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Week 3 Notes

by: Taylor McAvoy

Week 3 Notes Com 201 A

Taylor McAvoy
GPA 3.5
Intro to comm 1
Ekin Yasin

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These notes include lecture 4, the extra video lecture, article notes, and Friday section activity 2. All of these cover main ideas, themes, questions, and key terms. Thanks so much for the good re...
Intro to comm 1
Ekin Yasin
Class Notes
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This 19 page Class Notes was uploaded by Taylor McAvoy on Friday October 16, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Com 201 A at University of Washington taught by Ekin Yasin in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 65 views. For similar materials see Intro to comm 1 in Communication Studies at University of Washington.

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Date Created: 10/16/15
Lecture 4 Wednesday October 14 2015 Political economy of media consolidation and its consequences Themes of the class Past 0 The role of media and communication in our lives Present 0 What are the structures and intentions of the companies that play a huge role in our lives Future 0 How do media content affect us 0 Future of newspapers and their role in public media Politicians and their strategic use of the media and communication 0 Communication technology and the changing world Global content and its relationship to global movements Goals of lectures To engage in critical thinking To take action News literacy Documentaries Introduction to the eld of communication Scholarly discussions Keyissues Goals of section To review and apply Creative Build community Core ideas Goals of Friday projects Build linkage of topics to life Class themes in application Participate Be creative Goals of exams Key terms Core concepts Critical thinking News literacy Two clicker questions about last class 1 Who won the Nobel Peace Prize this year 2015 A Pope Francis B Angela Merkel C D Kalash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai What is the 1 percent rule Even though new technologies allow everyone to create content only a small percentage actually do so gtI I What are the changing media ownership structures Large enterprises play a pivotal role in our lives but the odd thing is that only a handful of transnational companies control content and what we see in the media We tend to think of these media entities in of themselves and not consider that they are actually part of a much bigger family We should think more about where they come from so we can be critical of their intentions and how they affect us In class conversation 1 What are your monthly media spending39s Professor 300400 Student majority 100200 These change also when we think more about the tiny things we buy and they add up These also change with families and sharing data plans List the media items that you spend money on like movie tickets phone bills wi etc 0 Movie tickets phone bills wi cable app purchases kindle or ipad books net ix hqu hbo new devices 1 How much do you know about the companies you have a relationship to structure agency intentions history people Less than 5 people in a 400 person class raised their hands cool i Ho Candy example Just because it tastes good doesn39t mean it39s good for us 1 Deregulation easing of regulation changed how much media companies can own The intention behind deregulation was to create more diversity by making it easier for small companies to enter the market but it actually made it easier for media giants to eat up the smaller companies and grow bigger Telecommunications Act of 1996 the act that induced deregulation in the media Shows that deregulation caused a striking decline of agencies and participation in media decreasing diversity 2 The number of large media conglomerates is striking concentration of ownership Music Labels Book Publishers Film studios Horizontal integration Widespread and different interests different media endeavors EX Disney owns Marvel Pixar ESPN and ABC Talent agencies Film studios Movie theaters Vertical integration This makes it less expensive to produce things EX Gannett owns Point roll USA Today and several newspapers EX Universal Studios owns their own movie studios HULU stakes and Fandango They are controlling how their movies are produced and how they are viewed When companies merge should we be concerned EX ATampT Direct TV merger EX FCC and Charter Communication are trying to bid to acquire Time Warner cable 3 The concentration of ownership has bene ts for the conglomerates One of these bene ts is Synergy Synergy Owning domains and using those domains to promote things Entertainment about entertainment Often we get products of one big company EX Monday line up Ellen show The Voice Steve Jobs movie all produced under NBC Graph of Music industries 4 The competition is in fact disappearing The new media monopoly Ben H Bagdikian It39s a monopoly because only large companies can compete in the market Interlocking directors and interests According to Columbia Journalism review in 2003 Time Warner Viacom Disney News Corp have 45 interlocking directors The top 5 media conglomerates have 141 joint ventures Big media companies try to work together much more than they compete