All posts by rudolph211

Where we’re going, we don’t need . . . Media Conglomeration

As a filmmaker, I am constantly asking myself whether or not the future of the media will be a prosperous one. After the quarter, I find myself skeptical about the existence of journalism and all news and entertainment media in general. However it is news companies like Vice and writers like the late Hunter S. Thompson that help me think a little more positively.

It is scary to think that everything is about profits and ratings these days. Major companies like Newscorp, Time Warner, and Comcast, rule the media world, but what about the true, raw journalism that used to exist? With videos and articles like “Walking into Europe” and “Russian Roulette: The invasion of Ukraine”, it is clear that this style of journalism is out there. Vice isn’t afraid of getting their hands dirty or offending people because they don’t have ties to larger corporations or political parties. It is imperative that companies like this, which promote the truth and importance of real world issues, continue to inspire future generations to do so as well. As the future looks bleak for traditional journalism, Vice continues to report on real issues and stories that occur every day.

Walking Into Europe:

Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine:

Although these stories seem like they are uncommon and minute examples of small issues in our world, they are not. These issues are what shape the world outside of the traditional news medium. If we continue to worry about what Honey Boo Boo is thinking, or whether or not Justin Bieber is going to be deported, then we will lose sight of what is important. The issues are out there and people are covering them, but they do not get enough public attention. Companies like Vice need to be supported because they give a voice to the people who can’t tell the world what the problems are. This may seem cliché, but I think we need to focus on whats actually happening in the world today in order to help fix the issues tomorrow. The future of journalism can still be a great one if we take the necessary steps required to stop the greed that controls large media conglomerates that in turn control our perception of the outside world.

Sterling Hayden once said: “To be truly challenging, the life that we live must be based on a firm foundation of financial unrest”. The quote goes on to say how we fling ourselves under the wheel of routine for security. Which raises the question of choice. “What will it be bankruptcy of pocket or bankruptcy of soul?”


Sterling Hayden Quoted by Steve Fisher, Black Book

Scrubbing in to “Reality”

Today, television seems to be a melting pot of misrepresentation. TV shows like The Real World, Jersey Shore, and even News programs often set a false stage for information gathering and entertainment. MTV thrives on their ability to distribute content featuring misrepresentations of real American lives, and their new “reality” show: Scrubbing In is no exception.


Last October, MTV released a new TV series called: Scrubbing In, featuring travel nurses and their “real” lives on and off duty. They took nine nurses from all over the country and brought them to one 12-week post at an Orange County, CA hospital. Just like any other reality show, the cast is good looking, dramatic, and “diverse”. After painfully watching the first episode online, it is clear that the show has been set up to be a dramatic and wildly over the top experience. In the first episode alone, we are introduced to the drama that will ensue throughout the system.

Scrubbing In Episode 1

Each cast member brings a typical reality television role to the show. I am not going to go into specific details, but the male and female roles are wildly blown out of proportion. The women form clicks, and the men stick together trying to score every second they can. There is one African American and one Homosexual man, both of whom form their own click, as they feel left out by the rest of the group. An article by the National Nurses United blog expresses that: “We feel that this obvious dramatization is a gross misrepresentation of the nursing profession. Not only are we tired of the negative stigma that surrounds our profession but also of the senseless sexual objectification that we as nurses, both male and female, continue to endure.” It is evident that nurses are sexually objectified, but this show takes that to a whole new level; with the cast consisting of good looking individuals that seem to have three “equally” important jobs: Work, Drinking and Sex. When MTV was working on getting release forms to film in the hospitals they explained to the labor representative that this program: “would kick off the transition to a kinder, gentler, less exploitative MTV”. The sensationalism about the life of a travelling nurse represented in the first episode proves this to be a false piece of information.

As someone who has experienced their fair share of hospital visits due to injury, I don’t want to see nurses getting plastered at night and then going in to work the next day to help patients. The ideologies put forth by this show may be trying to reach out to a younger audience, telling them that being a nurse is fun; but to people who rely on nurses to help them in a sterile hospital environment, it is scary. In any case, this show has offended nurses all over the country by: “promoting unskilled and naughty nurse stereotypes”.


Gatecrashing, The Olympics, and the rise of Citizen Journalism

Historically, journalists have ruled the world “in front of the gates”, following stories, and telling the rest of us what they deem important. However, with the birth of the Internet and the rise of social media, “citizen journalism” has become a large part of our information gathering process. For example, since the beginning of the modern day Olympic Games, the global stage and the U.S. specifically would have to wait until major networks like NBC would cover them several hours later. Although events would occur several hours before the American public could see them, the anticipation was still a huge part of the experience. Now, with instant reporting from anybody at the games, the anticipation is lost. I can wake up in the morning and expect to watch slopestyle that evening, wondering all day who is going to lay down the smoothest run. However, when I get on Instagram or Facebook, I can see that Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy, and Nick Goepper swept the podium for the U.S. without being able to watch them ski.

