Media and Society Essay

Submitted By tombistre
Words: 1529
Pages: 7

Throughout the semester, we have read and discussed many parts of Media/Society by David Croteau, William Hoynes and Stefania Milan. In the first four parts, we spoke about many topics such as the media and social world (sociology of media), the economics part of media, media representation and ideology of media, and the meaning and influence of audiences and how active audiences construct meaning through encoding and decoding. In this essay, I will explain each of these several parts as well as give fully detailed examples of how each of these topics connects to each other. In part one, we step outside of our own knowledge of media and take a look inside of how media is created, the impact it has on society, and how people use and interpret media and how it is important to structure and agency. “Media is created by learning and internalizing the values, beliefs, and norms of our culture” (Croteau, Hoynes, and Milan Location 690). This is also known as socialization. Mass media serves as a powerful socializing agent. Media is an important part of our lives, which is why they generate topics that are aimed at society. For example, there is a reason why on TV the majority of shows and news channels speak about controversial topics and topics of popular interest like sex and violence. The dominant norm and beliefs are in society become our dominant norms and beliefs in our own lives. This is because this is what society wants. This is what shapes their identity. However, people use and interpret media differently. Relationships between media and society’s attitude doesn’t always go hand in hand. For example, even though there is a lot of news coverage about shootings, killings, and drunk driving, that doesn’t stop others from shooting, killing, and driving drunk. This is the structure and agency of relationship between media and the public. Yes the media does tell us that many people have died and that it is wrong to do so, but the one thing the media doesn’t tell us is why the shooter killed a person or why the driver was drunk driving. “Media messages do not allow for the intimate receiver that characterizes personal communication.” (Croteau, Hoynes, and Milan Location 899).
Part 2 focuses on the ownership, economics of media and political influences and professional and organizational aspects of media. Most of the media are for-profit businesses. Like businesses, media must worry about profitability, cost containment, and ownership patterns. But before this we must understand how the media industry works. Media doesn’t just appear. It is constructed through a very complex production process, which involves the media industry as a whole, which includes ownership and the economics of media.
Owners of the media influence the content and form of media products by their decisions to hire and fire certain personnel, to fund certain projects, to give media platforms to certain speakers, and to develop or support certain technologies. However, ownership of the media has become so concentrated that only five global firms basically own the entire media industry (Time Warner, Disney, Viacom, News Corp., and Bertelsmann AG). This is called conglomeration, which means that fewer corporations own the media. These companies dominate all forms of mass media, which include magazines, radio, television, books and movies. “These major media companies also own vast portfolios of products, spanning the range of media formats and delivery systems.” (Croteau, Hoynes, and Milan Location 1110). Within ownership there are two different types of integration that concentrated with conglomeration. One is horizontal integration, which means that the company owns all types of media within different industries. For an example, Walt Disney Company owns the ESPN television network, that also has a radio station and magazine, which covers all aspects across the business. On the other hand, vertical integration refers to the process by which the owner