with each other Everyone is winning so this leads to joint interests and then to joint ventures NAB National Association of Broadcasters Many of the big companies are all represented under NAB What are the consequences of media consolidation This relates to the realm of health starting to be run like a business and it shouldn39t be 1 There are more cheaply produced content we call our quotguilty pleasuresquot In class conversation 2 1 What kind of programming do you consider a quotguilty pleasurequot 2 Name a few shows that are your guilty pleasures 3 List some reasons why you like these shows 4 List some words and adjectives of why you feel guilty about watching them EX professor Dash Dolls because it was hypnotizing and she felt guilty because she spend 5 hours doing nothing EX Student Friends because it was character driven and funny and she felt guilty because she watched it too much and it gets integrated into life EX student South Park because the satire relates to real issues quotfunny because its truequot and he felt guilty because it was so politically incorrect and offensive but funny Sometimes entertainment allows this behavior that we would otherwise consider unacceptable Our reasons for watching these shows are not well thought out So why do we allow guilty pleasures Television 20 Average cost of original programming estimates of the US market in 2005 Genre Cost per episode Prime time drama 1 hour 3 million Situation comedy 30 min 15 million Reality TV 1 hour 700000 125 million Game show 1 hour 300000 Daytime soap 200000 operatelenovela Businesses choose the less expensive options and the ones with the least risk which means they follow the outline of shows that were successful in the past Democracy without citizens Entmann 1986 The Local Newspaper Monopoly 3 The content is no longer diverse Homogenization theory Consolidation of businesses leads to lower diversity because they make shows with the least risk and therefore produce similar shows EX Crime dramas work well so there are many of them and companies like making new ones 4 Advertising is becoming more prevalent and more visible Product placement EX back to the future Nike ying shoes The greatest movie ever sold Exploits product placement Ted Talk on this documentary is posted on canvas Native Ads and VNRS These are ads placed in news stories EX Komo 4 news Nike and Kenith Cole announced a partnership in a new high heel shoe Clicker questions 1 Advertiser39s strategy to build products into the storyline of the move TV series or video game by including them in a seemingly natural and unnoticeable way is A Product Placement 1 A company seeking to be vertically integrated in the book industry want to purchase a A Paper Mill 1 The homogenization hypothesis about media ownership and diversity states that media consolidation A Produces media content that lack diversity Extra video lecture Thursday October 15 2015 Business of Media continued 1 Who is winning from consolidation of media and how are they winning 19801996 less regulation for media companies entering the market and for big companies to buy out smaller ones Number of media companies shrinking over time 5 or 6 media companies that control the majority of stakes and content rst tier companies Ex Walt Disney they are rst tier because they are large but also because they have other companies other stakes and its own theme park First tier vs second tier in revenue 1 tier 3040 billion dollars per year and reach around the world 2nd tier Ex Gannett made about 52 billion First tier vs Second tier media conglomerates Neither are small Resources for research Columbia journalism review who owns what Pretty much nd any media company and info about them and what they own and what they bring in They do this because they want to act as watchdogs to the market Two growth strategies Horizontal and vertical integrations The ways companies decide to buy out and obtain new growth Horizontal ex Bertelsmann group originated in Germany transnational media company that plays a role in the US Owned RTL television channels in Germany but they also have more networks in other countries Also own freemantle media they globally sell formats price is right x factor etc sell the rights to ideas of shows Most pro t driven companies Also owns random house who own multiple publishing companies like penguin Vertical integration ex Sony Pictures Entertainment lm They can make everything in house they own productions studios animation color works etc They are also horizontal integrated but vertically in lm We often do not hear about stories that criticize consolidation of media companies or about their consolidation in general Freepress critically engages in media and tells us about issues of corporate consoHdann Some write for the bene ts of mergers but many small papers tell what mergers do to citizens and criticize this Issue of selfcensorship Some journalists are employed by large companies and they may be affected and pushed toward staying silent We are constantly kept in a buying mood Television 20 the rise of reality tv and cheaper modes of production Buying mood the type of content that offers a particular perspective things light and not too sad to create a light mood We have a scarcity of news about the foregin world because