Our media landscape is very, very heavily dominated by just a handful of gigantic media corporations, transnational corporations. The most important ones are Disney, Time Warner, Viacom, the News Corporation, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and Universal-Vivendi, which is about to become a French-owned corporation.
To give you a sense of some of the power that these corporations wield, let me take you through just some of the holdings of the News Corporation, for example. This Australian-based transnational owns Fox Television, 20th Century Fox Films, Harper Collins Publishers. It's also the largest owner of newspapers in the world. Rupert Murdoch has Sky Television, which broadcasts to the world over--and the list goes on and on. This kind of range is unprecedented in the history of all the media industries. We now have all of our culture industries, from movies and TV and radio to music and book publishing and the web, dominated by corporations that are all-powerful in all of those fields. They are all-purpose media corporations.
It is estimated that there are more television sets in the United States than there are toilets.
If the FCC allows the two biggest Spanish-language media companies in the U.S. to merge, it'll create a media conglomerate that will dwarf all competitors -- and could help GOP-friendly radio titan Clear Channel deliver Hispanic votes for Bush in '04.U.S. Media Losing Global Respect (Japan Today, 21 April 2003) Salon.com series on the corporate consolidation of the information industries Bob Edwards: The press and freedom: some disturbing trends (20 April 2003)
Kentucky journalism and broadcasting have changed drastically since I left here 33 years ago. Back then, you owned it. Your major newspapers, television and radio stations were owned and operated by Kentuckians. Today home ownership is pretty much confined to small-town weeklies, KET and the public radio stations. Your major daily newspapers are now provincial outposts for absentee corporate owners who expect profit margins of 20 to 30 percent. The managers of your TV stations report to bosses far away who care less about the stations? community service and journalistic exposés than they care about how those stations are contributing to the share price of corporate stock.US broadcasters' war stance under scrutiny (Media Guardian, 14 April 2003) Murdoch Adds to Empire With Control of DirecTV (New York Times, 10 April 2003) US media dig deep for politicians (Media Guardian, 7 April 2003)
Political donations by US television and radio stations have almost doubled in the last year, research has shown.
And the Bush family's association with many media organisations runs deep and is reflected by the hefty handouts from the likes of NBC network owner General Electric and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, both trenchant supporters of the war.
A study conducted by the Oakland-based organization Children Now found that after media concentration was allowed in Los Angeles, the total number of children's shows was cut in half from 88 programs per week in 1998 to just 47 shows in 2003. Most of the declines occurred in stations that were part of duopolies, which strongly suggests a link between media concentration and the diversity and availability of children's programming. In addition, the number of series broadcast on more than one channel almost quadrupled, signifying a real decline in diversity for kids.
This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Last modified: Wed Nov 12 00:59:16 CST 2003