Why does it matter who controls the media?
“According to William Melody, the greatest threat to freedom of expression in the United States or elsewhere is the possibility that private entrepreneurs will always tend to monopolise the marketplace of ideas in the name of economic efficiency and private profit.”(Melody 1978)
We wake up and check our twitter, instagram and Facebook feeds- perhaps even compose a tweet and send a snapchat- all the while still in bed. We get up, put on the radio for music and chuck on the morning show to watch while you get ready for the day. You scroll through your youtube updates, post on your blog, check facey again before you leave the house. You turn up the traffic and weather report on the way to work and yell at kyle and Jackie O as if they were in the car. We get home, check your facey comments and likes, post a selfie or dinner pic on insta, watch to the news on channels 7, 9 and 10 while talking to your friends (or crush!) through kik or facebook inbox.
The media consumes us all everyday without even a second thought- we don’t care who tells us, or what channel tells us first as long as we know. We check our friend’s statuses just in case we miss a news break-through. The people in power dictate when and how information reaches us and how much is distributed. Is this a good or bad thing though? If a person in power (such a Rupert Murdoch) has a particular political agenda; they may show bias toward a specific political party within in their news, and which can ultimately (and unfairly) influence the result of elections.
I think it’s good in the sense that when we hear of something that’s happened in the world we have facebook and twitter to discuss and express our opinions and views without hate or discrimination (most of the time)… however that then raises the question, who influences our judgement? The people in control of the media.
Lets take a second to imagine us taking over the media headlines and what gets to be told to the wider audience- information would get twisted through word of mouth, news would become biased, manipulated and arguments would evolve over the reliability of information and its sources. Yes, of course I believe in people empowerment and self-expression, and that our minds shouldn’t be consumed by other people’s views- but without the experience, knowledge and trust of such organisations (and/or individuals), anything could be reported.
Some may argue that it doesn’t matter who controls the media as long as we are equipped with truthful, un-biased and un-manipulated material. I suppose I agree with this in a sense, however ultimately we all either a) want to be in our won control of what we are told and how we think … or b) be fed information appropriately, fairly and honestly with the best interest of the nation in mind.
Sure social media forums assist in closing the gap between people like Rupert Murdoch and you or I… it gives people the chance to access a variety of academic journals, newspapers like the New York Times to from our own judgement. Which I guess is a start to un-biased media reporting.
Get up! Action for Australia. 2012. Malcolm Fraser: does it matter who controls our papers? yes it does. [ONLINE] Available at: <http://blog.getup.org.au/2012/06/19/malcolm-fraser-does-it-matter-who-owns-our-papers-yes-it-does/> [Accessed 01 April 14].
Lirne.net. 2012. Media ownership: Does it matter?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://lirne.net/resources/netknowledge/meier.pdf. [Accessed 30 March 14].