Blog Post Number Three

“In 1983, 50 companies owned 90 percent of American media, and today that same 90 percent is controlled by six media conglomerates,” said Senator Bernard Sanders at an event in the Newseum.  “A vibrant democracy is not going to survive unless we have a vibrant media where we have different points of view and where it is owned by different segments of our society,” he said.

As the industry is now the majority of the power and ownership is held in the hands of a few companies. These companies (the big six): General Electric, Newscorp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS are controlling 90% of the media influence that we view, read or hear throughout the day. What they choose to produce is based on their opinions, what they deem will appease the vast amounts of audiences.

Television shows and movies seem to cast the same roles over and over. Taking the example of what was presented in class on Tuesday 15 April 2014 was that the movie Captain American: The Winter Soldier, is a film where the main character – a white male hero – saves the day. While the supporting female role in her own right kicks butt and can save the day; Captain America throughout the movie saves her consistently. Also, she is extremely sexualized in tight fitting clothes that perpetuate the stereotype that women need to be sexy, even if they’re kicking butt.

That movie was directed and written by all men. On the other hand the film, “Stick It” was directed and written by a female, Jessica Bendinger, who also wrote the movie “Bring It On.” Both movies have a strong female lead that broke the cast of a stereotypical strong male lead.

But beyond the grind and omission of proper roles for women and minorities in the media is the effect that consolidation has on journalism.

Letting one company own both a newspaper and broadcast stations in the same market isn’t just bad for the community; it’s also bad business. Cross-ownership doesn’t save anything; it simply drags down the performance of both broadcasting and print operations.”[1] 

Media consolidation has been hurting journalism in many ways since the initiation of consolidation back in 2007 when Bush was president. Newspaper aren’t as dead as most people think.

The Poynter Institute released the gains for newspaper stocks, “six of eight publicly traded companies showed gains for 2012; four of those were up 30 percent or more.” McClatchy, Lee, and Gannett the three that gained the most, more than 22 percent each.

“The Tribune Company has cross-owned print/broadcast holdings in five cities around the U.S. The company just emerged from the largest bankruptcy in media history and plans to unbundle its cross-owned properties.”[1]

Less local news leads to a diluted form of journalism and consolidation creates bigger and bigger companies making it nearly impossible for local news to exist. By hollowing out local news that leads to less advertising and without advertising media can’t thrive.


[1] – Free Press. “”. Films for Action. 16 April 2014



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