Most media organisations are owned by
multi-national multi-billion dollar corporations that are involved in
a number of businesses apart from the media, such as forestry, pulp
and paper mills, defence, real estate, oil wells, agriculture, steel
production, railways, water and power utilities (Kellner 1990, p. 82).
Such conglomerates not only create potential conflicts of interest in
reporting the news but ensure the makers of the news take a corporate
The boards of these media companies
typically include representatives of international banks, multinational
oil companies, car manufacturers and other corporations. Take for example
the board of the New York Times. It includes representatives
of Merck, Morgan Guaranty Trust, Charter Oil, American Express, Bethlehem
Steel, IBM, Scott paper, Sun Oil, First Boston Corporation, Ford Motor
Company and Manville Corporation (Sherrill 1990, p. 394). Also, during
the 1980s because of the spate of corporate takeovers, many media organisations
"lost some of their limited autonomy to bankers, institutional investors,
and large individual investors whom they have had to solicit as potential
'white knights'." (Herman & Chomsky quoted in Gamson et al. 1992,
Abramsky, Sasha, 1995, 'Citizen
Murdoch: The shape of things to come?', Extra! Nov/Dec.
Bagdikian, Ben H. 1993, The
Media Monopoly (Beacon Press: Boston).
Bagdikian, Ben, 1987, The
50, 26, 20... Corporations That Own Our Media,
Baker, Russ, 1998, Murdoch's
mean machine, Columbia
Journalism Review, v37 n1 May-June, p51(6).
Baker, Russ, 1997, The
Journalism Review, Sept-October.
1996, 'Media and democracy:
hand in hand?', Current, Vol. 8380, No. February.
Brewster, Deborah, 1996, 'News
calls for media ownership deregulation', The Australian,
Chomsky, Noam, 1989, Necessary Illusions:
Thought Control in Democratic Societies (London: Pluto Press).
Cohen, Jeff and Norman Solomon, 1995,
Through the Media Looking Glass: Decoding Bias and Blather
in the News (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press).
Columbia Journalism Review, articles
on media ownership.
Franklin, Bob, 1994, Packaging Politics:
Political Communications in Britain's Media Democracy (London:
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting,
Media Business, FAIR.
Gamson, William A., David Croteau,
William Hoynes and Theodore Sasson, 1992, 'Media Images and the
Social Construction of Reality', Annual Review of Sociology,
Douglas, 1996, A
Very High-Impact Player,
American Journalism Review July/August.
Marc, 1995, All
in the Family, American
Journalism Review, October.
Kellner, Douglas, 1990, Television
and the Crisis of Democracy (Boulder: Westview Press).
Lichter, S. Robert and Richard E. Noyes,
1995, Good Intentions Make Bad News: Why Americans Hate Campaign
Journalism (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield).
Littwin, Angela, 1995, 'The Interconnected
World of the Cable Oligopoly', Extra! Nov/Dec.
Robert W. 1999, The
New Global Media It's a Small World of Big Conglomerates,
The Nation, November 29.
Robert W. 1997, The
Global Media Giants The nine firms that dominate the world,
McNair, Brian, 1994, News and
Journalism in the UK (London and New York: Routledge).
Naureckas, Jim, 1995, Corporate
Ownership Matters: The Case of NBC,
Osler, Dave, 1996, 'Broadcasting Bill
Starts Media Merger Merry-Go-Round', Journalist, April/May.
John, 1999, Typical
of the Murdoch press: if you disagree with something, subject
it to falsehoods and distortions,
New Statesman, 20 Sept, p. 14.
Johann, 1997, The
problem of no-effects of mediaconcentration, Paper originally
delivered at the 13th Nordic Conference of Media Research, JyvŠskylŠ,
Finland, 9. - 12. August.
Ryan, Charlotte, 1991, Prime
Time Activism: Media Strategies for Grassroots Organizing
(Boston, MA: South End Press).
Sherrill, Robert, 1990, Why
They Call it Politics: A Guide to America's Government, 5th
ed (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich).
Soley, Lawrence, 1997, 'The
Power of the Press Has a Price': TV Advertiser Pressure Survey,
Windschuttle, Keith, 1988, The Media:
A new analysis of the press, television, radio and advertising
in Australia, 2nd ed (Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin).