Assess the pluralist view of media ownership

Authors Avatar by repinaleragmailcom (student)

PLURALISM on media ownership

Pluralists hold a positive view of the media ownership, arguing the media owners are impartial due to economic reasons and reflecting audience’s demand. Pluralists also argue it is practically impossible for the owners to interfere with the media content to impose their bias. Instead, media owners reflect the interests of the audiences, who actively shape the media output by demanding certain content. However, Marxists note that in reality the media content reflects capitalist values of the media owners who come from the ruling class background and use the media to promote their ideology, which according to Neo-Marxists comes naturally to owners and editors who are educated into acceptance of a particular set of values.

Pluralism argues that media operates in free market societies, thus its output is subject to competition and audience needs rather than values of the owners of the media companies. BLONDEL argues that the media is constrained by the market in which no single group had a monopoly of power, thus its content is dictated by the economic reality. Moreover, OFCOM regulations further prevent any one company dominating the market. Furthermore, Pluralists argue that increasing concentration of media ownership is a positive notion. Such trends as vertical integration (1 company controls several stages of media production), horizontal integration (1 company controls diverse range of media) or synergy (integration of different media forms) reduce costs of producing media output, allowing the owners to take a risk of producing diverse content without fear to lose profit. However, Marxists argue such trends reflect monopolisation as one company controls the stages of production and output of the media, leading to less competition – the opposite of what Pluralists argue. Nevertheless, Pluralists stand up to scrutiny arguing that in the new media age any new company can be set up, ensuring competition. Moreover, regulations are effective enough to ensure no one company dominates the media.

Join now!

Pluralists view the media owners as interested in profits rather than promoting their ideology, thus have little direct impact on the media content since all their efforts are put into maximising profits. In order to maximise profits, the media owners create conglomerates, whereby the concentration of media ownership is increased. Since conglomerates have shared ownership, the owners’ power is diluted. DAVIES argues journalists have become ‘churnalists’, i.e. processors of unchecked information, who are not interested in the content as much as profit due to commercial pressure. However, Marxists argue the media owners have direct control over editors and indirect ...

This is a preview of the whole essay