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Does Mega Media Control 90% of Content? 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the biggest-piece-of-the-pie dept.
smitty777 writes "FastCo has an intriguing article on the vast control of our media by the mega corporations. In the article, Cliff Kuang disputes such claims by the the Frugal Dad that the revenue for the Big Six was over $275.9 billion, and that these companies are in cahoots to control our viewing. Just how much do these companies control?"
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Does Mega Media Control 90% of Content?

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  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudsonNO@SPAMbarbara-hudson.com> on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:29AM (#38343126) Journal

    and that these companies are in cohorts to control our viewing

    ... too bad they're not in cahoots to help improve the use of the English language.

    • by Helpadingoatemybaby (629248) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:44AM (#38343304)
      You don't understand -- the companies are in cohorts which makes sense in context of "the fugal dad" -- clearly a reference to a father playing the flugelhorn with his cohorts. It's very high-level stuff here. When slashdot hires editors someday the puns will be even more brilliant.
    • by pushing-robot (1037830) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:46AM (#38343332)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fugue_state [wikipedia.org]

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohort_(military_unit) [wikipedia.org]

      I think the summary is great entertainment. Why do you read Slashdot...to be informed?

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      and that these companies are in cohorts to control our viewing

      ... too bad they're not in cahoots to help improve the use of the English language.

      Moot point when you don't even watch TV because it's so awful.

      The shame is, with the merger between XM and Sirius, the satellite radio is gravitating toward utter and complete awfulness, too.

      Small wonder big media, via the representatives they own in Washington continue to wage war against public broadcasting. Not satisfied with 90% of the market, they want that last morsel, too.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Curunir_wolf (588405)

        Small wonder big media, via the representatives they own in Washington continue to wage war against public broadcasting. Not satisfied with 90% of the market, they want that last morsel, too.

        Not sure why they would care. NPR is compromised and caters to their corporate sponsors just as much as the rest of the main stream media. They've even started inserting ads in the middle of their stories, just like the other stations. The only real difference is that the Federal government is also a sponsor, so they have to cater to them, too.

        • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday December 12, 2011 @01:40PM (#38344792)

          You want NPR to be less compromised? Contribute more. The Public radio stations make it easy to donate whatever you want.

          Too hard? Oh, I misunderstood. I thought you wanted a solution, rather than just whine.

          For your reference, Public radio stations (at least mine) are approximately 30% compromised by corporations, 8% by the state government, 2% by the federal government, and 60% by the listening public.

          To paraphrase Asimov, to think that corporate media and public radio are equally compromised is to be more wrong than if you'd think just one of them was compromised.

  • No he doesn't (Score:5, Informative)

    by esocid (946821) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:30AM (#38343134) Journal
    He disputes that there is some big agenda. He admits that a few companies have consolidated almost all media outlets, but like most people, doesn't think there's some agenda to pour out crappy media. Those companies do it just fine independently.
    • Re:No he doesn't (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:39AM (#38343260) Homepage Journal

      Indeed. There's no agenda to put out crappy media, but the vast consolidation gives them an oligopoly. With only five competetitors, and all of them producing dreck, there's no need to produce anything BUT dreck.

      In the end it'll bite them in the ass; the RIAA companies are already obsolete, and as the price of video equipment comes down and the quality goes up, the same will happen to the movie/TV industry.

      Meanwhile, has anybody noticed how more pervasive advertising is than it was before all the consolidation? Three minutes of content followed by four minutes of commercials. It's insane and obscene. I've never seen as much advertising in my whole life as I have in the last ten years. And these people complain they can't make any money? Gomme a break!

      • This is why (Score:3, Interesting)

        by arcite (661011)
        I refuse to watch TV channels with commercials.
        • Which is why I DVR the TV shows I like and watch them later while skipping the commercials. One hour TV shows are like 40 minutes (and getting shorter) now. I would add in commercial skip, but it messes up sometimes. I"ll edit the commercials out for the shows I want to keep.

