How is the media controlled?
Forms of Control
- Ofcom- regulator which has responsibility for the interests of consumers.
- Press Complaints Commission- Voluntary body appointed by the newspaper industry to maintain standards of journalism.
- Law- The law prevents publication about a person which might bring them into contempt, ridicule, hostility etc.
Governments can control and influence by…
- Leaks of information
- Use of government spin doctors
- Surveillance of calls, websites etc.
How are media sources run/owned?
- Public/state owned, privately owned, community owned
- Horizontal integration- owning different types of media e.g. newspapers, tv channels and publishing companies
- Vertical integration- owning aspects of the same industry e.g. several different newspapers
- Media concentration – Fewer corporations owning several media sources.
- Globalisation/ Transnational corporations
Examples of media concentration:
- 86% of national daily and Sunday newspapers are owned by 4 companies
- UK magazine industry is owned by just 2 companies
- Curan (2003) states that concentration of ownership is NOT a new phenomenon. In 1937, 4 men known as the ‘press barons’ owned nearly 1 in every 2 newspapers sold in the UK.
- Today 7 individuals dominate the ownership and content of UK national daily and Sunday newspapers.
Problems with media concentration include smaller companies losing business or going bust, a limited range of opinions presented, and potentially biased ones portrayed and a lack of choice in the media.