By Robyn Ukegawa
Media distribution and topics are widely argued against and discussed among American culture today. Media outlets exist and appear as any medium that controls the distribution of information. Mass media has never been more consolidated and now six giant conglomerates control a staggering 90% of what media consumers read, watch, and listen to. As a result, many popular media entities have been consolidated and all work under the same umbrella corporation.
Media consolidation, also known as media convergence, is the concentration of media ownership by only a few companies or individuals. Like any other business, the purpose of the media is to earn profit and the only way to do so is by providing the viewers with whatever information they believe the consumers want. These people are responsible for what appears in the media, so it is assumed that quality media should be portrayed. Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans’ skepticism about what they read on social media outlets.
Well-known companies such as General Electric, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS, News-Corp, and Disney control a majority of American-owned media. Having such large corporations dominate the media impacts the opportunity for other smaller companies to spread more cultural diversity within the industry. Disney, one of the largest, well-known companies globally, is recognized for acquiring companies such as Pixar, Marvel, and Lucas Film. In recent news, Disney is proposing an idea to buy significant parts of 20th century Fox media company, including their movie and television production studios. Buying part of Fox would provide
Disney a deep library of programming and other movie titles such as “Deadpool,” “Avatar,” “Ice Age”, “Modern Family”, “The Simpsons” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”
Disney thrives on putting their brand name and incorporating it into other well-known and popular films. By gaining 20th century Fox, Disney will be able to strengthen their name into a broader range of audiences globally. The company been successful for so long because of their foundations and strategies, as they took risky chances and developed some of the most innovative systems for their time to elevate customer’s experiences. From their theme parks, hotels, merchandise, retail, and customer experiences, Disney will continue to flourish as one of the most well-known companies in the world. Expanding globally and continuing to be an authentic company, customers will be forever loyal to their merchandise and content.
Media consolidation is responsible for controlling all aspects of the industry, from creation and production to delivery. This has led to lack of meaningful content and alternative viewpoints in the media. Different channels should express different, but meaningful content with alternative perspectives. There is marked censorship of content, especially if the content is controversial. The lack of diversity is a direct result of monopoly in the market, and little or no healthy market-based competition. Lack of competition also means major conglomerates are seeking money instead of serving public interest. The focus shifts from providing quality services to increasing profits. Commercially driven media is especially loyal to their sponsors and advertisers, not to viewers, as media companies are known to support candidates and political parties.
In America, the average person consumes immense amounts of information, news and entertainment a day. Many people are addicted to media and are physically uncomfortable
dealing with silence. Virtually all news and entertainment is controlled by the elite by virtue of their ownership of giant media corporations. Enormous media conglomerates do not have quite the same monopoly over the Internet, but there is a tremendous amount of consolidation in the online world as well. Massive Conglomerates are dangerous to the country, especially to those who are not media literate and do not understand what messages certain media portrays.