Who really controls the media and how does it affect its consumers?
The media is an instrument of control, meaning in a way, whoever controls the media controls the audience. But who does own the media? For example, Rupert Murdoch owns a large amount of the Australian Media, including an astonishing 70% of Australian newspapers. He is one of the most powerful influences over the media industry, which is why it isn’t surprising that in the past and to this day he has been guilty of largely impacting perceptions on certain topics. It is because of his power that producers may have no say on what is really being broadcasted. This shows that the owner of the media is important as ultimately they are the ones deciding what is ‘newsworthy’.
What we see on the news is a reflection of the owner’s values, opinions and beliefs. It is because of this that the media is notorious for portraying one-sided stories. Television, radio and newspapers influence the audiences perspectives on certain issues whether it be political, social or emotional. We are persuaded by what is important and what is not depending on what is shown through the media. When we are only shown specific stories/ content, we are being manipulated as a society, demonstrating why it is extremely significant who owns the media.
Other medias such as the social sites Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter allow us to have our own private accounts. However, it is once we upload information or a photo, the content is no longer property of the uploader’s but instead is the internet’s and the site’s. We have no recollection of where that photo may go or what it may be used for. It is the owners of these media sites that have the power and the control over what is allowed and what may be taken down. Continuing on with privacy issues, there have been global cases of misconduct and ‘intrusion’ when it comes to social media sites and our personal information. In recent reports, it may go as far as private photos or personal messages being leaked or ‘reviewed’ for no good reason. This all may be discussed in the terms and conditions, who knows? These legally binding contracts are written so literally complexed, users simply agree without actually reading them. We are signing a contract blind. It is the owners who have put these policies into place and again demonstrates the importance of who owns the media.
So… who really controls you?