that would destroy the buying mood We would be more into helping people than buying things Shows that do not disturb us enough to push us away from buying things 2 What is being lost Who is losing 1 culture does not equal consumerism Creativity does not have commercial value Money does not equal quality But all these things should 1999 Seattle was the origin of protests against world trade organization policies Deregulation was taking place and people were worried about corporate take overs Starting to see standing up against corporate take overs Organizations started rising Media education foundation documentary lms challenging media The progressive investigative reporting and such What are the noncorporate media structures in your life Going for lowest denominators for programming tried and true mechanism sex vulgarity violence Ex duck dynasty Even critically challenging narratives can nd this formula Think about what mechanisms are being deployed and what affect do they have on us KEXP music that matters are they this diverse because they are noncorporate Ovation TV art emphasis Don39t see much creative outlets Scarcity of outlets for diverse content noncorporate International lms like A separation Winter Sleep and NO Are we watching enough commercially and noncommercially made media to come up with a wellinformed consensus of which is better 2 Public goods are disappearing We assume we have to pay for everything but there39s actually a lot of free things to do Outdoor lm hiking library Public places We forget Most media are nonrivalrous public goods consumption by one does not affect the consumption by others and it can be free Sharing does not diminish value First copy cost impact of digital distribution The rst copy is always more expensive than the latter cost with tangible things like CDs and newspapers Impact of digital distribution reduces this You can download and upload but you can never actually own a digital copy You can share but it39s not that easy to share digital content 3 independent production despite new opportunities is still almost impossible loss ofagency Most importantly we are made not care about things that have dire consequences for our lives QUIZ section actIVIty 2 Friday October 16 2015 232 PM 1 Role of Advertising What is the relationship between advertising and media production What are new types of advertising Does advertising bene t media production or hurt it The role of advertising is to help offset the costs of production New types of advertising include product placement native ads social media ads cookies and celebrity endoursements Concentration of Ownership What is media concentration and conglomeration How are they similar or different from each other Conglomeration is a company buying out or merging with smaller companies to create one big company Concentration is the result of conglomeration What is the relationship between competition and diversity What variables affect this relationship Competition between big companies is virtually nonexistent because everybody wins in media and they tend to work together toward a common goal This is concentration and this also reduces diversity What is the political impact of commercial corporate ownership of news and other forms of media Much of our politics then are ltered through one or very few views Television 20 Are you happy with the diversity of television content that is offered to you Relate you discussion to the quotlogic of safetyquot principle for the kinds of programs that appear on primetime television Why do television executives pursue this quotlogic of safetyquot How does it impact your cultural lives Logic of safety is when producers make things that follow a successful format that pretty much are bound to succeed and also cost effective to produce Opinion Much of the public is still unsatis ed because we want something new and not following the same pattern Do you agree with either of the criticisms that McChesney received from Tyler Cowen and Benjamin M Compaine Discuss both critics Cowen power lies with the consumers because we vote with our dollar McChesney power lies with the producers because we are only choosing from a b or c Compaine big companies have the ability to fail because they can afford it without it affecting them too much According to Robert Reich39s article 39Big Tech has become way to powerful39 what role is Antitrust laws play in the free market Do you feel that we need fewer or more Antitrust laws today Antitrust laws were made to protect against monopolies and cartels Cartels are big groups of conglomerates that decide they will give the public one thing and nothing else and run anyone else out if they try to stop them Opinion we should have less antitrust laws because they actually encourage companies to work together and make monopolies and competition would increase diversity Article notes There can39t be a market without government The important question Who has the most in uence over the decisions of rules and how do they win the game Information and ideas are the most valuable forms of property quotintellectual propertyquot is key to building a new economy but without government deciding what is considered intellectual property and who owns it the new economy would not exist quotThe most valuable