      • Re:No he doesn't (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:56AM (#38343454) Homepage Journal

        In the end it'll bite them in the ass; the RIAA companies are already obsolete

        For one thing, notable record labels provide promotion on commercial FM radio to reach people without smartphones capable of using Internet radio. Not every town has a college radio station that plays all genres. For another thing, even if the RIAA is obsolete, that doesn't mean NMPA, Harry Fox, ASCAP, BMI, and other trade associations of music publishers are obsolete.

        as the price of video equipment comes down and the quality goes up, the same will happen to the movie/TV industry.

        Even with the price of HDTV cameras plummeting, I don't see the price of competent writing, directing, acting, sets, and the like plummeting. Furthermore, a movie needs a soundtrack, and licensing diegetic music for use in movies set after 1922 can exceed and has exceeded (e.g. Clerks) the rest of the cost of the film put together.

        • Re:No he doesn't (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid@gm3.1415926ail.com minus pi> on Monday December 12, 2011 @12:01PM (#38343520) Homepage Journal
          I don't see the price of competent writing, directing, acting, sets, and the like plummeting.

          Robert Rodriguez, Shane Carruth and hundreds of others would like to have a word with you.
        • Re:No he doesn't (Score:5, Informative)

          by Lumpy (12016) on Monday December 12, 2011 @12:32PM (#38343884) Homepage

          "Even with the price of HDTV cameras plummeting, I don't see the price of competent writing, directing, acting, sets, and the like plummeting. "

          I do. Actors that get $2.2mill per movie are going away. I see a LOT of indie films that are better than hollywood flicks made for far less and the actors not getting paid obscene amounts of money.

          Padre Nuestro was made with cheap acting and cheap writing and directing.
          Brokeback Mountain was made with cheap acting and cheap writing and directing.
          Requiem for a Dream, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, etc... all for examples of RECENT films made without paying insane money to writes, directors and Actors.

          In fact many of the Best films in history were low budget and not outrageous cost.

          In fact Robert Rodriguez makes some of the absolute best films ever for less than the catering bill for many of the Hollywood "block busters"

          • by tepples (727027)

            I see a LOT of indie films that are better than hollywood flicks

            Who is going to get them shown in theaters or otherwise promote them in the United States other than the big six MPAA studios?

            Requiem for a Dream

            You're right: Lionsgate isn't in the MPAA. Yet.

            Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

            Distributed by Focus, part of NBCUniversal, part of the MPAA.

            • by Lumpy (12016)

              "Distributed by Focus, part of NBCUniversal, part of the MPAA."

              Distributed. you do realize they dont distribute a movie until AFTER it has been made? They did not pay those actors more than a normal working mans salary.

              Just because that distributor offered up a large sum to buy it does not mean the actors, writers, and director got paid millions.

              • by tepples (727027)

                you do realize they dont distribute a movie until AFTER it has been made?

                My reply to that would have to depend on the terms of the typical distribution contract for an indie film. Google film distribution contract didn't help me figure out what those are. For example, who owns the sequel rights, the book/game/etc adaptation rights, etc.?

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            I do. Actors that get $2.2mill per movie are going away. I see a LOT of indie films that are better than hollywood flicks made for far less and the actors not getting paid obscene amounts of money.

            They're already gone. Very few people care about the big stars.

            Check out the cast list sometimes of the big blockbusters. They almost always feature unknown people these days. Maybe one headliner, but that's it. Having a movie with more than one celebrity is getting rarer and rarer. Most sport several unknowns who

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          For one thing, notable record labels provide promotion on commercial FM radio to reach people without smartphones capable of using Internet radio.

          I don't have a smartphone, but I have two computers, each capable of listening to any internet station out there. My 80 year old dad is one of a very few people I know without a computer. I don't know anyone who has a smartphone and no computer.

          Not every town has a college radio station that plays all genres.

          No, but almost all of those stations stream over the int

          • I have two computers, each capable of listening to any internet station out there.

            Unless one of these is a laptop with mobile broadband service, you still can't listen to Internet radio in a car or bus.

            Have you seen Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning?

            No. But from what I've gathered on the Amazon.co.uk listing, the film is in Finnish with English subtitles. Notwithstanding The Passion of the Christ, a lot of the market demands a dub as at least an option. And what would they have done had CBS not licensed Star Trek to them?

