Sample Communication Essay on Media Concentration

Media concentration

Introduction

Media concentration is an occurrence where reducing the number of people and organizations that possess media outlets ends up centering the ownership of media into the hands of just a small number of entities. Media concentration is a subject of concern for governmental organizations, journalists, and scholars that study the way in which and where individuals obtain knowledge concerning current occurrences. A number of critics consider media concentration a threat to the free exchange of knowledge and back the application of directives to augment autonomy in media while others are convinced that interventions by governments are unnecessary. An instance of media concentration would be newspaper owner purchasing other local newspaper outlets that seem to complement an original possession. That owner could also seek the ownership of some existing magazine outlets, radio and TV stations, and publishing companies. In such a case, a single person or organization could acquire the ownership of different media outlets. Thus, media concentration entails a few people or organizations progressively owning large numbers of media outlets (Boyd-Barrett 158). Across the globe, media concentration is evident in instances of Viacom, News Corp, The Walt Disney Company, Sony, and Televisa just to mention a few. In countries considered authoritarian, media concentration is a thing extremely near to the total state control on information in explicit or inexplicit means. This study seeks to discuss media concentration as simply an economically resourceful means of structuring media industries in a progressively globalized world and as such, media concentration has no considerable implications for media content and cultural identity.

Economically Resourceful

As aforementioned, media concentration could be attributed to one media associated organization purchasing another company for ownership of their outlets with the purpose of boosting profits and viewership. Triumphant media companies normally buy up other media outlets to ensure that they become stronger, more profitable, and capable of reaching a bigger viewing audience. Concentration of media ownership has turned into being more rampant of late, which has made many people worry concerning the negative impacts that could result from the ownership of media being consolidated. Such unconstructive impacts that could happen encompass lack of competition and diverseness in addition to prejudiced political opinions. Media concentration results to big media companies buying up smaller or regional companies thus becoming stronger within the market and generating an oligopoly, a situation where a few companies control the market. A media oligopoly results from the continued elimination of business competition via take over or driving them out (since they do not have adequate resources or funds) and the few companies that remain control the media sector. Media concentration is very commonly perceived as a setback of modern media as well as society (Paterson 73).

The possession or control over media outlets and companies is deemed an extremely influential position, as it potentially allows the management of information and the influencing of the popular view (Clausen 29). In most nations across the globe, there are limitations, not only on what could be aired in the media, but even on the possession and management of media companies or stations. It is normal for governments to own radio and TV stations, and, in several nations, even major newspapers. In nations that are not democratic, the limitations and regulations function not only to generate revenue but also to back the authorized or governmental viewpoint, to the exclusion of other viewpoints or condemnations. Nonetheless, in democratic nations, media regulations concerning possession are enacted to guarantee an assortment of the choice of media to create a multitude of perspectives, and the degree to which they ought to do this is frequently the basis of public discussions.

In cases where media concentration happens, many unfavorable consequences follow and encompass commercially motivated, ultra-powerful mass market media being mainly dedicated to sponsors, that is, to admen and government instead of public concern (Georgiou and Silverstone 30). Other unfavorable consequences include just a few companies characterizing the concerns of the minority elite dominating the media outlets and healthy, market-anchored competition missing thus resulting to sluggish innovation and augmented costs. It is significant to elaborate upon the concern of media concentration, its economic resourcefulness, and its influence on diverseness of information getting to a given marketplace. Since media concentration is majorly based on profit maximization, it creates monopoly or oligopoly in the media market thus cannot be totally responsible and reliable in attending to the public concern.

On the regional platform, reporters have normally found their news reports rejected or edited past realization, for instance, there has frequently been refusal of the media to air news from anti-war activists to liberal groupings, irrespective of realistic basis (Iosifidis 12). Attributable to media concentration, the reporting by journalists could be directly influenced by individuals that are the focus of their reporting bringing about news that fundamentally support the sponsor, have his preferred outlook, or are merely a reflection of the views of their sponsors. Accordingly, if the companies controlling a media marketplace decide to hold back reports that do not support their preferences; the public is affected because they are not sufficiently informed of various critical concerns that could have an effect on them.

Amid scholars, concern lies in the perception that the rationale of the 1st amendment to the constitution of the United States was to promote a free press as political fomenter; the only safekeeping of everyone is in a free press. The strength of public view cannot be opposed when authorized unreservedly to be articulated since the shakeup it generates has to be accede to. Keeping the waters uncontaminated is crucial (Jung, Perez-Mira, and Wiley-Patton 125). The concerns of a free press have long been combated by big media outlets though the protests have equally for long been dismissed. A given account for the cause of media concentration is a reallocation to neoliberal deregulation strategies, which is a market-based advance. Deregulation successfully eradicates governmental hindrances to create room for commercial utilization of media. The impetus for the emergence of media companies encompasses raised profit margins, decreased threat, and retention of a competitive benefit. On the contrary, the supporters of deregulation have affirmed that cultural trade hindrances and directives hurt customers and local backing in the nature of subsidies and obstruct nations from developing their powerful media companies.

