Trends in Ownership and Control

How is the media controlled?

news murdoch

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
  • —Censorship
  • —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.



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