Environment in Crisis

The Media
The Media

Framing the News

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Ownership of the Media

Audiences for Advertisers
Owner Influence
Media Concentration
Dioxin Reporting
General Electric

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 view.

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, pp. 379-80)

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Additional Material

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, Extra!, June.

Baker, Russ, 1998, Murdoch's mean machine, Columbia Journalism Review, v37 n1 May-June, p51(6).

Baker, Russ, 1997, The Squeeze, Columbia Journalism Review, Sept-October.

Bogart, Leo, 1996, 'Media and democracy: hand in hand?', Current, Vol. 8380, No. February.

Brewster, Deborah, 1996, 'News calls for media ownership deregulation', The Australian, 13 November.

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: Edward Arnold).

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, 2000, The 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, Vol. 18.

Gomery, Douglas, 1996, A Very High-Impact Player, American Journalism Review July/August.

Gunther, 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.

McChesney, Robert W. 1999, The New Global Media It's a Small World of Big Conglomerates, The Nation, November 29.

McChesney, Robert W. 1997, The Global Media Giants The nine firms that dominate the world, Extra!, November/December.

McNair, Brian, 1994, News and Journalism in the UK (London and New York: Routledge).

Naureckas, Jim, 1995, Corporate Ownership Matters: The Case of NBC, Extra! November/December.

Osler, Dave, 1996, 'Broadcasting Bill Starts Media Merger Merry-Go-Round', Journalist, April/May.

Pilger, John, 1999, Typical of the Murdoch press: if you disagree with something, subject it to falsehoods and distortions, New Statesman, 20 Sept, p. 14.

Roppen, 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, Extra!, July/August.

Windschuttle, Keith, 1988, The Media: A new analysis of the press, television, radio and advertising in Australia, 2nd ed (Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin).

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© 2003 Sharon Beder