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Global Media: Menace or Messiah?. Part I. Introduction. Global Media Organization “A media organization that generates print or electronic messages or programs for dissemination to large numbers of people around the world.” Entrepreneurial Media Organization

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introduction
Introduction
  • Global Media Organization
    • “A media organization that generates print or electronic messages or programs for dissemination to large numbers of people around the world.”
  • Entrepreneurial Media Organization
    • A media organization “which has a simple organizational structure and has operations only in one country.”
the good the bad and the global
The Good, the Bad, and the Global
  • Global Media as Menace
    • “Global media have too much power, the critics argue. They point out that at the beginning of the 20th century most privately owned newspapers, magazines and book publishing companies were small and were owned and operated by individuals or families. There was a lot of competition, and few were large enough to control national or even local markets” (p. 4).
the good the bad and the global4
The Good, the Bad, and the Global
  • Global Media as Messiah
    • “Global corporate media, [proponents] argue, are the organizational solution to inefficiencies and poor productivity in the marketplace. Global media emerge because national media are incapable of satisfying the information and entertainment needs of an increasingly complex and interdependent world” (p. 5).
the good the bad and the global5
The Good, the Bad, and the Global
  • So Who’s Right?
    • “The messiah perspective can be faulted for not placing enough emphasis on the social control function of media” (p. 6).
    • “The menace perspective, on the other hand, can be faulted for not placing enough emphasis on social change” (p. 6).
the world is shrinking
The World is Shrinking
  • Factors leading to the emergence of global media corporations:
    • Literacy
    • A money economy
    • Advanced technology
    • Capitalism
the world is shrinking7
The World is Shrinking
  • Television and Satellites
    • “The small entrepreneur is disappearing. Economies of scale in production make it hard for smaller companies to compete” (p. 18).
the world is shrinking8
The World is Shrinking
  • Television and Satellites
    • “Also disappearing is the one-industry business. Now there is cross-media ownership – newspaper companies own television and radio stations, and vice-versa. As these corporations grow, the trend is to branch out even more into nonmedia businesses. They become ‘conglomerates’” (p. 18).
the world is shrinking9
The World is Shrinking
  • Today’s Global Village
    • “The modern corporate media organization is controlled and managed by a new breed – the highly educated, skilled professional. Most owners are absentee stockholders who have litte control over day-to-day operations” (p. 22).
the world is shrinking10
The World is Shrinking
  • Historical Conditions Favoring Corporate Growth
    • The development of money economies.
      • Accounting
      • Predictability
      • Accurate compensation
the world is shrinking11
The World is Shrinking
  • Historical Conditions Favoring Corporate Growth
    • Education
      • Reliance upon memoranda and documentation.
    • Capitalism
      • The rational estimation of economic risks.
the world is shrinking12
The World is Shrinking
  • “Global communications has made the social world a smaller place. It has obliterated distance as a barrier to communication across space and time. In doing so, social distance is reduced, enabling people of different cultures and beliefs to communicate with greater ease and more frequency” (p. 23).
the global media playing field
The Global Media Playing Field
  • AOL Time Warner Inc.
  • Vivendi Universal
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Bertelsmann AG
  • Viacom
  • The News Corporation
  • Sony
the paradox of capitalism
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Adam Smith – An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)
    • Smith believed that wealth comes from the productivity of labor (as opposed to supplies of gold or food).
    • Division of labor is a key component to engineering the productivity of a labor force.
the paradox of capitalism15
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Smith believed that the division of labor increased productivity for three reasons:
    • Specialization increases dexterity.
    • More efficient use of time.
    • Facilitation of mechanized labor.
the paradox of capitalism16
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Smith’s Errors:
    • Smith asserted that competition in the marketplace (“the invisible hand”) would prevent any one organization from dominating the market for any extended period of time.
    • Smith rejected the notion that “joint stock companies” (an early term for corporations) would be an effective way of doing business.
the paradox of capitalism17
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Demers (the author) sees two ways in which Smith’s insights are important to the understanding of global media:
    • Larger, more complex media organizations generally are more efficient, productive, and profitable because they have a more advanced division of labor.
