subsidiaries of a media conglomerate. <br />
The Structure of the Media Industry <br />The conglomeration of the media outlets over the past two decades have led to a dramatic change in the media industry and its practices including the use of synergy bias. Since the Telecommunications act of 1996 which uplifted the restrictions of owning multiple media outlets was passed, the media industry has become controlled by only a handful of powerful conglomerates. <br />A conglomerate is a company that owns a number of different companies in different industries. <br />
Why is Synergy Bias and Media Conglomeration relevant to today’s society?<br />The reason why media conglomeration and synergy bias is relevant to today’s society is that a small amount of companies which are highly diversified in their product control the media and are able to promote their own products covertly without the public being aware of it. <br />
Examples of Media Conglomeration <br />The top five media companies today are all conglomerates.<br />Time Warner-Owns CNN<br />Disney- Owns ABC <br />News Corp.-Owns Fox <br />General Electric-Owns NBC<br />CBS corporation- Owns CBS<br />
Media Conglomeration example<br />Along with owning major television networks these five conglomerates own many other media companies. A good example of this is Time Warner and Disney.<br />These conglomerates capitalize on every part of their business. For example General Electric owns NBC and has rights to 25% of NBC new anchor Tom Brokaw’s book the “Greatest Generation”<br />
Other Conglomerated Media Tactics <br />The conglomerated media companies along with synergy bias are able to employ other tactics to persuade or control their images<br />Bias of revision- A media conglomerate and revise newscast and/or other types of media to make it more favorable to the parent company <br />Bias of Omission- The media can omit information that may harm the parent company.<br />
How to spot Synergy Bias <br />Due to the high concentration of ownership and media conglomeration along with the huge amount of media one encounters in a day it is clear that the media has a huge influence on a persons beliefs and perceptions <br />Therefore to not fall victim to the synergy bias and other tactics of these conglomerates one must not just stop watching media (which may be impossible) but instead become media literate.<br />
Media Literacy <br />To become media literate is to understand the mass media and also become engaged in it.<br />Therefore one must watch media with a critical eye and not just accept what the media (in any form) is telling you for the truth.<br />One must watch for the connections between these media conglomerates and promoting their products.<br />Therefore the more someone knows about the structure of the media and how the industry works, the more the person is able to realize synergy bias. <br />
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