Lecture 7: Who Owns the Media?
Who is the media actually for?
o Why does the media even exist? What does it do in our society? Who benefits
from having media industry?
Who owns the media?
o Who controls what we see/hear/consume? Where does the money come
from and where does it go? What are the consequences of having certain
companies owning different media outlets in many different media centres?
o When one company owns Internet, television, publishing companies, what
effect does this have on media content and consumption?
How are media industries organized?
o If you think of the media as a resource (benefit), then we need to know how
it’s structured and distributed, and what impact certain kinds of organization
have on media.
Why does it matter?
o Who cares how media is structure? Does it have an impact on your personal
experience with media use?
o The people who own the media have motives about where they put their
money, what they choose to produce/not produce
o It will eventually impact our choices in life outside of media use; we have
limited amount of choices in how we use the media
o Does the media do exactly what it’s supposed to do? Are you satisfied with
your media experience?
Female Representation in the US Media
51% of population is female
5.87% of full-power US commercial broadcast TV stations are owned by women
6% of US commercial radio stations owned by women
Job Loss in Media Industry: Causes
Change in media landscape
o Move from print to online media, print staff no longer seen as valuable with
skills that are unnecessary
Desire to increase advertising revenue
o Certain content will be modified/deleted in order to cater to needs of
Job Loss in Media Industry: Implications
Change in employment status
o Fewer salaries, less benefits, less stability in job
Change in programming
o More celebrity gossip in media because that’s what sells papers, shows, etc.
o Shorter, lighter pieces; same stories in different media Change in content
o More product placement, more branded entertainment, less
Women/Minorities Underrepresented in Media Leadership Roles: Causes
o In other fields of work, women are underrepresented in leadership roles
o Gender gap still predominate in media industries
Hard to compete
o No competition for multinational media companies that dominate airwaves
and sound waves
Women/Minorities Underrepresented in Media Leadership Roles: Implications
Ownership <> Programming
o Sexism, inequality, child care, etc. that are issues for women in their everyday
o Visible minorities are less often featured in news coverage unless the piece is
about a racial issue
o If there are few women/visible minorities in leadership roles, how will they
learn skills in order to acquire those roles? How can they mentor other
generations to help them gain experience to gain these roles?
o Self-perpetuating problem
o Journalists’ life experiences/biases are reflected in reporting they do; natural
that when you make a story it will be coloured by your own experience
If there are less women reporting, you won’t get alternative
perspective son stories
o Choice/stories we’re exposed to; when we see fewer different people
represented in the media, what does this tell us what our society should look
Media represents reality in very particular ways
Fewer owners of more media sectors and companies
(News) media are important “precisely because they help shape our perception of
the word, other people, and ourselves”
Things that are left out influence our perception as well
Consequences: doesn’t serve the audience, doesn’t produce better media content,
doesn’t give us more access to information/freedom of expression
Media Convergence Can:
Silence diverse voices
Compromise quality journalism (get it the fastest, rather than the best) Eliminate local content (fewer owners; small fish have little chance of surviving)
Journalistic Principles (Democratic Setting)
1. Journalism’s first obligation is