Monopoly Ownership of Media Essay
Monopoly Ownership of Media Rupert Murdoch the Australian born billionaire is a classic example of the effect of allowing monopoly ownership of the media. Murdoch has greatly exploited the loopholes that exit in the US government lax media regulation “to consolidate his hold over the media and wider political debate in America.” (www.americanprogress.
org ) Murdoch’s empire dominates the media in the countries of Britain, Italy and Asia, including owning the 20th century Fox studio and reaches virtually one out of five American homes. (www.americanprogress.org ) According to the center for American progress report he is a “far-right partisan” who has continued to influence the American political debate towards the right. The report further inputs that he is an “enabler of oppressive tactics of dictatorial regimes.
” (www.americanprogress.org ) Therefore from the evidence adduced in this particular report it is clear that monopolization of media ownership is very unhealthy because the owner will definitely develop the temptation to influence the audience with his/her agendas whether positive or negative; for example through his Weekly Standard, Murdoch was able to push for the Iraq War by employing key figures. (www.americanprogress.org ) Another consequence of allowing a monopoly of ownership of media is that scrupulous media owners will use their influence to intimidate others; like in the example of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel against the makers of “The Simpson’s.” By virtue of their position such media owners turnout to be the news editors of their publications thereby dictating what should be broadcasted and what should not; in the process threatening the employees with immediate sack when they do not support the status quo . Murdoch has gone further to use his empire in the media to “implant his wishes” to the unaware citizenry even though he claims to be non-partisan.
(www.americanprogress.org ) The monopoly also has major implication on the political landscape where depending on the media’s political inclination is able to influence the election of the government representative including the high office of the president. This is very unhealthy because it is a form of manipulation. Another good example from Murdoch is the employment of Presidents George Bush cousin Ellis in the Fox Election Night Voting operation.
The President’s cousin involvement with the operation had a heavy influence on his re-election bid through underhand manipulation of information. (www.americanprogress.
org ) Another important area that the monopoly of media ownership has consequence on is the undue tendencies to support oppressive and totalitarian regimes for economic expediency. Thus depending on the media owner’s economic interests, he is able to marshal media support for such regimes in exchange for economic favors; always at the expense of the oppressed.(www.tvnewslies.org/html/monopoly.
html.) All in all especially in view of the case of Rupert Murdoch it is clear that monopolization of media ownership is very unhealthy and goes contrary to the first Amendment Rights that protect the citizen’s freedom of religion and freedom of expression. It is worthwhile to note that what consists of such rights includes the freedoms of speech, assembly and most importantly press. The rights to the freedom of the press are highly compromised when such presses tends towards covertly influencing the public towards a certain belief.
It is both unethical and unconstitutional to propagate certain beliefs through the media especially towards influencing the public without their knowledge towards a certain direction. This form of secretive manipulation of the mass would likely be catastrophic especially if the issues propagated run against the ideals of national cohesion and development. (www.tvnewslies.org/html/monopoly.html)Works CitedFederal Communications Commission: Accessed on 29th May 2008 from http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/F/htmlF/federalcommu/federalcommu.htmWho is Rupert Murdoch?: Report dated 16th July 2004 accessed on 29th May 2008 from www.americanprogress.org/issues/2004/07/b122948.html/print.htmlMedia consolidation does it matter?: Article accessed 0n 29th May 2008 from www.tvnewslies.org/html/monopoly.html