Friday, October 9, 2009

Analysis Question 2

Whether or not a state should revise its rules on media ownership depend on the rules of each nation state. I believe that countries such as Iran and China with tight control on the media and ownership should definitely reconsider their legislation, however, as their present governments' remain in power, that seems unlikely to happen. While these examples seem obvious, other countries that should probably revise media ownership rules, are more ambiguous.
While the number and type of outlets may have risen, oftentimes they are just another facet of a larger company. I knew that Disney, Time-Warner, and other companies had media empires, but didn't realize their full scope until last week's readings. So while it may seem that having more outlets, would provide us with a greater range of opinions and programming, in reality that may not be the case depending on who actually owns those outlets. If we have two more news channels pop up it may sound like we'll be getting different views, but if they're both owned by Time-Warner, we'll probably just get copies of CNN.
From our previous readings we've heard that the US used to have boundaries on the amount of media one company could own, but it was eventually abolished, thanks in part to lobbying by the large transnational corporations. While I doubt it would be possible to re-limit ownership, it seems that there could be something done to improve access to the "contra-flows" of information coming from other regions/countries. As we discussed in class, the US tends to export a lot of its media, but imports very little. I think competition from non-US sources could improve the quality of media that we receive. While MSNBC, CNN, and FOX have no real competition they have no reason to improve their operations and we're still stuck with the same sources.
Luckily new media has made it easier for us to access these sources, if we know where to look. As we talked about in class, I think educating people on how to be media consumers would be beneficial and teach us where to find these other media sources and how to critically evaluate media as a whole. As for overall regulations, I guess I'm a bit pessimistic and feel like it would be overly influenced by lobbying from the corporations. However, if the public as a whole learns to become better consumers, we may be able to influence change through the free-market, which is what those large companies are always lobbying for anyway.

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