Media Consolidation

media consolidation

Media Consolidation is a process whereby progressively fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media. As of 2010, The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the US, with News Corporation, Time Warner, and Viacom ranking second, third and fourth respectively. Net neutrality is at stake when media mergers are occurring. Net neutrality involves a lack of restrictions on content on the internet, however, with big businesses supporting campaigns financially they tend to have influence over political issues, which can translate into their mediums.

Critics of consolidation raise the issue of whether monopolistic or oligopolistic control of a local media market can be fully accountable and dependable in serving the public interest. On the local end, reporters have often seen their stories refused or edited beyond recognition. An example would be the repeated refusal of networks to air ‘ads’ from anti-war advocates to liberal groups like MoveOn.org, or religious groups like the United Church of Christ. Journalists and their reports may be directly sponsored by parties who are the subject of their journalism leading to reports which favor the sponsor. Consequently, if the companies dominating a media market choose to suppress stories that do not serve their interests, the public suffers, since they are not adequately informed of some crucial issues that may affect them.

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