intellectual properties are platforms so widely used that everyone else has to use them tooquot EX top websites like Google Facebook and Amazon quotWhenever markets become concentrated consumers end up paying more than they otherwise would and innovations are squelchedquot EX rates of new businesses has fallen in the US Big tech has patent platforms lawyers and lobbyists that create barriers to new people quotBut the winners are big enough to game the system They make small improvements warranting new patents effectively making their intellectual property semipermanent They also lay claim to whole terrains of potential innovation including ideas barley on drawing boards and ood the system with so many application that lone inventors have to wait yearsquot EX Google and Apple quotInvestigators also found evidence that Google was pushing its products ahead to competitors39 on search results though no legal action was recommended on this pointquot quotEconomic and political power can39t be separated because dominant corporations gain political in uence over how markets are maintained and enforced which enlarges their economic power further One of the original goals of antitrust law was to prevent thisquot How does government organize the market and who has the most in uence over its decisions Big tech dominates our economy and politics quotyet as long as we remain obsessed by the debate over the relative merits of the quotfree marketquot and quotgovernmentquot we have little hope of seeing what39s occurring and taking the action that39s needed to make our economy work for the many not the fewquot quotOne crucial barrier keeps citizens from opposing the current structure the notion that the US media system is based upon the competitive market and the competitive market despite its limitations is the best possible system because it quotgives the people what they wantquot Is the media system a competitive market When people want a certain type of content media corporations will compete to provide such content quotThe system works as long as the government does not try to interfere with its operationsquot quotMedia markets are in many respects textbook examples of corporatedominated oligopolistic markets ruled by a small number of rmsquot Media markets work to the advantage of larger players making it hard to become a media producer Horizontal integration economic concentration in which a rm tries to have as large a percentage of the industry39s output as possible Economic concentration reduces risk because it makes barriers to entry and shut out newcomers raising the pro ts of those already inside This gives companies control over pricing and leverage to extract high rates from advertisers Horizontal integration also opens up new pro tmaking opportunities Media consolidation begets further consolidation quotAs Nicholas Garnham asserts media quotconcentration is in different forms the essence of survival in the media sector since it alone ensures the necessary economies of either scale or scopequot It is on these grounds that media concentration is defended as necessary and economically justifiedquot Vertical integration owning both the content and the means to distribute the content Vertical integration lowers costs risk and increases pro t Three main tiers of media rms 1 Vertically integrated powerhouses and vast conglomerates Composed of Time Warner Viacom News Corporation Sony General Electric Bertelsmann and Disney with combinations of lm studios TV Networks cable TV channel book publishing newspapers radio stations music companies etc 1 Major players in a single area or two related areas 0 Firms like Cox New York Times Gannett Clear Chanel etc 1 Made of thousands of smaller media rms that ll in the cracks but sometimes have in uence in certain markets Conglomeration and Synergy Conglomeration A company owning and managing several unrelated operations Synergy the pro t whole is greater than the sum of the pro t parts quotSome of the most important synergy comes from developing merchandising opportunitiesquot quotconglomeration can signi cantly affect media content and push companies away from directly addressing the audience39s needs and desiresquot quotTo compete successfully in many media sectors a rm must be a conglomeratequot Firsttier media conglomerates would rather keep close connections to one another and get along than start a war quotConsolidation only increases the pressures on media groups to cooperatequot quotIn areas of the economy other than media conglomeration has rarely proven effective management expertise in one area does not translate well to unrelated eldsquot Lessons about media conglomeration and synergy 1 The rst times media giants tried to expand into the internet were costly and ineffective 2 Synergy does not always develop with conglomeration quotThe moral of the story synergy takes time and is rislql It is also helped by astute management All in all the smart money is betting on further concentrationquot Is the market appropriate to regulate media What separates the media market from other markets 1 The nature of media content is different from other things quotsubjecting ideas culture and journalism to the market is problematicquot because it may diminish diversity 2 quotControl over public