For this blog post, I chose to focus my research on Time Warner Inc.. Time Warner is one of the “big 5” (or 6) entertainment conglomerates and they own a wide variety of companies prevalent within the media industry. Although many people are familiar with the name Time Warner, few people, including myself until doing this research, are familiar with exactly how wide the company’s reach extends. In order to give an idea of just how powerful Time Warner is, I will list some of the company’s assets below.
Time Warner Inc.
Home Box Office
– In Style
IPC Media (U.K.)
Grupo Editorial Expansión (Mexico)
Turner Broadcasting System
– Cartoon Network
– Adult Swim
CNN News Group
– CNN en Español
– CNN Latino
– CNN International
– CNN Radio
Warner Bros. Entertainment
– Warner Bros. Consumer Products
– Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures
– Warner Bros. Pictures International
– DC Entertainment
- DC Comics
(Extensive list of companies can be found at http://www.cjr.org/resources/?c=timewarner)
While researching the corporate web of Time Warner, there were many interesting thoughts that popped into my head regarding the relationship between the companies and the influence they may have on the public. First, I was surprised at how many international companies are a part of Time Warner. Before realizing this, I had only been thinking about the effects of the “big 6” on citizens of the United States. However, seeing the number of foreign outlets on the Time Warner list makes me wonder just how far reaching the influence of large media conglomerates really is. With American corporations controlling media in foreign countries, it is not outrageous to assume that those countries could be influenced by any American culture included within the media. Furthermore, the American owned outlets could be giving off a pro-American bias. This bias could be shedding America in a more favorable light, which would benefit the U.S. making the global view more positive, but in a less-than-truthful manner.
A second major idea that came to mind during observations of Time Warner was the audience range within the variety of companies. Time Warner owns media geared towards children, adolescents, and adults. From cartoons to news, Time Warner feeds information to all ages. This means that any agenda the company has, be it a set of ideals or simply an opinion on a certain matter, could be directed towards each age group. This would be a powerful tool in the sense that it would be received by an even larger number of people than if it were directed towards only one age group. It could also have the potential to be more effective because it would get everyone on the same page, ingraining the idea even deeper. I think the notion of children and adults alike being influenced by the same company is a frightening one because it really bring to light the fact that from youth through old age we are under the thumb of media conglomerates.
On a similar note, having to take an in depth look at one of these media conglomerates has given me greater overall knowledge of just how broad the reach of the media stretches, as well as making the concept of media influence all the more real. Seeing the sheer number of assets possessed by Time Warner all laid out in front of me forced me to think more critically about not only the influence of Time Warner, but how I have been influenced over the years by companies and products in general. Concluding my thoughts for this blog, I just wanted to express how doing this exercise has improved my critical thinking by giving me the tools to look deeper into the world around me. In the future, I will be better prepared for the daily bombardment of media.