On the other hand, the researchers against deregulation and the ensuing media concentration dread that such inclinations will just keep on decreasing the diverseness of information sources to the public (Liu, Liao, and Pratt 603). The eventual result of media concentration, as affirmed by critics, is an inadequately knowledgeable public, confined to a decreased array of media alternatives that provide just information that is not against the media oligopoly’s rising choice of concerns. According to the critics, media deregulation is a hazardous inclination, enhancing an augment in media concentration, and consequently decreasing the overall excellence and assortment of information communication via main media outlets. Enhanced media concentration could result in the suppression of a broad array of vital deliberation.

In support of its economic resourcefulness, the political economy of media deems it like any other business undertaking (Gershon 26). Therefore, mass media in many countries across the globe have been planned in accordance with the commercial standards from the very start. It is normal to affirm that the creation, circulation, and appearance of the mass media in different countries entail huge amounts of money, and, therefore, no study in mass communication can be accomplished unless inquiries of economic control are tackled. It is noteworthy that there has been the dominant practice of public service broadcasting (PSB) and countrywide/politically funded press in different nations around the world. For instance, the media in most nations in Europe are currently set to pursue the money-making model. Nevertheless, even in nations where media companies are not commercially funded, they are still economic activities costing large sums of money.

Nonetheless, apart from the generation and distribution of commodities, the mass media distribute information regarding financial and political formations (Bagdikian 34). This forms the second and ideological aspect of mass media production that offers it significance and position and that demands an advance with respect to not just economic resourcefulness but also the political aspect. Hence, it is crucial to comprehend that mass media is like every other business; though it is as well dissimilar in the reality that it undertakes a critical function as an information, amusement, and political instrument in any nation. The key function of mass media in the creation and distribution of culture has resulted to a number of political economists concluding that it reminds of cultural pessimism. The concentration of media ownership centers on inequity of resources and authority as its multilevel impacts on mass-media concerns and alternatives. It pursues the paths by which resources and authority are capable of filtering out the information reported through print, radio, or television, marginalize protest, and permit the government and leading private concerns to pass their communications direct to the public.

Media Content

It is vital to consider the impact of media concentration on media content following what was referred to as linguistic or excursive twist in the media study prior to 1990. The greater section of media study has concentrated on textual and communication examination and qualitative techniques. Cultural researches have as well offered a considerable model for recent media study stressing on active audiences, practices of response and strengthening, and effective significances for media applications (Thussu 67). Before 1990, political economy of media aroused dissimilar types of inquiries concerning media concentration as well as political and economic functions of the media. Political aspect was a section of the broad indication of Marxian theorizations reaching the entire scope of social sciences, in addition to humanities. Consistent with the major argument of Marxian political economists, the economic base constitutes the superstructure of media, that is, the possession of media is associated with the societal authority, and this authority block in a way, though insignificantly, controls the generation of media content with respect to its money-making and ideological concerns.

In media concentration, a couple of practices have been mainly significant in the formation of corporate playing ground, and they encompass technical novelty and privatization (Noam 79). The digital revolution that permits voice, text, information, and pictures to be kept and transmitted with the application of the same basic expertise prepares the ground for a scope of potentials for new forms of actions and for fresh sorts of union and interaction with the media industries. Therefore, the digital union has also underscored ownership union since digitalization has been amid the major plans for media firms pursuing their means of rationalizing the creation and delivery of media content thus minimizing their expenses. It is evident that media concentration and digital expertise make the distribution of media content from a given medium to another extremely unproblematic. The association of technical and economical union has been amid the major policies of the twenty-first century’s media firms.

The objective in uniting expertise and consolidating ownership is to boost synergy amid corporation’s dissimilar media outlets (Dahlgren 18). The maximization of synergy ensures the capitalization on numerous media outlets to build up or encourage a single development with many dissimilar features. The concentration of media ownership ensures the maximization of the monetary gains they can receive from possessing many dissimilar media outlets; though media concentration insignificantly influences media content, it seeks to take advantage of monetary resources. Hence, media concentration attempts to pursue different means of cross-media support in marketing and information generation and distribution. The mainly evident means of cross-marketing is the advertisement of the company’s items in its dissimilar mediums (Ramgren et al. 932). Nevertheless, the modern cross-marketing involves more frequent indirect cross-advertising, that is, interviews, reports, and papers, in addition to product positioning of the firm’s media products in its numerous mediums. Thus, it is evident that media concentration is just an economically resourceful means of structuring media industries in a gradually globalized world and has no substantial implications for media content.

            It is evident that newsmen are not self-dependent as at times is affirmed; there are restrictive mechanisms and journalistic practices that shape their operations. As aforementioned and supported by many researchers, the ownership of media influences media content in an inconsiderable manner. This is enhanced by the reality that the money-making nature of media concentration is geared towards boosting the generated profits. There is a constant force towards higher profits, and this force insignificantly affects media content. The greatest objective in horizontal concentration is to enhance synergy amid dissimilar mediums (Ramgren et al. 933). The main explicit section of such type of synergy is, in fact, cross-promotion on company’s mediums.

