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Introduction
The unfortunate fact about mass media is that there are few developed countries that are
enjoying monopoly ov...
Media ownership may refer to states of oligopoly or monopoly in a given media industry, or to
the importance of a low numb...
While many countries have signed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, Article 19 (about freedom of ex...
might lead them to reduce their neutral position towards one of their partner’s social
irresponsibility, so they could bec...
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Media Conglomerates

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Media Conglomerates

  1. 1. Introduction The unfortunate fact about mass media is that there are few developed countries that are enjoying monopoly over mass media. Their news agencies, broadcasting houses, TV channels and films are ruling over the world of mass media. They can build and change any country’s image according to their own wish. A media conglomerate, media group or media institution is a company that owns large numbers of companies in various mass media such as television, radio, publishing, movies, and the Internet. Media conglomerates strive for policies that facilitate their control of the markets across the globe. Media conglomerates are sometimes, but not always, owned by even larger, more generalized conglomerates, which deal in entertainment as well as other ventures. Mega Mergers The past decade's wave of media mergers has produced a complex web of business relationships that now defines America's media and popular culture. These relationships offer a massive opportunity for cross promotion and selling of talent and products among different companies owned by the same powerful parent corporation. Massive corporations dominate the U.S. media landscape. Through a history of mergers and acquisitions, these companies have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read. In many cases, these companies are vertically integrated, controlling everything from initial production to final distribution. Some nations can influence and control their media greatly. In addition, powerful corporations also have enormous influence on mainstream media. In some places major multinational corporations own media stations and outlets. Often, many media institutions survive on advertising fees, which can lead to the media outlet being influenced by various corporate interests. Other times, the ownership interests may affect what is and is not covered. Stories can end up being biased or omitted so as not to offend advertisers or owners. The ability for citizens to make informed decisions is crucial for a free and functioning democracy but now becomes threatened by such concentration in ownership. Concentration of Ownership Concentration of media ownership (also known as media consolidation) is a commonly used term among those who are concerned that the majority of the media outlets are owned by a small number of conglomerates and corporations- especially those who view such consolidation as detrimental, dangerous, or otherwise worrying- to characterize ownership structure of mass media industries. These individual media industries are often referred to as a 'Media Institution'.
  2. 2. Media ownership may refer to states of oligopoly or monopoly in a given media industry, or to the importance of a low number of media conglomerates. Some nations can influence and control their media greatly. In addition, powerful corporations also have enormous influence on mainstream media. The idea of corporate media itself may not be a bad thing, for it can foster healthy competition and provide a check against governments. However, the concern is when there is a concentration of ownership due to the risk of increased economic and political influence that can itself be unaccountable. Global conglomerates can at times have a progressive impact on culture, especially when they enter nations that had been tightly controlled by corrupt crony media systems or nations that had significant state censorship over media. The global commercial-media system is radical in that it will respect no tradition or custom, on balance, if it stands in the way of profits. But ultimately it is politically conservative, because the media giants are significant beneficiaries of the current social structure around the world, and any upheaval in property or social relations— particularly to the extent that it reduces the power of business—is not in their interest. Media has never been more conglomerated, 6 media giants are now controlling what we read, watch or listen to. In 1983, 90% of American media was owned by 50 media companies. In 2011 the same 90% is controlled by six major companies which hold a great share in mass media. o Comcast/NBC Universal o News Corporation o The Walt Disney Company o Viacom/CBS Corporation o Time Warner o Sony Corporation of America Use of Media by Power Blocks Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. — Article 19, United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Someone once said that a person's perception of reality is a result of their beliefs. In today's age, many of those beliefs are in some ways or may be in most ways formed or influenced via the mainstream media. Mainstream media as discussed in the previous lecture is that same group of 8 or 9 major media companies of the world that are also referred as media moguls or media giants, which are ruling over the world and are a major source of information and entertainment for the people all around the globe. It is therefore worth looking at what the media presents, how it does so, and what factors affect the way it is done.
  3. 3. While many countries have signed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 (about freedom of expression, opinion and information) has not been made a reality. A free and impartial media is a key pillar to a functioning democracy to help spread informed views and opinions. Yet developed and developing countries alike are plagued with various problems in the media in numerous ways. International news coverage is declining which is an increasing concern at a time when the world is attempting to globalize. In many countries, journalists face threats of censorship, beatings and even death for reporting issues that may be controversial or not in the interests of power holders. The mainstream media of the developed and freer, nations pose an often unmentioned or poorly analyzed problem: the lack of objective reporting that is not influenced and to a growing degree, controlled by elites with concentrated ownership to advance their interests. Contemporary Social Issues When we look at the propaganda media is doing and the way it is being exploited by its owners and sovereign states particularly US and UK, we get this feeling that all that media is doing is propaganda and there is nothing positive that media is involved into. This is not true, even if we know and realize that what we are watching or listening to is half truth or a total lie or one side of a story that is also because of media because it is due to those some channels, radio or TV and newspapers that show us the other side of the story and we come to know that what we were actually considering as truth was not true. Media Conglomerates in Pakistan: o ARY Digital Network o ARY Group o Dawn Media Group o Hum Network Limited o Independent Media Corporation o Platform Productions The Independent Media Corporation is one of Pakistan's largest media conglomerates. It started with the publications of the Jang Group of Newspapers and later added the Geo Network to its offerings. This huge media empire was founded by late Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman some six decades ago. Conclusion There is not a clear and visible relation between the media conglomerate companies’ core business and their CSR agenda, so they are not trying to reduce directly the harm they cause in society not only directly (TV shows, goods, etc.) buy indirectly (formation of critical thinking, education, tec,). About private sector, media conglomerates´ alliances with private companies,
  4. 4. might lead them to reduce their neutral position towards one of their partner’s social irresponsibility, so they could become even more biased and lose in terms of social legitimacy. In international arena, the recognition has been reached specifically through financial indexes, which leads little room for the analysis of the social impact that their CSR agendas have in their stakeholders. Politically speaking, lobby and political influence have serious consequences in the role of media in society, due to biased information prevents the companies from critical thinking and the arguments are imposed without discussions, and the risk of manipulation and clients segmentation are increasing without a possible solution.

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