information over the news over the culture offers tremendous bene ts for media owners and it is a privilege owners have historically enjoyed sometimes to democracy39s detrimentquot 3 quotMost media are by nature nonrivalrous public goods and this undermines the traditional justi cation for market regulationquot 4 Media markets are shaped by networks like distribution networks for newspapers books music lms TV and computers 5 First copy costs Most expenses go to making the rst copy so media industries then tend to have higher risk because a large investment is made before the size of demand is clear 6 Labor relations Media rms want to pay their employees as little as possible Creative talent though produces content and there is a scarcity which is why stars can earn such high salaries quotTo some extent then celebrity obsession is the product of commercial mediaquot Creativity versus commerce in the conglomerate era quotmedia content requires that creative talent be given a certain amount of autonomy this goes directly against the corporate imperative to intervene and thereby reduce risk and maximize pro tquot quotOne great irony of commercial media is that the market instead of generating experimental content tends to be quite conservativequot Smart media owners go after programs that they know will succeed so they base shows on things that have been successful in the past and make prequels and sequels Lowest common denominator programing programing with wide appeal across the population things that won39t be dif cult to grasp inexpensive to produce and effective at capturing audience attention Media concentration and conglomeration have made it more dif cult for creative artists to do original and interesting work quotWhile artists need latitude to develop their work the structural pressures of conglomerates tend to reduce their freedom The good stuff usually gets made not because of the system but because of what creative people can do when they work against the logic of the systemquot Most good music ran outside the corporate system quotThe tension between owners advertisers and creative talent also manifests itself in the media39s political content Many Americans learn more about the political and social world from entertainment fare than from journalism or the educational system Moreover entertainment does not have as many professional lters to restrict explicit social criticism as does journalismquot So do commercial media give people what they want Commercial media strives to give people what they want quotgiving the people what they wantquot respects liberal freedom to choose their own media quotConcentration and conglomeration as We demonstrated raise signi cant barriers to an effectively operating free market To the extent that the market is oligopolistic and vertically integrated power shifts from consumers to producersquot This argument of giving people what they want becomes circular because the media rms produce a narrow range of options for consumers to choose from quotA market driven media system in a society with pronounced inequality will have structural pressures to reinforce rather than to challenge such inequality those on top will tend to drive the media to bene t those on topquot Supply creates demand quotBusiness succeeds rather better than the state in imposing restraints upon individuals because its imperatives are disguised as choicesquot Walton Hale Hamilton quotActing only as consumers citizens cannot address their social concerns effectivelyquot Externalities economic and social costs of a market transaction that do not factor into the decision making of the product39s buyer or seller EX of media externalities Advertising 0 Violent programming making society more violent Glorifying the use of tobacco products or alcohol Media externalities affecting children and those regarding journalism are at the center of concern Children are being desensitized to violence and sex through the media Capitalists will produce journalism that creates the greatest pro t and not necessarily the best news quotThe cost to society in the form of ignorant lousy governance and less ful lled individuals arguable is immensely high economically culturally and politicallyquot quotThe lessons are clear public regulation of commercial media market must address negative externalities Even more important a signi cant nonpro t and noncommercial media sector must help generate positive externalitiesquot The case for the status quo Media scholar Tyler Cowen quotmaintains that conglomerates do not control the culture but that consumers doquot quotHe states that most conglomerates earn poor returns because their structure does not make economic sense and that conglomerates are breaking up because synergy has failedquot Internet may introduce signi cant levels of new competition quotInternet is chie y part of the commercial media system and therefore looks toward complementing not challenging the work of existing media giantsquot quotmedia ownership doesn39t explain everything and concentrated media ownership does not cause all the problems with the mediaquot quotstrong policy measures and subsidies are needed to encourage a vibrant nonpro t and noncommercial media sectorquot


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