Intrigue in the Big League

A uni student's intrigue in marketing and media


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Gatekeeping vs Gatewatching in the Media

A monologue is a piece of text in which one person speaks or conveys their opinion.

A dialogue is a conversation in which one person speaks and another answers (a discussion).

Before the internet and social media, all journalism and media was monologic. Monologic media is a one way communication where the audience listens while they are told something, the audience are consumers. The internet and social media are both forms of dialogic media that allows the audience to participate in the conversation. Now they are no longer the audience or consumers, they are prosumers.

Before the internet, there were gatekeepers that filtered everything released in the media. Gatekeeping is used in traditional journalism. Journalists are required to have their content approved by their editors. Editors act as gatekeepers, they decide what is newsworthy and what is the truth.

Now, with content being released on the iternet, gatekeeping is virtually non-existent and gatewatching has emerged. Citizen journalists use gatewatching. If a citizen journalist is observing a certain platform of social media (eg. twitter), and a lot of people are all saying the same thing, there has to be a certain amount of truth to it. Gatewatchers gather information from sources on social media and decide the truth for themselves based on their own opinion.

More and more news is being covered more quickly on social media platforms by citizen journalists than it is in traditional journalism.

This crash of a US airways plane on the Hudson River in January 2009 was first reported by this man before any traditional journalists even knew about the event.

It just goes to show how quickly social media is becoming an integral source of information for the public and is encouraging consumers to evolve into prosumers by commenting, sharing, posting, liking and purely interacting on social networks.


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Owning the Media: Murdoch’s Fox News Puppets

While traditional journalism first started as a way for journalists to expose the truth and let their audience know the current events in the world, ownership of the media has changed the purpose of these traditional media outlets. Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp, was born an Australian but expanded his media outlet to the US where 90% of the media is owned by only 6 companies. These companies are; News Corp, Viacom, Disney, Time Warner, GE and CBS. Just 30 years ago, 90% of American media was owned by 50 media companies. This means that 90% of everything that Americans see, hear and consider important on the media is controlled by only six very rich companies. (more info)

Rupert Murdoch, as owner of News Corp, has control over Fox Broadcasting Company. This means he has control over Fox News and any other shows created for Fox.

There has been a lot of criticism about the quality of Fox News and the way the news reported is influenced greatly by Murdoch himself. A movie called Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, was created with many former Fox News journalists explaining the ways in which Murdoch crafted the news to persuade the audience to have the same opinion on issues as he did.

When it came to elections, controlling the media was a way to impact the public’s opinions and perceptions of the running political figures. A lot of what the public knew about the candidates was seen in these popular media outlets. A lot of “news” reported about elections by Fox News was not actually news at all, it was propaganda. This propaganda was ordered by Murdoch himself to show  favour towards a certain candidate. David Brock, President/CEO of Media Matters for America, explained how this propaganda impacted on democracy:

davidbrock

“It’s fundamentally undermining democracy which is based on knowing some good and solid information so I can make an informed choice.”

Another issue raised in Outfoxed was Murdoch’s claim that the news reported on Fox News is fair and balanced. In Outfoxed they show evidence to contrast this.

This is Family Guy’s interpretation of the type of people Fox News chooses to interview. The irony is that Family Guy is actually owned by Fox Broadcasting Company, and therefore owned by Murdoch as well.

The reason media ownership is important is that the owners are only giving one perspective of the news based on their ideological position. The fewer the owners, the fewer the range of opinions. This means the audience is only receiving a biased representation of the news instead of a diverse range of opinions from different sources. Therefore, the public can not make an informed decision on their opinion of the news.