            There are thousands upon thousands of such talented people mostly playing in bars. There is no shortage of people with any talent you need.

            Perhaps you misunderstood what I meant by "diegetic music". Say a film is set in year 19XX, and the script calls f

            • by Bucky24 (1943328)

              Unless one of these is a laptop with mobile broadband service, you still can't listen to Internet radio in a car or bus.

              That's really no longer an issue for many people. Smartphones can easily access internet radio streams, and are much more portable then laptops (note I said many people, not all. I am aware that a lot of people don't have smartphones still).

        • Re:No he doesn't (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Monday December 12, 2011 @01:13PM (#38344454) Homepage Journal

          Even with the price of HDTV cameras plummeting, I don't see the price of competent writing, directing, acting, sets, and the like plummeting.

          Not to mention the cost for a commercial MPEG license [dylanreeve.com], required for anything you film with that HD camera.

        • Even with the price of HDTV cameras plummeting, I don't see the price of competent writing, directing, acting, sets, and the like plummeting.

          Well, since I don't see the companies in question employing competent writers, directors or actors, I don't see how the cost of such has any impact on those who might attempt to compete with them.

      • Re:No he doesn't (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642) on Monday December 12, 2011 @12:03PM (#38343540)

        With only five competetitors, and all of them producing dreck, there's no need to produce anything BUT dreck.

        You make it sound as bad as domestic car companies. Or banks. Or fast food "restaurants". Hmm. I think we're on to a pattern here...

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Meanwhile, has anybody noticed how more pervasive advertising is than it was before all the consolidation?

        That would be a great chart. Number of media companies vs advertising time per hour.

      • Re:No he doesn't (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Monday December 12, 2011 @12:05PM (#38343566)

        I know, I'm very happy to be in my mid-twenties during the age where the Internet is really exploding and realizing its power. There's are some *fantastic* people who create entertainment on their own and it comes out way better and more interesting than a lot of the crap on the telly. freddiew [youtube.com] and Monty Oum [deviantart.com] come to mind as a couple of standout examples. Then there's there's loads of fun projects like SMBC Theater [smbc-theater.com] and 5 second films [5secondfilms.com]. There's even more "Mainstream" stuff (Internet-wise) like CrackedTV, CollegeHumor, and FunnyOrDie making original videos. I think in 5 years we'll really be at the point where the stuff on the Internet is as good as (if not more interesting than) the stuff on television.

        The only barrier that needs to be broken is the duration of videos. Most of these places will put out 1-10 minutes of content a week. There's very little cohesive shows (like sitcoms or dramas) that I've found that can consistantly produce 20+ 22-minute episodes once a year.

        Last recommendation: Next Time on Lonny [youtube.com].

        If anyone else knows of any good shows, dramas, whatever hosted online (I'm particularly fond of stuff like Penny Arcade Television as well), please post them here in a reply. I'd love to check out some new stuff. I've almost entirely phased television out of my life.

      • there's no need to produce anything BUT dreck.

        Worse, there's no *motivation* to produce anything but dreck. When you have a small number of competitors, then everyone is looking for the lowest common denominator, and nobody is really looking for the niche.

        On the other hand, there is some real non-dreck out there. There are shows like "Breaking Bad" and "Louie", which are, in my opinion, amazing. God only knows how "Louie" got on the air.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        "and as the price of video equipment comes down and the quality goes up, the same will happen to the movie/TV industry."

        I suggest you look up the Tv show "Pioneer One" Oh hell, here.... http://vodo.net/pioneerone [vodo.net] for you lazy people.

        Also explore what else is there on Vodo.net.

        It's already happening, Hollywierd is doomed.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Hey, thanks for the link! Haven't heard of that one, will check it out (on the 42 inch screen the computer's plugged into) when I get home.

      • by mapkinase (958129)

        What advertisement? The only advertisement I see nowadays is the one modded up to the top of the front pages of social networks, under the title "cool advertisement" or something like that.

        Thank you, ADP and NS.

