Link to the 3rd_week_quiz
Reading For this week: McChesney: Policing the Unthinkable. Read it carefully by yourself because questions in midterm and in final exam come from both weekly lectures and reading assignments.
Topic: Media owenership
Good source of information is important for people to elect for the President.
Media conglomerates are a result of deregulation of media business.
Possible negative influences of concentrated media ownership
- Harm to the economy and society;
- Increase in barriers for new companies;
- Powerful will filter out information they do not like.
Possible benefits of concentrated ownership
- Overall economy gets strengthended when individual companies become stronger;
- Larger companies have the power to battle unfair government leaders and policies whereas smaller media organizations do not.
American Media Myth
- The US believed the private sector will provide the best information for the American public under a capitalistic system;
- The government should have little involvment in media business.
American Media Reality
- From the start of US, the govenment has been heaviliy involved in promoting or censoring specific information;
- Private companies have often turned to the govenment for protection against competition.
Why limit legacy radio
- Few frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum;
- Radio needed to be regulated;
How did the govenment regulate radio
- The FCC divided the country into many local market areas and awarded some frequencies to each market.
During the 1940s, the FCC used the same procedure of allocating broadcasting licenses to TV stations.
The trend toward media concentration
- 1983: Ben Bagdikian found that the control of the media was essentially in the hands of 50 people, the CEOs of the largest media companies;
- 1980 & 1990s: Mergers and acquisitions became more and more popular because they are so profitable;
- 2011 to 2012: The number of mergers among media related companies more than doubled.
Telecommunication Act of 1996
- Called for deregulation of the media industries;
- Eliminated the longstanding restriction of allowing one company to own two television stations in the same market;
- Result: 1996: $25 billion in merger activity in the broadcasting industry and another $23 billion the cable industry.
Three types of business merger
- Horizontal merger: media company of same type;
- Vertical merger: supplier and/or distributors; integrate productio and distribution;
- Conglomerate merger: combination of media companies and/or non-media business
The federal govenment instituted policies to encourage diversity of ownership within the mass media industries in the 20th Century.
Barriers to entering the business
- Entry barriers into the legacy radio and legacy television broadcasting business have always been very high.
- However, the Internet decreases those barriers.
Guest Lecture by Dean James Shanahan
Dean James Shanahan talked about conspiracy theory in his lecture. He talked about reasons why people subscribe to conspiracy theory. He also gave some examples of conspiracy theory: