Globalization in the Media

When looking at the globalization of media ownership, one must understand that globalization, technology, and democracy shape the culture and times that we live in today. The media and all areas of communications have a vital role in characterizing how these three ideas affect our society on a worldwide level. According to Robert McChesney, “the very idea of globalization is misleading and ideologically loaded.” Basically, the media tends relate to the business domination of society in accordance with social affairs and very little force. This idea is what is called Neo-Liberalism, a term that the whole article focuses around on many levels.

Before the 1980’s, most national media companies were mostly domestically owned radio stations, television stations, and newspapers. Local commercial interests of the communities were combined with state affiliated broadcasters, which were the major forces for the media industry. The issue with broadcasting still stands today, however nations such as Hungary, Angola, and Russia have suffered the most recently. In the past, the media industry was mostly national, but recently the global marketplace in the commercial media field has emerged with abounding status. One idea that stems from this is the dominance of companies, which are almost all US based. The point of this dominance is to capitalize the potential to grow worldwide as a company, or in this case as a media industry.

Convergence and consolidation of the companies are happening left and right in today’s society. The specific media industries become more consolidated and the key companies are increasing the number of subsidiaries in the global media industry. A good example of this convergence is in the figures that McChesney presented about the number of merger deals. McChesney reported that in the first half of 2000, the deals in global media, Internet, and telecommunications totaled around 300 billion dollars, which is triple the figure for the first half of 1999. GE, LIBERTY MEDIA/AT&T, DISNEY, AOL-TIME WARNER, SONY, NEWS CORPORATION, Viacom, Vivendi, and Bertelsmann have dominated the global media. Less than 15 years ago, none of these companies existed in the global media market, but today they rank among the largest companies to carry and cover global media issues.

The components to neoliberalism in every country are arguing about the cultural barriers and regulations that have the potential to harm consumers. There are media lobbyists within many countries that think they have nothing to gain if they allow people inside their borders. Advertising also affects global commercialization, due to the large amounts of it across the world. Commercial media and the system that it creates is needed for businesses to profit and market their products around the world. Ad spending has grown by huge amounts over the past ten years as TV has opened up more opportunities for advertising. Five to six “super-ad” agencies have came to be in the past 5 to 6 years, which dominates around 350 billion global dollars. Between the growing amount of commercialism and the growing corporate control, media conglomerates exist to clearly make money by selling their entertainment.

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