Media is constantly changing, evolving, and growing due to the influence of countless factors. The media today is nothing like the media of ten years ago and the media ten years from now will be nothing like todays. While knowing what the media of the future will look like is impossible we can look at how media has evolved up to this point, and how other major influences are currently evolving to make assumptions as to what media might look like in the future.
Technology, in my opinion, is the biggest influence on the media currently. I believe this because of the power it gives media producers and consumers. It is rapidly evolving, opening new possibilities for media consumption and distribution. In recent years technology has given the former consumers the power to produce media and to gatewatch more effectively. This has taken some of the power to gatekeep from the large media producers. As technology evolves it will continue to change the dynamic between large media companies and the general public, hopefully for the better.
Over the past 50 years one of the most controversial and influential trends in media is the concentration of ownership. We are down to so few companies owning most of the media that it is hard to imagine ownership getting any more concentrated. This past week Comcast agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, formerly the nations two largest cable companies will soon be one. As greedy companies like Comcast continue to buy out every competitor how long will it be until our Big 5 become consolidated into a single conglomerate? While the formation of one mega conglomerate is very unlikely, even the consolidation from five to four major media companies would give each company a great increase of power and influence.
Technology and ownership concentration are just two of many influences on the future of media. Technology has given more people access to information and the ability for the consumers of media to become producers of media. With this new increase in information and power the consumers can be better informed. This will hopefully lead to larger concern about ownership consolidation. The media has a enormous effect on everyone viewing it, and so it is important for the viewers to have an interest in knowing the truth about that media. As we move into the future it will be increasingly important to be active viewers. Looking to the future we can only hope that everyone does their part in staying informed and keeping the media working for the people.
Tyler, the Creator is a off beat controversial rapper from LA. He is co-founder of Odd Future. They are known for their weird lyrics and even weirder videos. Tyler and Odd Future are the types of artists that you either love or you hate. Their lyrics and subject matter can be explicit and offensive to some people. This makes the idea of using them in any type of main stream advertising risky. Pepsi recently allowed Tyler to create three Mountain Dew commercials. It did not take Pepsi long to pull the commercials due to their racist and sexist content. It is a three part series about a goat with the voice of Tyler, the Creator.
The first part of the series is the goat ordering a Mountain Dew from a waitress at a nice restaurant. He starts to get violent with the waitress gets the Mountain Dew, drinks it, then begins to assault her. People in the restaurant see this and do nothing to stop. This is a great representation of the bystander effect.
In the second commercial the goat is pulled over by a cop on the highway for speeding. When the cop comes to the window the goat is very nervous and say there is nothing in the trunk and the officer cant search the trunk. The officer then goes and looks in the trunk and sees it is full of Mountain Dew. Is is portraying a racist stereotype that blacks always have something to hide and are always doing something wrong when they get pulled over. Once the cop sees whats in the trunk he looks up and the goat is running away saying “you’ll never catch me”. Leading into the third video.
This video shows the goat in a police lie up with several other African American men. The waitress from the first video then comes into the viewing room with a neck brace, crutches, and a bruised face. She is distressed. The goat then begins to talk to her making violent threats to her causing her to run out of the room in fear. While this is happening the police officer is saying things like “pick the one in the do rag”, trying to get her to pick one based on looks.
These videos highlight many raciest and sexist stereotypes. It glorifies the abuse of women and illegal activities. Pepsi should have known better than to let Tyler, the Creator direct any type of ad campaign for their company. With his history and reputation as being a wild card he is not the type of spokes person a company like Pepsi should be using for promotion.
Links to the videos:
Every two years the worlds best athletes from all corners of the world gather for the Olympics. Involving people from all over the globe leads to a high demand for media coverage of this event. With each Olympics comes a new level of media coverage, sponsors, and air time. Today’s technology gives us many ways to get information about what is going on wherever the Olympics are being held. This year the media boosted the most coverage ever.
The Winter Olympics consist of 15 different sports with varying numbers of sub sections of each sport. Even with possibly the most coverage ever the media is still unable to show every event. The media also focuses on showing the events they think people want to see. This makes it difficult for people to keep up with less popular sports when only using traditional media outlets; TV, newspapers, magazines, ect.