      • by asdbffg (1902686)

        Before we rush to blame big media consolidation for the flood of crappy content, let us consider that "Mall Cop" made more money than "Inglorious Basterds,"District 9," and "Up in the Air ". The Hurt Locker has a box office ranking of #116 for that year. "Star Wars: Episode III" is the top film of 2005. The #2 film of 2010, "Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen," has grossed over $400 million.

        As long as people keep paying for crap, crap will continue to be made. It's a no brainer.

      • by kent_eh (543303)

        Indeed. There's no agenda to put out crappy media, but the vast consolidation gives them an oligopoly. With only five competetitors, and all of them producing dreck, there's no need to produce anything BUT dreck.

        The less competition there is, the less work they have to do to compete.
        Which means, the less they have to come up with new ideas. They just default to the same behaviors that all big companies do: playing it safe.
        And in entertainment, that means more of the same.

        More Jersy Shore clones.
        More "housewives of..."
        More fake drama applied to "reality" situations.

        And more fake outrage and opinion force-feeding trying to pass for journalism.
        Bleah
        The last time my cable company increased my rates, I dropped

    • Well, many of us don't like the MSM, and are now getting our news raw and unfiltered. I don't care that the MSM controls 90% of the content, because it is the same old crappy content they've always controlled. With the internet, there is a whole new world of content waiting to be discovered. Singers that can sing without autotune, bands that can play instruments, actors that can actually change personality to suit the role, and artists that can create lasting works of beauty, with subtle messages on the hum

      • by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Monday December 12, 2011 @12:09PM (#38343616) Homepage Journal

        Well, many of us don't like the MSM, and are now getting our news raw and unfiltered.

        Provided they have the time to sit in front of a computer desk. A lot of people have trouble giving up the MSM for video because they don't want to buy another PC for the HDTV or worse yet both buy a PC and replace the SDTV in the living room with an HDTV. Other people have trouble giving up the MSM for music because only smartphones can play Internet radio in the car or on the bus, and they aren't willing to pay for smartphone service.

        I don't care that the MSM controls 90% of the content, because it is the same old crappy content they've always controlled. With the internet, there is a whole new world of content waiting to be discovered.

        Until the MSM starts suing Internet artists on trumped-up charges of plagiarism.

        The 90% of the people can't really appreciate the finer nuanced artistic works, let them have the MSM.

        Are you sure that we'd want that? If 90 percent have the MSM, then 90 percent are letting the MSM tell them for whom to vote [pineight.com] and on which issues to choose a candidate. For example, which MSM source has thoroughly covered opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act?

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          "....MSM for video because they don't want to buy another PC for the HDTV..... "

          Then they are stupid looking at buying a PC, a $99.00 roku box solves this. IF you are so poor that you balk at buying a $99.00 device but cling to your $130 a month cable TV bill, you are mentally challenged...

          Hell even 6 months of CableTV will buy you a super high power HTPC that looks like a high end piece of stereo gear.

          • $130 a month cable TV bill

            $130? Try an order of magnitude less. I've read in comments to past stories about Internet VOD that some cable companies offer TV for only $5/mo more to their current Internet customers. For another thing, are there any non-MSM sports available over the Internet that would appeal to a fan of NCAA football, NFL, and NHL?

            • by Lumpy (12016)

              Please tell me where people are getting Cable TV for a order of magnitude less.

              $13.00 a month Cable TV? Not a chance.

              • by tepples (727027)

                Please tell me where people are getting Cable TV for a order of magnitude less.

                You'd have to ask ShavedOrangutan [slashdot.org] where he or she lives. (I can't because it's been more than two weeks, and Slashdot locks two-week-old discussions.) The cable operator offers Internet for $75 or Internet + TV for $80.

              • by Patch86 (1465427)

                I hope you're joking, or I will be forced to find the US terrifying in a whole new way.

                In the UK, Virgin's cable TV package is something like £12.50 a month ($20 or so). $130 a month (US Dollars?) for TV is scandalous.

      • by dzfoo (772245)

        Is the MSM related to the FSM?

