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Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 Media Ownership and Control: The Business of News Critical issues in journalism and.

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Presentation on theme: "Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 Media Ownership and Control: The Business of News Critical issues in journalism and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 1 Media Ownership and Control: The Business of News Critical issues in journalism and global communications Week 6 Miklos Sukosd

2 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 2 Miklos Sukosd research projects Media pluralism and diversity in China 1.Political “proto-pluralism” (Qian Gang methodology: content analysis of party vs. market papers) 2.Changes in media ownership 3.Regional diversification (audience shifts from national to provincial and local media) 4.Gender coverage (women, sexual minorities) 5.Ethnic minority coverage 6.Diversification of media types and genres (internet) 7.Historical aspects of media pluralism (from late imperial period to Republican era)

3 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Other research projects Media and environment - Media coverage of climate change and other environmental issues (e.g., n China) - Environmental performance of media (content, impact on users; media’s own environmental footprint) Media and Buddhism - How Buddhist religion is covered by the world press?

4 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Herman and Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent “ Propaganda model” of US media (provocative approach as “propaganda” is associated with dictatorship, not democracy) Mass media in capitalist society: functions are amusement, entertainment, information and indoctrination – systematic propaganda. Indoctrination: teach and impress by frequent repetitions of ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies, with a professional methodology.

5 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 5 The media serve the ends of the dominant power elite The media maintains and reproduces state— corporate hegemony Multilevel effects on mass media interests and journalists’ choices (agendas, frames, sources, triggers) Indoctrinated audiences do not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned

6 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 6 Five levels of filters in the PM: 1. Size, ownership and profit orientation of the mass media: the first filter Media are billion dollar businesses: high entry costs Media ownership: concentration and information monopolies Media as business ventures: full integration to the market Pressures by stockholders, directors, bankers (investors) on content orientation

7 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 7 Cross-ownership and control by non-media companies (banks, other companies, shareholders) Interlocking boards of directors (same people) Government licensing and discipline Military and other government R&D grants by media owners (e.g., GE and Westinghouse): state connections Joint global interests of (US) media, government and other companies

8 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 8 2. Advertising: the second filter 1% in ratings: $100 M a year Target group: up-scale, affluent consumers on television and in print Lack of positive representation of other groups Working class and radical media: discrimination by advertisers No sponsorship for environmental programs Light entertainment (travel, etc.) vs. hard journalism genres

9 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 9 3. Sourcing mass media news: the third filter Symbiotic relationship of media with government sources PR organizations of public institutions Public spending for sponsorship of government- media relations (paid government PR) Corporate/industry associations’ PR machines Co-opted external and internal “experts”, pundits, representing powerful groups [Fukushima example]

10 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Flak Organized negative feedback to media Keeping journalists and editors under constant ideological pressure

11 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong Dichotomization: the US vs. the threatening ”Other” Anticommunism as the main organizing principle of Cold War media discourses Journalism example: human rights in Dominica vs. Poland After the fall of the Soviet Union as the threatening “Other”: “terrorists”, “radical Islam”, Iraq, Iran, North Korea Today China as the threatening “Other”?

12 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 12 Criticisms of the Propaganda Model Capitalist competition: for breaking news, stories, audiences (would Watergate ever happen?) Trust by the audience as a market value Specialization of media: pluralism of media types and genres Partisan media: political pluralism Internal division of labor: the Wall between editors and advertisement/sales

13 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 13 Constitutional and legal safeguards for freedom of press Policy safeguards for media pluralism Journalism codes of ethics at the organization and in journalism associations What alternatives to large media corporations, the “propaganda model”?

14 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 14 Responses to criticisms? Kovach and Rosenstiel: Who Journalists Work For Opposition of publishers and journalists in the media organization Allegiance to owners OR the public? Who are the audiences: consumers OR citizens? Long-term vs short term objectives of media regarding trust? Example: paid supplements

15 Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong 15 Ways out for peace? 1. The owner/corporation must be committed to citizens first 2. Hire business managers who also put citizens first 3. Set and communicate clear standards 4. Journalists have final says over news (content) 5. Communicate clear standards to the public Criticisms of Kovach and Rosenstiel other strategies by journalists?


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