Who Owns the Media: Do we really care?

This question can be answered depending on the demographic that you fit in with society. Most people don’t really care who owns the media, as long as they have something to watch while eating their meals, something to read while catching the train or something to listen to on the way to work.

You’ll discover that most young people fit in this demographic. They only care if their favourite piece of media is available to them, not worrying about the political stance that the media owner takes or in fact who owns the media. If you asked who owned Facebook, most young people will know that its Mark Zuckerberg, but if you ask them who owned the Daily Telegraph or who owned Channel Seven, most of this demographic will not have a clue. So the real question here is why is it that most young people know that Mark Zuckerberg is the owner of Facebook and not know that Kerry Stokes is the owner of Channel Seven?

Well, the answer is quite simple. There was a FaceBook movie, and there was not a movie about Kerry Stokes and Channel Seven. Also take into consideration that there is 1.9 billion active FaceBook users as of February 2015, so more people are likely going to watch a movie about the FaceBook creator than a news outlet and it’s millionaire owner.

But we also need to take into consideration how we connect to the world. Mobile phones have become a part of our lifestyle since its creation. We cannot go anywhere without having that connection to our phones. Our phones serve as an easy access platform to connect with the world. The creation of social media sites and their adaptation to mobile phones has strengthened the bond between the user and their device. This would demonstrate that the younger demographic only gains information through these social media outlets, and would not be interested in who owns the media.

However, those individuals who fit outside the demographic, do indeed care about who owns the media. Especially those who care about politics and the effect that an owner’s political stance has on the medium. For example Rupert Murdoch’s political stance has seen the Daily Telegraph and the Australian publish content that favours the right wing Liberals. Obviously this has created some controversy as this is seen as “influencing people” and not allowing for a neutral view but in fact a bias one.

So should we care about who owns the media? Well, it’s really up to you. If you’re the type of person who enjoys watching television, listening to the radio or reading the newspaper while emerging yourself in daily lifestyle activities, then you really wouldn’t care. But if you are the person who has a strong interest in politics or believes in fairness in media organisations and their content, well, you would care. Tell me what you think?

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2 thoughts on “Who Owns the Media: Do we really care?

  1. ep073

    This is a really thorough, well researched post and was a pleasure to read, good work! I loved that comparison to Facebook and the fact that, no, it doesn’t have a movie. But Packer and co. had a TV show about them, so we must have some interest…right? I do agree with you though, the way we search for news i changing, but it’s been proven that Facebook is controlling the news content we receive as well – http://www.cjr.org/criticism/facebook_news_censorship.php . So I think, no matter how we get our news, we need to be mindful, it’s just tonnes more obvious with the Legacy Media Model. Like you’ve astutely pointed out 🙂

    Like

  2. Hey Dimitri, great post.

    Your outline of the convergent demographics of those who care, and those who don’t with regard to media ownership is extremely accurate. However, I do believe that media ownership is a cause for concern. Particularly in reference to Rupert Murdoch, whose company News Corp sells approximately 17.3 million copies per week, and accounts for 33% of total newspaper sales. When combined with Australia’s second largest publisher, Fairfax media – these two companies accounted for 86% of newspaper sales in 2011, showing the vast concentration of media in Australia.

    I believe the problem with this is that the population is being deprived of a diverse range of political and social perspectives, and in turn, are unquestionably consuming material saturated with bias. As you point out, this is particularly dangerous for the young demographic who often mindlessly consume media for its convenience. An example of the risk of this is the 2013 Federal Election where Murdoch-controlled newspaper, ‘The Daily Telegraph,’ released a headline stating, “Finally you now have the chance to KICK THIS MOB OUT.” This led ABC’s ‘Media Watch’ to render him a “puppeteer,” who was clearly pushing his right-wing agenda in a bid to sway the public and achieve his preferred political outcome.

    Loved reading this, thanks for writing it!

    Like

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