Ownership and control of the media

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Ownership and control of the media by Mind Map: Ownership and control of the media

1. Marxism

1.1. Believe that power and control lie with the ruling class (bourgeoisie). Marxists use the term ideology to explain how the ruling class establishes ideas that maintain its interests, people accept this as norm.

1.2. Miliband (1969) argued that bourgeoisie uses mass media to control society by creating false picture of reality - presents capitalism in a positive way, making inequality seem inevitable/justifiable. False class-conciousness so proletariat don't revolt.

1.3. Miliband (1969) - "opium of the people" = mass media replacing religion as drug that numbs the senses and produces illusion of happiness.

1.4. Media divert proletariat's attention away from exploitation and oppression (Adorno - popular culture distracts us from important social events) e.g. Murdoch - journalists complained of prevention from reporting critically e.g. about Israel due to Murdoch's business dealings/friendship with prime minister.

1.5. Marxists see trends as strengthening the control of owners and giving them wider range of power over diverse area.

1.6. Evaluation

1.6.1. Present an overlly conspiratorial view of role of owners, whose main aim is to provide audience's demands

1.6.2. Owners aim to make profit, brings them into conflict with other owners. this questions idea of owners being united group that seeks to impose singular ideology.

1.6.3. Criticised for failing to take into account the role of media proffessions constructing news e.g. John Pilger - created many influential products that provide in depth critical analysis

1.6.4. Pluralists believe that there is more balance of power. Argue Marxists ignore range of views offered in media including those who criticise the powerful e.g. George Monbiotare - given space to present alternative views that challenge capitalist system

1.6.5. Negrine (1989) Evidence to support the view that media ownership equal control is anecdotal and cannot be generalised Questionswhere the owners can be seen as a group since their main concern is likely to be the survival and success of their business Unlikely that indivdual owners would be able to exercise control of global companies operating in a diverse range of media areas

2. Pluralism

2.1. They see the audience as having power because the success lies in the hands of those consuming them. It's a 'free market', consumers are supplied what they demand.

2.2. The Fourth Estate - used to describe the positive role that the media can have in protecting democracy. Some pluralists see the media as acting as a check on the 3 estates - government, parliament and judiciary.

2.3. They believe that the media can bring positive benefits e.g. can bring the resources to enhance the quality of media products and finance to invest in developing new products and services.

2.4. Collins and Murroni (1996) - 'large size tends to bring the resources required for comprehensive high quality reporting'. - As a large company, they are able to afford the quality.

2.5. Evaluation

2.5.1. Criticised for failing to address the narrow background of media professionals. Neo-Marxists argue that media institutions are dominated by those who represent the interests of the society, as a result, there is restricted diversity views.

2.5.2. Marxists argue that pluralists ignore the role of owner in shaping the content of the media.

2.5.3. Diversity and choice may be limited by the power of advertisers. This may restrict the production of less mainstream media products that serve minority audiences but don't have widespread appeal.

3. Trends and patterns

3.1. Concentration

3.1.1. Media being owned by smaller number of organisations Threat to democracy due to less views expressed - views of rich and powerful

3.2. Vertical intergration

3.2.1. All stages in production, distribution and consumption being owned by one company e.g. sky owning satellite company. Increases control and cuts costs.

3.2.2. Bagdikian(2000) - "corporations which have control of a total process... also have few motives for geniune inovation and the power to seize out anyone else who tries to compete."

3.3. Horizontal integration

3.3.1. Takeover/merger of companies in same/similar section of media e.g. Murdoch owning Fox and Sky Reduces competition, gives control of market

3.3.2. Similar to hostile takeover - taking over against their will

3.4. Transnational ownership

3.4.1. Process of globilsation, a company who reach a wide global audience e.g. Disney.

3.5. Diversification

3.5.1. Owning many media products or owning other business e.g. AOL and Time Warner murged and now own record labels, theme parks and sports teams etc.

3.6. Synergy

3.6.1. Media companies which produce products connected to their business e.g. Harry Potter books, games etc.

3.7. Murdoch has exercised these

4. Neo-Marxism

4.1. Respond to perceived weaknesses of traditional marxist approach e.g. take into account of gender, ethnicity and sexuality not just social class.

4.2. Interested in how ruling class culture shapes activities of people in society. The term hegemony refers to the dominance of particular set of ideas e.g. in different social institutions like education and religion. Media reinforces these ideas.

4.3. The media is seen as having a key role in reinforcing hegemony, since they have a wide reach within society.

4.4. They contend that most media professionals are white, middle-class men who come from similar educational background and so share a similar worldview. This will be present in anything that they produce e.g. films.

4.5. Hall et al. analysed ways in which media professionals create media products that reflect and reinforce the power structures of society without overt influence or control from media owner. Book of Policing the Crisis - media supported the role of the police and other legal structures.

4.6. Fairclough - studied Crime Watch. It seems to describe an ideal world in which the police and the public work together, but doesn't refer to any of the concerns of feeling alienated from the police. Fairclough contended that media professionals had created a type of discourse in which is seen as 'natural' to the neo-Marxist as media professionals themselves are immersed in a hegemonic worldview.

4.7. They are concerned that the rise of transnational companies has led to cultural domination by American-owned companies that promote Western norms and values, and erodes the uniqueness of regional cultures.

4.8. Evaluation

4.8.1. Can be argued that it fails to recognise the growing number of female media professionals and/or from ethnic minority background.

4.8.2. The development of new technologies can be seen as increasing the representation of a wider range of view. E.g. Computers and the availability of publishing software enabled individuals to produce professional-quality media products.