Cultural Identity

Mass media is a section of the cultural sector though media does not significantly influence cultural identity (McAnany and Wilkinson 89). Largely, the significance of media concentration and possession on an international scale is anchored in profit maximization. The international intertwining of the media sector and traditional corporate strength generates a strong cartel, which in turn promotes the spread of certain values (for instance, consumerism, investor worth, individuality, and self-centeredness just to mention a few). There are powerful motivations for the disruption of the public field with profit-making documentaries and trivialized news programs. This reinforces a conservative rational perception of the human race, wearing down local cultures and societies. Attributable to the rising impact of media concentration on public view, there is minimal substantive reporting of the striking media transactions with respect to the identified impacts of the transactions. In the majority of instances, journalists are strongly influenced but they do not report their interests (perhaps due to interior forces).

The individual that possess or control the media companies are dedicated to market the benefits of local and global concentration (Anderson and McLaren 839). National agencies underestimate the possible dangers and risks of media concentration for the public sector, particularly, and for the democratic system, generally. On the international platform, media concentration could have some progressive cultural influence, particularly when they get into countries that had been strongly controlled by fraudulent crony media structures (for instance, the greater part of Latin America) or countries that had considerable national restriction on media ( for instance, some parts of Asia). The international money-making media outlets are radical in that they do not esteem any tradition or practice, all things considered, if it appears to obstruct their profits. Nevertheless, media concentration is politically conservative since the media companies are considerable beneficiaries of the present social formation across the globe, and any disruption in possessions or social dealings, especially to the degree that it decreases the authority of trade, is not their concern.

Evidently, national and spiritual privileges threaten mass arbitrated public fields. Nevertheless, consolidation of private media possession could as well have malign influences. Currently, the typical print as well as broadcast media are resources demanding. Some key players control every medium and this constricts the scope of talks on economic, political, and socio-cultural concerns. News, as well as current affairs, reporters could influence reports and programs to suit the elite group (Germano and Meier 123). Moreover, media tycoons could have an impact on media reporting of public matters by employing or sacking news reporters or directing the kind of stories to be reported. Characteristically, the control of the tycoons is seen in the obsequious conduct of media managers, in addition to self-censoring reporters. In most instances, media tycoons strongly and jointly advance ways that are favorable to their profit-making and ideological concerns. Moreover, corporate media dependence on marketing incomes upholds an atmosphere of consumerism instead of one of public rationale and manifestation. Across common media, the requirement to leave audiences to advertisers prohibits content that could be unreasonably intricate or contentious in sectors of cultural appearance, artistic approval, technical, and sociological understanding.

Foreign possession of the media is at times restricted in democratic states, normally with the intention of safeguarding their state civilization and identity (Dunbar-Hester 146). In some countries, foreign investors are prohibited from having ownership of media outlets, from possessing over twenty percent of the monetary or balloting interests in a media company, or from having above twenty percent of the directorship. In other nations, the law enforces nearly an equivalent limit, which pertains to other kinds of media companies. In Poland, media firms that have foreign shareowners can just be authorized to practice if the shares by foreign investors accrue to less than 50% and the concurrence or the regulations of the firm state that the citizens of Poland residing in the country form the greater part of the Board of Directors (BOD) as well as the management.

Limitations on foreign possession of media outlets could be justifiable, on condition that they do not weaken the economic feasibility of the industry (Dunaway 25). Limitations could be enforced on the degree of foreign possession and management over broadcasters though such limitations ought to take into consideration the need for the broadcasting sector in entirety to rise and for news and programs formation and distribution to be economically practicable. Self-censorship could undertake a helpful function in thwarting media monopolies and ensuring that government intervention needless. From the aforementioned, it is clear that media concentration is just an economically resourceful way of structuring media industries in an increasingly globalized world and has no significant implications for cultural identity.

 

Conclusion

Media concentration is an incidence where reducing the owners of media outlets ends up centering the possession of media into the hands of just a small number of owners. Media concentration is a topic of alarm for governmental organizations, reporters, and scholars that study the method of obtaining knowledge regarding current occurrences. Triumphant media companies usually buy up other media outlets to make sure that they become stronger, more productive, and capable of reaching a bigger proportion of viewers. In buying up smaller or regional companies, big media companies could generate a monopoly or oligopoly, a situation where one or a few companies control the market. The possession or management over media outlets and firms is deemed an enormously influential position as it potentially allows the administration of information and the influencing of popular impression. Mass media in many countries are planned appropriate to the commercial values from their start. Media concentration and digital proficiency make the distribution of media content from a given medium to a different one extremely unproblematic. In media outlets, news as well as current affairs reporters could influence reports and programs to suit the elite group. Limitations on possession of media outlets could be reasonable if they do not deteriorate the economic feasibility of the industry. To sum it up, media concentration is just an economically resourceful means of structuring media industries in an increasingly globalized world and has no substantial implications for media content and cultural identity.

 

 

 

 

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