    • Media controlled by managers generally place less emphasis on profits because they typically do not benefit as directly from profits as the owners.
the paradox of capitalism18
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • The Ghost of Marx
    • “One of the major problems with Smith’s model, Marx analysis suggests, is that it failed to anticipate the effects that economies of scale would have on barriers to entry in the marketplace” (p. 45).
the paradox of capitalism19
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Marx predicted that centralization of control in the market would occur in two ways:
    • Larger companies would buy smaller ones (acquisitions).
    • The formation of “joint stock companies” (mergers).
the paradox of capitalism20
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Demers (the author) sees two ways in which Marx’s insights are important to the understanding of global media:
    • Unfettered competition tends to promote the growth of large-scale media organizations because it stimulates innovation, reduces prices and runs less efficient media organizations out of business.
the paradox of capitalism21
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Demers (the author) sees two ways in which Marx’s insights are important to the understanding of global media:
    • The death of entrepreneurial media owners tends to promote dispersion of ownership as capital is divided among heirs, even though capital still tends to concentrate via centralization of ownership.
the paradox of capitalism22
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Ultimately, consolidation of ownership occurs because vertical integration (centralized ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exhibition) is a cheaper and more efficient way for business to be conducted.
the paradox of capitalism23
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Most basically, the paradox of capitalism is that, although capitalism promotes competition and variety in the early stages of an industry, it ultimately results in “oligopoly” through “economies of scale” that are characterized by a high level of vertical integration.
the paradox of capitalism24
The Paradox of Capitalism
  • Oligopoly: A market condition in which sellers are so few that the actions of any one of them will materially affect price and have a measurable impact on competitors.
  • Economy of Scale: The decrease in unit cost of a product or service resulting from large-scale operations, as in mass production.
the global villagers
The Global Villagers
  • Global Media as Messiah
    • Marshall McLuhan’s concept of The Global Village. Global media has the capacity to foster shared values between cultures and diffuse violent confrontation.
    • Media facilitate Cultural Integration through the promotion of social order and responsible capitalism.
the global villagers26
The Global Villagers
  • Global Media as Messiah
    • Media facilitate Functional Integration through promoting communication between people and organizations so that individual and common goals (especially economic goals) can be met (e.g. trade).
    • Global media have the facilities to report more thorough and diverse news and more in-depth investigations than entrepreneurial media.
the global media critics
The Global Media Critics
  • Karl Marx (1800s) theorized that the oppressive relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat would result in violent revolution.
  • The Frankfurt School (1920s) revived Marxism and explained that communist revolution didn’t occur because of the false consciousness offered through media and other social institutions.
  • See page 62 paragraph one for a simplified overview of the critical perspective on global media.
the global media critics28
The Global Media Critics
  • “Although critics have many different perspectives, they all share the belief that global media are concerned more about profits than in helping people, especially the disadvantaged, and that a profit-oriented, market-driven medium is a threat to the public interest” (p. 64).
the global media critics29
The Global Media Critics
  • Global media reduce diversity in the “marketplace of ideas” in two ways:
    • Concentration of ownership.
    • Greed – “More specifically, large, corporate media are believed to place more emphasis on profits than on product quality and information diversity than smaller entrepreneurial media” (p. 70).
the global media critics30
The Global Media Critics
  • Global media have a stronger profit orientation than entrepreneurial media. Three arguments support this contention:
    • Global media have more market power.
    • Public ownership and quarterly reports.
    • Lack of community involvement.
the global media critics31
The Global Media Critics
  • Global media hinder social change.
    • Big media avoid editorial or social commentary that has the potential to offend powerful interests whom they may have relationships with.
    • Big media serve a social control function by ignoring or criticizing social movements.
    • “In short, mass media are seen by most critics as playing more of a social control than a social change function” (p. 75).
the global media critics32
The Global Media Critics
  • Critics of global media maintain that the transnational reach of these corporations serves an imperialistic function in the sense that they enforce a Western worldview on developing nations.