        • MSM is the anglicized name meaning "Mandarin Spaghetti Monster." The non-anglicized, but loosely translated version, is "Flying Lo-Mein Monster" aka FLMM. It's the Chinese aspect of the one true pasta lord.

    • Re:No he doesn't (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:45AM (#38343328) Homepage Journal

      Pretty much. They all play and or show what is most profitable. Thing is that what is most profitable is usually not what is best.
      The other issue are the cable companies. I live in a town of over 200,000 people. We can got only a single network OTA we get about 10 other stations that are religious and or none english but only one network. The reason is that the cable companies are pulling in the network stations from bigger markets near by. Before cable the other stations in my area would have been snapped up to be affiliates. Now the networks see no reason to do that. They get just as many viewers but from fewer stations.
      It isn't some great evil plot other than a plot to make as much money as possible.

      • I am 60 years old so I grew up in the era of there being only 3 TV channels and a educational TV station showing classroom style programming. The message of consumerism was far stronger and less diluted then than it is now.

        This was far less diverse than what is available today, and yet when the time came we were ready to rise up in protest.

        I really don't see an issue with the media today. The breath of opinion and education available is staggering in comparison to what is was.

        • Re:No he doesn't (Score:5, Insightful)

          by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday December 12, 2011 @12:32PM (#38343886)

          The message of consumerism was far stronger and less diluted then than it is now.

          Perhaps you should take a look at what your grandkids and their friends are watching. I have trouble believing that you could push the consumerism message much stronger than this crap:

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTV
          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gossip_girl
          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_the_city
          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESPN (no, really, this is not just about sports)

          Today's methods of advertising and convincing people to buy things are less overt than they were in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, but they are far more effective. Popular TV shows, and especially shows whose target audience is the 13-24 age, are designed to cultivate a desire to buy things -- clothes, soft drinks, video games, fast food, music, etc. The whole point of MTV, from its inception, was to be a 24/7 advertisement to teenagers, and there has been an effort to maximize the amount of advertising that can be squeezed into every minute.

          Today's message is this: buy things. Period. You are not supposed to be a participant in a capitalist system, exchanging your skills and goods for some other person's, you are just supposed to buy things that other people made.

      • They all play and or show what is most profitable.

        This more than any other reason explains the rise of Idiocracy-style 'reality' shows; you don't need to hire compentent writers; just trawl for the worst examples of humanity and set the voyeur-cams to auto.

    • doesn't think there's some agenda to pour out crappy media

      Crappy media is secondary to the real agenda: convincing everyone that they should keep buying things. That is why none of the big entertainment companies* were willing to advertise this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buy_Nothing_Day [wikipedia.org]

      * Feel free to insert remarks about news being a form of entertainment, Mr. Murdoch.

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        You mean the 'big entertainment companies', whose income is derived either from directly selling their own products, or by selling advertising for other products, don't support 'Buy nothing day'? Shocking!!! What's next? Oil companies not supporting 'don't drive week' or labor unions not supporting 'exploit your workers month'?

    • Re:No he doesn't (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eclectus (209883) on Monday December 12, 2011 @12:21PM (#38343750) Homepage

      The quote from Jobs pretty much sums it up well.

      "When you're young, you look at television and think, There's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That's a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It's the truth." - Steve Jobs, Interview in WIRED magazine (February 1996)

      • by hitmark (640295)

        Or more like "what they put up with" then "what they want".

        Then again i also suspect that the "better horse" quote can rather be interpreted as lack of a means to describe what one want then actually wanting a better horse. When your trying to explain something that do not really exist yet, do you go with making up words or try to root it in existing words and objects?

    • by mapkinase (958129)

      Also, I challenge everybody to take 6 top companies in any industry and see how much of the market they control.

  • Fugal? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sez Zero (586611) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:32AM (#38343170) Journal
    Fugal should be Frugal and should not link to an advertisement for a Dell laptop coupon.
  • Anyone who doesn't believe it, try youtubing from a company other than one of the majors. Moving recently to Germany has highlighted just how little there is that isn't claimed by the big 4. Seriously, 7/10 videos I click through to display "Unfortunately, this -music-content is not available in Germany because GEMA has not granted the respective music publishing rights.". In this case, it was UMG. Surprise surprise. On of all things, a Rammstein video. What?!
  • "Just how much does the FCC help these companies control?"

