So, does it really matter who owns the media? And are we looking at who controls the media completely wrong? Read on fellow media users…
Ask any token communications student who owns the media and you’ll get one of the several following answers – Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, Kerry Stokes, Bruce Gordon, and James Packer etcetera… Ask them who controls the media and you’ll get one of the previous suggested answers or the name of someone involved in the social networks industry – Mark Zuckerberg, for instance. I am going to go out on a limb here and not say that they are wrong, but instead that they are missing the key factor – the user.
Ultimately, I guess the real question is who influences the media? I justify this, as I believe that even control can be influenced – that owners of the media and those in control are influenced. Does that not result in the influencer having the greatest control? Lets look into this further. Legacy media moguls create, maintain and invest in these media in order to meet the need of the user – whether that is to provide up to date news stories for an individual or providing a means of social media where an individual can communicate with others. The businesses and the industry at large exists purely because of the consumer – without the consumer they are but a large and expensive corporation with no profit or purpose.
Consumers have more power than credited for. They have the ability to sway media conglomerates that have a foothold in their everyday life. Facebook users drive updates to the site as they give feedback on user interfaces and news stories are aggregated as market researchers investigate constantly shifting audiences. If a media source were to start producing content that was of distaste to the users, the loss would be on the hands of the media owners and those who are seemingly ‘in-control’. The power of consumer influence is frequently under appreciated when analysing control in the media and whether who is in control matters.
I guess what I am trying to say is that it isn’t so much if it matters who controls the media – because on one level or another it does matter somewhat – but is about looking at who is actually influencing the control in the media, and the dynamic between a consumers control and an owners control. Let me know what you think below.
For now, signing off,