Olympic Gold Medalist, Joss Christensen posted this Instagram around 8:00 AM  (US Mountain Time) on Thursday morning.


NBC didn’t have any coverage of the event until primetime Thursday evening. I watched the event already knowing that the U.S. won Gold, Silver, and Bronze, so when I saw the three podium worthy runs, it wasn’t as climactic.

However for other global events like the conflict in Syria, citizen journalism holds a more substantial role for the people of the world. We can see real issues occurring across the pond without the bias of a massive media conglomeration or the inherent danger of sending  correspondents into war zones. “In the past, if the media wasn’t there to cover an event, it was like it never happened”(Karam, Syria’s Civil War Plays Out on Social Media). Now, we don’t need the classic, mainstream journalism to cover these dangerous and highly controversial issues.

The Olympics and the conflict in Syria are just two examples of citizen journalism taking over the traditional news medium. We no longer need journalists to tell us what is going on somewhere because everybody is on the Internet. Typical journalism conventions are dying. Everybody that carries a smartphone walks their own beat and can say: “I’m there, you’re not let me tell you about it” because they will be wherever a major newsworthy event is happening. People are now able to bust down the gates of journalism and post whatever is happening at any time as long as they have an internet connection. This gatecrashing trend is becoming more and more apparent as major events occur like the Olympics or the spreading conflict in Syria. It is really interesting to see how the Internet and social media are shaping modern day journalism, whether good or bad. It really makes me wonder what the future will hold for traditional journalism.


Regulations and Rating in Film and Television

In the United States, movies and television are such a large part of our culture. We see advertisements for them everywhere and we look forward to watching them. For me personally, movies are a big deal. I drop movie quotes several times a day, and look forward to watching different films in my downtime. As a film student, much of my time is spent looking for new and different styles of filmmaking. Often times, people seem to forget that film production is in fact a form of artistic expression. However in 1934, with the birth of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the film industry has been subject to regulations and censorship. Ever since, there has been huge controversy as to whether film and television belong under the constitutional right of “free speech”.

The television program, Family Guy Pushes the Limit of what they can and cannot do on television. Here is a satirical video in which the producers of the highly popular show address the FCC on a  warning they received:

Over the years, regulations in film and television have been pushed by the industry. To the filmmaker, they are simply creating art, but the FCC often sees this “artistic expression” as lewd and lascivious to the American people. Some things that are shown on television and in movies are definitely not appropriate for some viewers. For example, if a film features nudity or racy content, a child should not be able to access or view it. But the inappropriateness of a film doesn’t only apply to children. Often times a film will produce moral issues or ideas, which may not agree with someone’s personal ideologies. The rating system we have today is an insufficient way to tell people how a movie is represented. It should not only have a simple rating and a short description why, but there should be more categories to place the films. Rather than the G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 system, there should be categories like; political content, religious content, dark humor, etc.

In my personal opinion, the FCC is a necessary organization, but they overstep their bounds. Some content is definitely inappropriate for many viewers, however in the consideration of free speech and artistic expression, they should be viewed on their own terms and rated accordingly. In a perfect world, those who have worked in the film and television industry should make the ratings and offer regulations. If judgments are to be made, than people with the experience in the industry should be the ones making the decisions.


The Walt Disney Company- Alex Rudolph

Watching classic films like Aladdin, The Jungle Book, and The Lion King makes it hard to realize how big Walt Disney really is. Founded in 1923, Disney was at the forefront of the animation, and later live-action film industries for nearly 60 years before they became a mass media conglomerate. Along with several theme parks around the world, and holdings in television, radio, theater, music, publishing, distribution, etc., Disney is one of the largest media conglomerates in the world.


Company Holdings MAP

Film and Theater


Disney Theatrical Productions

Touchstone Pictures

Marvel Entertainment


Walt Disney Pictures

DisneyToon Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International (Distribution)

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment


Disney Music Group

Hollywood Records

Walt Disney Records


ABC-Owned Television Stations Group

WLS (Chicago, IL)

KFSN (Fresno, CA)

KTRK (Houston, TX)

KABC (Los Angeles, CA)

WABC (New York, NY)

WPVI (Philadelphia, PA)

WTVD (Raleigh-Durham, NC)

KGO (San Francisco, CA)

Disney ABC Television Group

ABC Television Network (ABC Daytime, ABC Entertainment, and ABC News)

ABC Family

ABC Studios

A&E Television Networks (50%)