    There, I fixed that for ya.
    • by spidercoz (947220)
      lol, you're cute
    • by Bucky24 (1943328)
      Does the FCC regulate the major media producers? Aren't they charged with regulating the content DELIVERERS? Or do the main media producers deliver their own content to consumers? Seems to me like the FCC would be dealing with Dish Network, DirectTV, Comcast, ect, rather then the major media conglomerates that actually produce the content.
  • Sure, 'OLD' media controls the advertising and programing, content, what we see and hear throughout our day....but it is increasingly user generated content that is beyond big media's grasp. Websites, blogs, instant messaging, it's all User generated and unfiltered (for now). Everyone in the world today has the technology to block 99.9% of all advertising, tracking software, bypass firewalls, to have greater control over their own exposure and experiences. To be sure, the corporate and governmental PsyOps
    • The message of the big media companies is that you should be out buying your way to happiness. The medium is irrelevant, the old media executives will find a way to take control of everything -- already, they are finding ways to turn blogs, Facebook, and other "new media" concepts into new vehicles for their message.

      Everyone in the world today has the technology to block 99.9% of all advertising

      Technology that is going unused by the masses. If it is not the default, it is not going to be used by more than a minority of people.

      each of us has the power to take control. The choice is ours.

      If the proles knew their strength, they would have no

  • All your comments are belong to them
  • by cmv1087 (2426970) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:40AM (#38343276)

    not disputing it. By asserting that profit margins are thin (so the incentive to take risks is lower), that media companies are messy businesses (apparently, he believes organized media output is a myth), and that the corporations listed are so large that controlling all departments is a tall order, he doesn't seem to think the consolidation is anything to worry about. His fact checking is minimal, mostly constrained to making fun of some math gone wrong and telling everyone that his bullshit detector is going off. The infographic itself is pretty neat, but the post criticizing is hardly worth reading, much less linking.

  • by james_van (2241758) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:42AM (#38343292)
    Let's think about how business works - if there are 10 companies doing a particular thing, at any given time, 1 or more will decide that they want to do more of the particular thing. They will then use leverage/bribery/corporate espionage/collusion/etc to acquire 1 or more of the others. Over time, this will continue until the original 10 are consolidated to the lowest number possible to avoid anti-trust/monopoly actions. And, during all of this time, they will continue to produce whatever thing that the general public will most readily consume. This usually entails things of medium to low quality (high quality is expensive and, in the case of tangible products, has a low replacement rate), dumbed down to appeal to the lowest common denominator and mass marketed with loud, brightly colored advertising. This has been the way of things for many years, this will be the way of things for many years to come. There are a few different models that have managed to squeak by briefly, but theyre rare and often not much better.
  • turn it off (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anonieuweling (536832) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:43AM (#38343300)
    You control that TV.
    You can turn it off.
    Online news can be so refreshing.
    • by Cragen (697038) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:58AM (#38343484)
      If I could, I would turn it all off. (Being a developer, it's a bit hard.) I got sent overseas 30 years ago for a year. (Pre-Internet! lol) We usually got all non-ridiculous news in 3 - 4 days. So, I kicked my news habit. (There was no English TV either, so I also quite accidentally kicked my TV habit.) So, really, how much does this "news" really affect your life? No much, really. Have a nice day. Cheers!
  • Misleading title (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:45AM (#38343330) Homepage Journal

    The title is misleading, and so is the article. The problem is that (what 90% of people see) is different from (90% of what people see).

    To answer the question (why is it a question? The article states as a fact), yes big media controls 90% of what is actualy distributed as old style media. That is different from saying that it owns 90% of the content, and much nearer to saying that a huge proportion of the people will only see what big media shows them.

    That is still a problem, but a different problem.

    • That is different from saying that it owns 90% of the content, and much nearer to saying that a huge proportion of the people will only see what big media shows them.

      Well you have a point, but the real problem is that "big media" owns most of the distribution channels, and that's why most people will only see what big media shows them.