Through social media the athletes have a chance to give a unique first hand report of their events. This changes the perspective we get on how the events took place. We no longer only here from the athletes in official interviews or press conferences. Hearing from these athletes in official setting produces professional comments and the athletes could be told what to say by sponsors, coaches, or their government. These types of coverage could be heavily edited, making the media company providing the coverage a powerful gatekeeper. Todays technology and social media gives athletes an open environment to not only tell about the event but to express themselves. Technology and social media gives athletes the power to by pass the gatekeepers (gatecrashing) and give the audience a direct line to the source of information. This also improves the audiences gatewatching power. The primary source of the athletes gives the audience something to compare the medias coverage with.
Over the past ten years technology has changed the dynamics of journalism. It has shifted power from the large media companies to the audience. This shift in power has allowed for less gatekeeping, gatecrashing, and better gatewatching.
Net neutrality has been something that has recently been in the news and on official’s radars. The big question is should the Internet be regulated? As of now, little to none regulation has been placed on the Internet. One court case that recently passed is allowing Internet servers to make streaming deals that allow websites to pay extra money for a faster connection. For example, Comcast could charge Netflix extra in order to allow viewers and subscribers to view things in the “express lane”. While this is a good money making deal, I disagree with it.
This new regulation solely benefits Internet providers and it hurts websites. What is supposed to be a free roaming area is becoming restrained by money incentives. Just like the conglomerates harming the integrity of the media with their drive to make it a business, money-making monster, implementing regulation and allowing laws like these ruins the purpose of the free Internet.
If the Internet were to keep net neutrality, websites would continue to benefit, but the way Internet providers make money currently would be the only way they continue to make money. In our world today everyone has money as their end goal and they will do anything to increase revenue for their companies. In order to keep the Internet user friendly, net neutrality needs to be allowed.
In my opinion, Internet regulations shouldn’t be even be a question, we have survived quite well on the free, deregulated Internet thus far so why do we need to change it? The Internet is for the people and should not have government implemented regulations that allow companies to make a profit off of it. Net neutrality needs to be enforced and kept in order for the Internet to play the important role it does within the community. I am all for a free Internet, a people’s Internet!
News Corp Ownership Map
- Fox News Channel
- Fox Business Network
- Fox Movie Channel
- National Geographic Channel United States
- Twentieth Century Fox
- Twentieth Century Fox Espanol
- Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
- New York Post
- The Wall Street Journal
- Fox Music
- Harper Collins Publishers
- YES Network
For entire ownership map click here.
News Corp was founded in 1979 as a holding company for News Limited by Rupert Murdoch. News Limited owned several news papers in both Australia and the United States. News Corps growth was fueled by the acquisition of many companies in many different markets. Spanning every outlet of the media market (books, TV, movies, ect…) in many countries News Corp has become a media super power throughout the world.
News Corp has done many things right to become the company that it is today, two of the most important of these are integration and synergy. Through the acquisition of one, if not many, companies in each of the media markets the company has become horizontally integrated. News Corp also has a hand full of holdings in technology related fields such as NDS Group, who develops TV related software. News Outdoor Group ,another subsidiary of New Corp, “was at the largest outdoor advertising company in Eastern Europe” until beginning to sell many of its divisions in recent years. Many of News Corps subsidiaries, like NDS Group and New Outdoor Group, have connections to the media industry. Through the ownership of these companies News Corp creates vertical integration.
Both the vertical and horizontal integration contribute to News Corp’s “synergy”. Cross promotion of products through multiple medias can save money on advertising and help to reach different audiences. An example of this could be Fox News talking about a new book that Harper Collins Publishers recently published. The book would get publicity by being talked about on TV. In turn the publishing company would put a quote from Fox News on the book somewhere. Having TV companies and software companies under the same conglomeration provides many opportunities for to create efficiency and cut costs. NDS Group can easily collaborate with each of News Corp’s TV stations to create software that fits each station’s needs exactly. Other software companies may make similar software but would not be as inclined to taylor it to an specific stations needs. Without “synergy” and integration News Corp would have long been eaten up by another company very similar to itself.
When looking at News Corp’s holdings I immediately recognized several of the companies, but I was not surprised because of the endless list of subsidiaries. One thing that did surprise me was that a Australian based company has become one of the largest media powers in the United States. After looking into News Corp I have many more questions than answers. The power of the media should not be in the hands of so few people.