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

Trends and patterns


Vertical intergration

Horizontal integration

Transnational ownership



Murdoch has exercised these


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.

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.

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

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.

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



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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.



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.

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.

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.

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.