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CMNS 230 (8)

W3 Reading Notes Havens and Lotz.docx

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Simon Fraser University
CMNS 230
David Newman

WEEK 3 Economic Conditions in Media Production Havens & Lotz, p. 95-125 95 • How media are financed and how audiences pay for their products can have significant implications for media texts 96 • Economic conditions lead media industries to function in particular ways • Bernard Miege: three models of dominant operation of various media industries o Publishing model: production of isolated individual works purchased by individuals (audiences purchase distinct works, mainly financed through direct pay by audiences, not advertisers) o Written press model: similar to publishing, produce a series of commodities purchased regularly o Flow model: continuous flow requiring daily contact and the development of audience loyalty; blends publishing and written press models; 97 WHO OWN MEDIA: UNDERSTANDNIG OWNERSHIP AND CONGLOMERATION • Conglomeration: increased dominance of companies involved with many different products or services (e.g. evolution of Warner Communications); diversifying existing non-media industry operations to compete in media industries (e.g. General Electric’s purchase of NBC) 98 • Vertical integration: owning companies that allow the conglomerate to control each stage of the production process 10 • Consolidation of ownership: the extent to which a market or industry is 0 dominated by the largest business, the concentration of many media industry operations into the hands of just a few 10 • Two schools of thought about consequences for media industries and our 1 understanding of them o “conglomeration = homogenization”: numerical illustrations of conglomeration; focus on dangers; emphasis on ownership as a factor of what industries do; workers serve the needs and will of the conglomerate o Industrialization of Culture: we do not yet know enough to make decisive statements about the internal operations of these conglomerates and can’t explain potential pro-social outcomes of conglomeration; conglomerates operate with self-interest, but workers are more concerned about the needs of the individual unit they work for not the conglomerate as a whole 10 • Synergy: efficiencies and advantages achieved through conglomeration 2 10 • Consolidation enables different arms of the conglomerate to compete in 3 anticompetitive ways, whether, how, and how frequently is unknown • Conglomeration has failed to be effective as a business strategy, and trend toward disaggregation may be developing • Tension between publicly and privately held media companies o Publicly held: anyone can buy stock in, responsible to stockholders to protect their investment, government regulated (disclosure of financial details) o Privately held: managed by a family, not subject to disclosure rules o Trend to take publicly traded companies private 10 • Who owns what can be very important to the operation of media industries, 4 but how important is contested THE CREATIVE AND CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS OF COST STRUCTURS AND FINANCING MECHANISMS 10 • the various costs involved in media products and different ways audiences 5 pay for them lead to the production of certain kinds of content The Costs of Making Media • talent: hiring performers, securing raw media good, basic cost of production • activities involved in making media products are organized into highly specialized distinct roles --> requires vast staffs of people • four c
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