Media doesn’t sprout from nowhere, somebody has to own it.
But there’s so much that encompasses ‘media’, heaps of people would have to own it, right?
You would be surprised at how few people own such large portions of ‘media’
One Does Not Simply “Own” Media
When I say people who own media, I mean, individuals that are heads of companies that own or are major shareholders in a media platform. Some significant examples:
Rupert Murdoch: The head of NewsCorp, one of the largest media conglomerates in the world that owns or co-owns FOX and all of it’s sub-parts, SKY, Big Ten Network, Myspace, Photobucket, thesimpsons.com, hulu.com, americanidol.com, a plethora of magazines, a large portion of major and minor newspapers around the world, especially Australia, Harper Collins and so much more (http://www.newscorp.com/investor/index.html)
Kerry Stokes: Major share holder of Seven group, Yahoo!7, Pacific Publications and a major slice of the West Australian Newspaper scene.
A media mogul is someone who influences the media they are a part of. The ideal is that owning more and more of today’s media will not only bring in wealth but, with a big enough conglomerate and a wide enough diversity, one could influence politics, social status and essentially the world.
If Not For The Media, Who Will Tell Us What To Think?
Let’s consider what affects large scale media ownership has on us.
We are told what is what in the media, issues like global warming, political stories, pop culture and most importantly, the effects of media ownership, are told to us through forms of media. So if media has this affect on us, and you had control over it, wouldn’t you want to tell people what is what? In this scenario, we’d b influenced by a view of the world through your eyes.
“With great power, comes great responsibility” (Spider-Man 2002), we’d like to think that the news presented to us is fair and objective but in reality it’s not. Rupert Murdoch, for example, is widely known to be a conservative, republican, libertarian with an interest in politics. These strong views of his are seen through his news networks and he’s not afraid to show it, even accepting the subject being satirically mocked on his own networks.
“The Simpsons uses Fox News as a Punching Bag” (Click here to view in Youtube)
Not only can media be used for political influence but also industrial gain (And in some cases these two combine).
Gina Rinehart is a mining billionaire who has gotten a fair bit of media attention lately because of family drama but more importantly her attemps to get onto the Fairfax board (http://www.smh.com.au/business/agm-season/gina-rinehart-delivers-fairfax-its-first-strike-20121024-285a1.html 12/04/2013). It is widely accepted that her attempts at the Fairfax board is to have editorial rights over the newspapers Fairfax owns. This influence in media would give her the ability to put mining in good light, hence influencing the populace’s views when time comes to voting for mining taxes.
Ownership Vs Shareholding… And A Third Scenario
The main difference between media ownership and media shareholding is who has a say in what goes into the media. Rupert Murdoch owns Newscorp, so he has incredible power over what gets media attention and what kind of media attention it gets, this leads to one sided views and unfairness. Mark Zuckerberg is the major shareholder in Facebook but that doesn’t mean he has total control over the site. Effectively the remaining shareholders can vote against his ideas if no one agrees, providing a (usually) fair and multi-opinionated system.
Their is some cases where media isn’t directly ‘owned entirely’ by anyone in particular and that is user generated content. Sites such as Youtube allow users who upload videos to maintain ownership rights to their video on the condition that they allow Youtube access to the video to distribute it how they like.
And The Winner Is…
User generated content has become the larger part of media in the last couple of years. Once we got all our news from newspapers and magazines owned by media moguls, now phenomenon such as media convergence and citizen journalism has given rise to the prosumer and user owned user generated content. This means a large scope of views, easy access to and broadcast of these views and giving the power to influence the state back to the people. We are “the people formerly known as the Audience”, now we are the producers and owners of our own content.