  • I have no way to get solid numbers, but going by the standard rule of thumb for Canada/USA comparisons (10% of US numbers for Canada), we are in a similar boat on media, except that here there are only three major media corporations, and they also control 90% of Internet access as well. The CRTC (Canadian version of the FCC) has been in bed with these three under the guise of "protecting Canadian content" for over 40 years. And Bell Canada along with Rogers Communications own 90% of the Canadian Cell networ
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:49AM (#38343376)
    Just another corporate apologist trying to convince us that everything is fine and that we should just go on with our lives.

    It is not that these companies are conspiring to make our entertainment crappy just for some lulz. They want to convey a particular message and manipulate the population in a particular way. The major media companies refused to air a commercial that encouraged people not to buy anything for just one day -- even though they were being offered the standard rate for airing commercials. The popular shows are just the cheapest possible way to mold everyone's minds, from preschool through adulthood.

    The conspiracy is this: condition everyone to believe that they should buy as many things as possible, and that the ultimate goal in their lives should be to make enough money to do so. Popular entertainment exists to convey that message, with a few hints about what to buy (MacDonald's, diamonds, cars, video games, etc.).
  • How many of you that watch only mainstream media (and slashdot of course) have heard of Occupy Wall Street? And for those that have what have you heard about it?

    I think the answer to this question also answers the much bigger question of how many girls has charlie sheen slept with...

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      I heard about it weeks before the talking heads did. Cripes if you read ANY online news you are usually 48-72 hours or MORE ahead of the worthless idiots on FOx news or CNN.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday December 12, 2011 @11:53AM (#38343430)
    Simple obvious fact one: The larger company will have a larger market share.
    Simple obvious fact two: The smaller company will have less market share.

    So if some companies are bigger then they will have more Market Share and control then the others.

    So if the top 6 companies (assume they are all equal) own 90% share then each one only has 15% market share. Which is big but no means a monopoly.

    Percentages are a way of summarizing real data. However by grouping and summarizing the summary. And clustering data in a particular way you can prove anything you want.

    Think the 99%ers vs. the 53%ers they both choose different measurements and summarize and group values differently to prove their point.

     
    • by Aladrin (926209)

      I think the point wasn't that any of them have a monopoly, even though it's possible 1 of them has over 50% while the rest have considerably less and still add to 90%.

      The point was that with only 6 major companies competing, it's easy for each of them to create garbage because none of the others are bothering to do better. They are technically competing with each other, but they aren't driven to do so.

      And the remaining 10% don't have enough fans to make anything popular and upset the status quo.

      I think som

  • It's all very well owning The Sun, the largest newspaper in Europe (or whatever was claimed) but you could fill that whole damned rag with ads and pictures of kittens; as long as you had one story about a football (soccer) scandal and one story about a soap opera, everyone would go about their lives as normal.

    With the internet in its current state, we can rely on educated people to find their own sources of information, check their reliability and make their own conclusions. Yes it would be nice to have the

  • by mtrachtenberg (67780) on Monday December 12, 2011 @12:10PM (#38343618) Homepage

    Here's the problem in a nutshell. We have access to information and analysis from gazillions of people, but most of us pay attention only to those who are presented as the default choices. Those who are presented as the default choices inevitably represent the opinions of those who own them.

    This is the herding mentality responsible for financial bubbles -- people follow those who are perceived as successful regardless of the lead cow's intelligence and common sense or lack thereof. (Goldman Sachs. QED.)

    The challenge is to restore diversity in what is heard, not just diversity in what is available to be heard. That, unfortunately, is a distributed problem, and cannot be solved by just adding a few voices.

  • he just took a info graphic from another blogger who did all the research while he did not do any and called it bull-crap. because 'he' personally thinks those companies are not out to control what the media reports, despite all the evidence on how murdoch for example runs news corp and all that he owns? or how the news companies G.E. owns were downplaying the whole nuclear crisis in japan because *gasp* they make reactors themselves?
    and he was given top billing on a slashdot article that made the front pag

  • The word "Internet" appears nowhere on that infographic, which appears designed to rile up the lefty animals. Presenting "media" as one monolithic entity fits right in with that blinkered worldview and confirms it, but it is only that: bias confirmation for people inclined to wave blue flags.

