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Mass Media

Satisfactory Essays
Issue # 14

1. Media Monopolies: Are the Dangers of Concentration Overstated?
Yes, by Eli M. Noam and Robert N. Freeman
No, by Ben H. Bagdikian

2. The main focus behind the two articles are the concentration of media. Through the Telecommunications Act of 1996 attempts were made to limit the amount of monopolies in media. However this opened the door for other large businesses to merge and gain even more control, therefor creating more concentration in the media. Are the “media monopolies” doing their job in surveying national and local issues and are they acting in the public interest? The article also analyzes the vastly growing corporate elite who control media, and their ability to censor public awareness.

2. Eli Noam and Robert N. Freeman believe that there is more competition in U.S. media and it is only moderately concentrated. They justify their claim through U.S. Department of Justice procedure for identifying concentrated markets. They show several graphs indicating the shares of companies and the moderate increase that has occurred in recent years. Noam and Freeman show graphs that show both an increase in the total concentration of the media industry as well as graphs that depict a slight decline. They also support their claim by describing the drops that occurred in telecommunications services, computers TV programming and in music. They discuss how the market shift moved away from mainframes to microcomputers, where there is very little domination of the market by one company. Bagdikian lacks evidence of his claim, and supports it with his own opinions. He explains the reality of the situation in media concentration and control. He tells about the dominance of Microsoft and General electric, who own NBC and radio and cable networks across the globe. He shows how Rupert Murdoch used media control to control politics which then made him immune to the restrictions applied to media, and allowed him to form FOX network. Bendikian emphasizes that companies who have control over politics can do whatever they want.

3. Both sides of the issue support their side through examples in the media market. Noam and Freeman show the various firms and corporations, who compete and take over the other companies, slowly increasing their control of the market. Bendikian analyzes the major corporations who have influence over the media, such as GE and FOX who are growing and killing off the other competitors. He also shows the raising role that cyber media and computers are playing in the market and the how companies are finding ways around the restrictions by merging.
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