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Impact Of Media Owners On Media Content

The connection between media owners and the content of media is not a simple matter but a puzzle, so to judge it one needs to consider power struggles, influence, subjectivity, and public benefit. In today's world, media ownership plays an important role in shaping what information the public has access to, how perspectives are presented, and even what agendas are prioritized. This paper will delve into some of the numerous methods through which media proprietors deliver content and then gauge the likely consequences such influence would result in and discuss their effects on wider society.

Media ownership means the domination or control of media institutions like newspapers, television stations, radio stations, and online platforms by persons, corporations, or other bodies. The issue of media consolidation has been on the rise concerning the number of large entities that control mass media, leading to fears over the lack of diversity of opinions, editorial autonomy, and how democratic the media would be.

Media owners can affect the content through a number of means, and editorial control is one of them. Most owners and executives in various media organizations have the power to appoint or dismiss editors, journalists, reporters, news readers as well as other staff members. Such authorities are also mandated with the task of setting guidelines and policies for their respective media houses that determine what should be aired or written about and how it should be presented.

This might lead to certain narratives or perspectives being promoted while others are marginalized. For example, a company-owned media house may emphasize stories that favour its business interests or political patrons but shy away from issues that may damage them.

Indirectly, media owners have a way to shape content using advertising, political and commercial pressure. The revenue of the media outlet is largely sourced from advertisements that contribute toward its profitability. So, in this case, advertisers can control the content by threatening to remove their financial support, leading to self-censorship and thus withholding stories which might upset advertisers or impact revenues.

Also, the owners of media outlets are likely to employ their platforms to disseminate news about other business deals or political goals they may have; this is an added measure of how much influence they exert over their audience's understanding of news and current events.

In addition to shaping content, media ownership influences the choice of news and its presentation. It is common that media owners or executives may decide on coverage of events and their slant towards either positivity or negativity or even towards the political party they favour and derive mutual benefits from.

Such bias would ensure stories that emphasize stereotypes or prejudices and fail to address real issues such as sensationalism, communalism, division in society, unemployment, or triviality over substantive concerns. Moreover, there is a possibility that media owners may influence information concerning a specific event or theme in order to promote their agenda.

It has been found that in certain situations, media tycoons may resort to censorship to prevent the airing of information that can harm their business dealings or the relations they have with influential people or organizations. The media owners may specifically tell their journalists not to cover any issues related to sensitive topics and also to reduce coverage of unflattering stories in order not to upset advertisers, ideological masters or other key stakeholders.

Control over narrative, as well as the framing of news stories, gives an ability to influence public opinion and determine how policy discussions go, which is an advantage for their business or political partners.

Homogenization of content could occur if one entity owns multiple media platforms, and this implies that a diversity of opinions and voices are excluded in favour of a common editorial line. The consequences may be a reduction in the diversity of views and ideas available to the general public, undermining critical reflection and public conversation.

Another far-reaching impact of media consolidation is its influence on society. Lack of diversity in media ownership can restrict the variation of opinions and ideas presented to the audience, and their involvement in public discussions may end up narrowing down significantly or even becoming non-existent. Moreover, media convergence can diminish competition and diversity within the market; therefore, well-established actors can exercise considerable control over content quality and amount, which will affect public opinion.

To address these issues, various demands have been made to bring about increased transparency and accountability in media ownership along with programs aimed at promoting diversity and the independence of media. It is proposed that regulatory measures such as ownership caps and cross-ownership restrictions should be implemented to prevent over-consolidation in the media industry and foster competition. Furthermore, the promotion of initiatives aimed at developing media literacy skills among individuals can enable them to identify and question any form of propaganda.

To sum up, the influence that media owners exercise on media content is considerable and widespread, and it affects such spheres of work as editorial choice as well as the selection of the news and its framing. The information presented to the public is controlled by media owners who have a vast amount of power that shapes public conversation and influences public sentiment. But at the same time, this control is fraught with difficulties and can lead to negative effects, raising key issues on the part of mass media in democratic society and reinforcing more openness, diversity, and accountability in ownership and content production.

Case Analysis:
A particular media house let us assume 'ABKee Group' has suddenly changed its ideological, political, moral, journalistic and secular values. It leaves no opportunity to castigate the people and organisation it doesn't like and sing virtues of the people and organisation with which it has secret understanding.

This media house is regularly and subtly spreading hatred between different communities through their biased and communal reporting in the print and electronic media under their control leading to polarization of the general public along communal lines which might ultimately favour the group and organization they are hand in glove with, in the general elections.

In any debate organized by this media house their anchors are seen openly and shamelessly speaking in favour of one group and finding faults with another group. They cleverly invite people of their choice during any discussion to buttress their point of view. Their divisive and parochial media policy is ruining the social fabric by injecting hatred and division in the society. Wherever you travel either by bus or local trains, everywhere people are found divided communally in their mundane discussions.

ABKee Media Group owns a lot of channels, newspapers, and online news portals. The focus of the conglomerate is to achieve political and economic clout, profitability as well as to hold influence in the media sector. In order to fulfil these objectives, it is likely that the owners may wield considerable power over the material created by their different platforms. This control manifests itself in several ways when we consider how their ownership can shape content.

The editorial bias of ABKee Media Group is likely to be linked to the political, commercial or ideological inclinations of its owners that can distort the editorial line in their news outlets. It is plausible that they may coerce news presenters, reporters and editors to shape the content in accordance with their opinions, thus fostering biased coverage or restricted exploration of some problems.

Given the interest for commercial purposes, ABKee Media Group, a for-profit organization, bases its advertising income and strives to keep high audience ratings. This always affects content decisions where the media seeks to provide sensationalized, communalized or entertaining news in order to get more clicks and views, disregarding principles of journalism and people's welfare.

In general, the control and management of a media entity such as ABKee Media Group may determine what the content it creates entails and, in effect, shape the information scene while also affecting how people see various happenings or problems in society. Now its sole aim is to spread hatred and division in the society to reap the benefits along political lines in exchange for financial, commercial and political gains.

Written By: Md.Imran Wahab, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9836576565

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