Back to 1983, there were about 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. However, this number reduced dramatically to only 6 at the moment. The 6 giants that control most of what we watch, what we hear and read every day are: Walt Disney, News Corp, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS and NBC.
Media consolidation is defined as a process whereby progressively fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media. The concentration of media, of course, has its own pros. One of the most obvious advantages is the program quality. Because corporate media system primarily interested in profit, which base on ratings, poor quality programs are replaced by quality ones. Consumers are those who decide which is good and which is bad.
The main issue of concentration of media ownership is about freedom of the press. McQuail, in “Mass Communication Theory”(5th edition, 2005), while writing on the influence of ownership on mass media content said, “ there is no doubt that owners in market based media have ultimate power over content and can ask for what they want to be included or left.” What consumer receives is just producer’s point of view. The information is not totally objective.
So, how much truth is there in what the media in Australia, which has one of the highest concentrated ownership, tells us?
- Concentration of media ownership, Wikipedia
- Synder, M.2010, “Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read”, reprinted in No Lies Radio 2013, <http://noliesradio.org/archives/60925>
- Dylan, Who owns media 2009, “Pros and Cons of Media Consolidation”, Who owns media, <http://whoownsmedia.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/pros-and-cons-of-media-consolidation.html>
- McQuail’s Theory of Mass Communication. London: Sage