In this assignment, explore a major media corporations, analyze its holdings, and comment on what you find. In addition to focusing on traditional media companies, you might also find it interesting to explore the growing media holdings of Web and technology companies such as Google and Facebook.
1. Choose a company to explore.
2. Use a search engine to find the company’s main Web site. Visit the Web sites of the companies and carefully catalog both their media and non-media holdings.
3. Make an “ownership map”—a list of the companies and products owned by the two corporations, grouping the holdings by type of media. (See the examples in Chapter 2 of Media/Society. You do not need to create a fancy chart; a list by category is fine.)
4. Write a brief blog post that profiles your company, drawing upon the key concepts from your readings: conglomerate, concentration of ownership, vertical and horizontal integration, “synergy,” etc. Don’t just repeat what you’ve cataloged in your “map.” (HINT: Many of the corporate Web sites include a recent company “Annual Report,” which can provide important insight into the company’s business strategy and view of their holdings. You might also benefit from the following resources: http://www.cjr.org/resources/ ; http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart ; http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6 ; http://stateofthemedia.org/media-ownership/ ; http://www.muckety.com/
5. Finally, reflect on what you’ve found. Did you recognize some of the media outlets or products owned by your company? Were you surprised by anything you found? Explain.