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Lecture

Thorough notes on Lecture 3

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCC44H3
Professor
Ivanka Knezevic

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SOCC44H3Media and SocietyJan/28/2011
Lecture 03
Effects of ownership concentration of production
1. Direct editorial influence of owners
In large companies, owners request to radio/newspaper that they want to cover a certain
topic or hide certain topic
Owners can request to have a story covered on liberals
Much more likely in a large company that owns a large number of mass media outlets
2. Influence of advertisers
Larger the market, larger the influence advertisers have
Steinem (article)
His argument is not limited to women's articles
3. Conflict between business criteria (profit) and journalistic ethics (be as objective as you can)
In order to maximize the profit, you have to sometimes forgo the rules of journalism ethics
Sometimes influence of owners/advertisers can lead to the exclusion of certain stories
Payment to news sources is considered unethical
News sources are people who give you content for your news (people you interview for
your news story)
Normal citizens are interviewed to allow viewers to have people to relate to, even though
it's not an accurate representation
It's a no-no in journalism to pay a news source because the assumption is that if you pay
them, you can expect them to say what the journalist wants them to say
There are ways to pay your sources but to not do so unethically
Ex: Let's say someone has a lead on the royal wedding, (bride's best friend)...
If the news company owns a book publishing company, they can offer the best friend
an opportunity to do a book on the royal wedding
How to get an exclusive talk-show guest?
4. Decreased investment in reporting (use of press services and freelancers, decrease in use of
correspondents and staff reporters, “special correspondents)
One of the ways to increase profit is to decrease investment on reporting
Instead of assigning each journalist to research their own thing, allowing diversity
reflected among the different stories, large companies usually fires half the news room
Instead, they will use press services and free lancers
Press services are organizations who collect information, then they offer the story
they have come up with to other mass media outlets at better prices than it costs a
journalist to of the company to do it themselves
This decreases diversity in the newspaper cause other companies could have
purchased the same thing
Freelancers are paid very little so they minimize the time they spend on writing a
www.notesolution.com
story, leading to a lower quality story. They, for example, don't have the time do to 5
interviews in the story as is recommended
Correspondent is a journalist who is stationed permanently in a remote location
If you own Maclean's magazine in Toronto, you will have a correspondent in, say,
moscow, london, etc
Correspondents require housing and jobs for family members, but it gives you high
quality coverage because they become familiar with the area and they build up
contacts ( a better network ) over time
No TV station these days maintain correspondents around the world anymore
The only two are in Washington, and London
So, if you want stories in, say, Paris, you will have to rely on press services, or
special correspondents...but the person covers washington (or london) so you'll have
lower quality in news coverage as these special correspondents don't have any local
knowledge on the region
They rely on representatives of the government, but these people have their own
agenda on the news story
Ex: If you have a correspondent in Ireland to cover the economic crisis there, so
you have them interview a government official, this will not be possible because
the government has fallen apart there
Effects of changes in production on content
1. Decreased quality
Proportion of political news in American TV news broadcast has been falling in the last 10
years
Political news is considered most important because it covers voting, etc
The time spent covering politics is dropping and the quality of these stories is affected as
well
This is because correspondents don't exist anymore, only press services and
special correspondents
All major TV networks have closed their foreign bureaus in the last 10 years
2. Lack of local news
Ex: Canadian newspapers in the last 20 years
Half the news rooms are being fired, decreasing local journalists
3. Homogenisation of non-local content
What local content you have will become homogenized
Now central newsrooms with a dozen or so journalists write articles which are published
identically and shipped out to different newspapers
Also, diversity due to lack of journalists and correspondents increases homogenization
Globalisation and the Media
www.notesolution.com

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Description
SOCC44H3 Media and Society Jan282011 Lecture 03 Effects of ownership concentration of production 1. Direct editorial influence of owners In large companies, owners request to radionewspaper that they want to cover a certain topic or hide certain topic Owners can request to have a story covered on liberals Much more likely in a large company that owns a large number of mass media outlets 2. Influence of advertisers Larger the market, larger the influence advertisers have Steinem (article) His argument is not limited to womens articles 3. Conflict between business criteria (profit) and journalistic ethics (be as objective as you can) In order to maximize the profit, you have to sometimes forgo the rules of journalism ethics Sometimes influence of ownersadvertisers can lead to the exclusion of certain stories Payment to news sources is considered unethical News sources are people who give you content for your news (people you interview for your news story) Normal citizens are interviewed to allow viewers to have people to relate to, even though its not an accurate representation Its a no-no in journalism to pay a news source because the assumption is that if you pay them, you can expect them to say what the journalist wants them to say There are ways to pay your sources but to not do so unethically Ex: Lets say someone has a lead on the royal wedding, (brides best friend)... If the news company owns a book publishing company, they can offer the best friend an opportunity to do a book on the royal wedding How to get an exclusive talk-show guest? 4. Decreased investment in reporting (use of press services and freelancers, decrease in use of correspondents and staff reporters, special correspondents) One of the ways to increase profit is to decrease investment on reporting Instead of assigning each journalist to research their own thing, allowing diversity reflected among the different stories, large companies usually fires half the news room Instead, they will use press services and free lancers Press services are organizations who collect information, then they offer the story they have come up with to other mass media outlets at better prices than it costs a journalist to of the company to do it themselves This decreases diversity in the newspaper cause other companies could have purchased the same thing Freelancers are paid very little so they minimize the time they spend on writing a www.notesolution.com
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