The Biography Channel (50%)

Disney ABC Domestic Television

Disney ABC International Television

Disney-ABC-ESPN Television

Disney Channel Worldwide (Disney XD, Playhouse Disney, Jetix, and ABC Kids)

History (formerly The History Channel) (50%)

H2 (50%)


Lifetime Entertainment Services (50%)


Disney Junior (Flanders and the Netherlands)

ESPN, Inc. (80%)

ESPN (and and



ESPN Classic

ESPN Deportes



ESPN Enterprises

ESPN Interactive

ESPN International

ESPN Mobile Properties

ESPN on Demand


ESPN Regional Television

Longhorn Network


WDDY AM (Albany, NY)

WDWD AM (Atlanta, GA)

WMKI AM (Boston, MA)

WGFY AM (Charlotte, NC)

WRDZ AM (Chicago, IL)

WWMK AM (Cleveland, OH)

KMKI AM (Dallas-Fort Worth, TX)

KDDZ AM (Denver, CO)

WFDF AM (Detroit, MI)

KMIC AM (Houston, TX)

WRDZ FM (Indianapolis, IN)

KPHN AM (Kansas City, MO)

KDIS FM (Little Rock, AR)

KDIS AM (Los Angeles, CA)

WMYM AM (Miami, FL)

WKSH AM (Milwaukee, WI)

KDIZ AM (Minneapolis, MN)

WQEW AM (New York, NY)

WDYZ AM (Orlando, FL)

WWJZ AM (Philadelphia, PA)

KMIK AM (Phoenix, AZ)

KDZR AM (Portland, OR)

WDZY AM (Richmond, VA)

KIID AM (Sacramento, CA)

KWDZ AM (Salt Lake City, UT)

KRDY AM (San Antonio, TX)

KMKY AM (San Francisco, CA)

KKDZ AM (Seattle, WA)

WSDZ AM (St. Louis, MO)

WWMI AM (Tampa, FL)

ESPN Radio

WMVP (Chicago, IL)

KESN (Dallas-Fort Worth, TX)

KSPN (Los Angeles, CA)

WEPN (New York, NY)

WDDZ AM (Pittsburgh, PA)


Hyperion Books

ABC Daytime Press


Jump At The Sun

Mirimax Books


Disney Publishing Worldwide

Disney Digital Books

Disney English

Disney Global Book Group

Global Children’s Magazines

U.S. Magazines

ESPN The Magazine (50% with Hearst)

ESPN Books

Parks and Resorts

Adventures by Disney

Disney Cruise Line

Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort Paris (51%)

Disney Vacation Club

Hong Kong Disneyland (48%)

Shanghai Disney Resort (43%)

Tokyo Disney Resort (Owned and operated the Oriental Land Company)

Walt Disney Imagineering

Walt Disney World Resort


The Baby Einstein Company

Club Penguin

Disney Consumer Products

The Disney Store

Disney Apparel

Disney Accessories & Footwear

Disney Fashion & Home

Disney Food

Disney Health & Beauty

Disney Stationery

Disney Toys

Disney Interactive Media Group

Disney Interactive Studios

Disney Online (

Disney Online Studios

Disney Mobile

El Capitan Theatre

The Muppets Studio


Rocket Pack

UTV Software Communications




Today, as Disney leads the world in revenue generation, we must look back on how a company specializing in cartoon animation during the 1920s made their rise to global conglomeration. From 1923 to 1986, Disney created animated and live- action television shows and films broadcasted mostly to children. In 1986, the company began to expand into more mature entertainment fields. They renamed themselves, The Walt Disney Company, and began to reach for new heights, marketing toward more mature audiences. In 1995, Disney purchased Capital Cities/ ABC Inc. for $19 billion creating the largest media conglomerate in the world.  Together, the companies would become a “global powerhouse” generating sales up to $20.7 billion.

Owning the production and distribution companies that create Disney movies, along with the acquisition of ABC allows the company to usevertical integration in order to maintain the profit margin that put the two companies on top. Disney can now broadcast and advertise their products on ABC television as part of the benefits of vertical integration.

After Disney’s acquisition of ABC, they not only bought ABC television, but they also received the benefit of owning ESPN. This is a great example of horizontal integration because the company expanded into a media outlet completely outside of the market they were previously in.  They can now produce revenue in another, more mature field of entertainment and production.

Upon researching this subject, I found it interesting that a company with the historical background like Disney could grow into the media empire that it is today. From creating cartoon animations in the 20s, to now ruling the media market with a considerable amount of concentration of ownership, it creates hope in regards to starting small and hoping for the best as you continue down a path of success.



Resources-All the websites I used in order to do research for this post