May 13, 2012
The Negative Impact of Conglomeration of Media Companies on Audiences
The word conglomeration is defined as the formation of a large company by the merging of separate and diverse small firms. Media conglomerate is a large company or corporation formed by merging of different small media outlets such as TV, radio, newspapers, and internet. Big companies tend to buy out other smaller companies in the market to increase their revenue by increasing their viewership, and to control the smaller companies’ resources. This creates media oligopoly by which few firms dominate the market. This media conglomeration is threatening democracy because of its negative impact on audiences. Those negative effects are profit becoming the main focus of conglomerates effort, media bias, and elimination of local media.
The most important negative impact of the conglomeration of media is that profit becomes the main focus of corporate effort. Ivan Fecan, CEO of CTV, says: “If we can’t make money, we have no reason to exist.” (Mirrlees 1).This leads to reduced program quality and hyper-commercialism. Media companies became commercially driven and loyal to their sponsors not to the public interest. Audiences became products rather than consumers because media companies sell them to advertisers. Therefore, space for news and important information shrank to make room for advertisements. Conglomeration of media also leads to reduced quality of programs because they shift the interest of audiences to less important news such as celebrity scandals. When celebrity Anna Nicole Smith died in 2007, cable news net-works gave more coverage to her death than any other important news such as war in Iraq (Baran 38). Bill Moyer, a journalist, says: “As conglomerates swallow up newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and broadcast outlets, news organizations are folded into entertainment divisions. The news hole in the print media shrinks...