  • the real problem is the news. Almost every news outlet is regurgitating the exact same story handed down from some corporate office. There is no more journalism, because journalists aren't allowed to think for themselves. Their opinions have already been written for them and entered into the teleprompter. If you'd like a laugh, google "conan o'brien push the envelope" and you can watch newscasters from across the country reading the exact same dialogue. Every corporation has an agenda. Be it product placeme
  • The only uncontrolled content at the moment can be found on blogs. These will eventually be subverted too, but at the moment, many blogs are not. Zerohedge.com, for all it's sensationalism, does report on real economic events, as does nakedcapitalism.com. Yahoo and MSNBC, of course, are happy-talk propaganda rags designed only to keep consumers/voters distracted from real events and buying stocks and schlock.

    I suggest that anyone who doubts this review these two wiki entries:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_of_media_ownership [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interlocking_directorate [wikipedia.org]

    Bottom line? The same people who own Goldman Sacks and the banks also own the major media outlets, and the messages are tightly controlled. Subtle propaganda is inserted into popular programs (e.g In a recent "House"episode, a man was determined to be mentally ill because he was preparing for social disorder. House calls him an idiot who thinks the world is going to end.) OWS protesters are subtly presented as fools, without ever showing a real discussion. The fact that ousting them from all encampments at the same time required coordination at a national scale is never mentioned. There are endless examples, if you can stop eating cheetos and ignore "Dancing with the stars."

    The only idiots I see are people who believe anything they see on TV or mainstream media news, where truth is merely coincidental.

  • Funny how given the ownership by the few, so many folks still believe that there's a liberal bias to the media.

    That's been a lie by the right for years to try to push the window of perceptions to the right by getting folks to think that right wing views are actually left, it shifts folks to the right without them even thinking about it.

    And yet, even knowing that the MSM is dominated by a half dozen corporations, folks are still probably going to persist in claiming that the media is somehow part of a Huge L

    • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday December 12, 2011 @01:49PM (#38344950)

      Indeed. Going by the logic of the people who generally put forward the notion that the MSM is liberal, the MSM should actually be wholly conservative. After all, they are owned by profit-making corporations, and therefore should be staunchly for standard conservative platforms: lower taxes, less social welfare, corporate personhood, less regulation, more for the "job-creators", foreign imperialism funded by deficit-spending... but we don't hear that.

      Alternatively, there's the argument that the MSM is not interested in the truth, but just in giving the people what they want. If the MSM is indeed liberal, that means that the majority of Americans are liberal.

      Either way, conservatives are falling over their own logic if they claim the MSM is liberal.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday December 12, 2011 @01:27PM (#38344600)

    It's only logical that the media outlets will protect their parents' interests. One example, years ago I was watching John McEnroe's defunct news show on CNBC (?) where he interviewed Robert Kennedy, Jr., a big environmentalist. The conversation took an unexpected turn and RKJr dropped a note about GE, NBC's parent corporation and their poor environmental practices. McEnroe shushed him and the show immediately cut to commercial. When they came back from the break, RKJr was nowhere to be seen.

  • by sgt_doom (655561) on Monday December 12, 2011 @03:11PM (#38345936)
    Five media corporations control the majority of the world's media.

    The fact of the matter is that those six (actually five) corporations which control the majority of the American media are so financially interlocked with the top banks and each other that for all intents and purposes it is really just one monolithic corporation in control.

    Sure, they have their individual and internecine squabbles, but overall everyone tows the line in their psywarfare perpetrated on the rest of us, which was why many of us gave up on the US myth-media long ago (for me, sometime back in the '90s). Turn on Fox, CNN or NPR and you hear the same wannabe stenographers from Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, the trashy NY Times, the same astro-turf outfits erroneously called "think tanks" who give us the future shills to be our Treasury Secretary, etc., etc., etc. and why ANYONE would ever watch the bottom tier propaganda clown acts of ABC and CBS is beyond a sane person's purview.

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