Does the media really control us? Who controls the media? But the big questions are does it really matter who owns it and can we trust the media?
Now from my very limited pre-existing knowledge on who owns what media companies I was shocked to find out that Australia has a very small media landscape. The two major media owners are Fairfax and News corp. I was astonished to discover how much Fairfax actually owned being the largest diversified media company. They own so much of what we consume which include newspapers, radio and magazines . This being said, If just one single company can own so many media outlets, how much control do they have? You do the math.
This form of mass media control was very much prevalent through propaganda in the WWII era. How did the Nazi’s gain people’s trust, only to eventually cause extreme chaos? Through multiple media portals such as radio and video. Hitlers radio announcements made it very personal and intimate to the viewer which led to people gaining his trust. This propaganda video of the Terezin concentration camp shows what the Nazi’s wanted the Jews to think the camp would be like, but I actually went there when I travelled Europe and it is not what they want you to think. Watch this video from a Jewish persons perspective and understand the amount of influence/control it would have on them.
These examples show how easily just one person controlling multiple media outlets can control the viewers ideological state. Control, control, control.
Furthermore, think to yourselves, whats the difference between owning and controlling a Newspaper, TV news channel, Magazine or owning and controlling a media platform such as Facebook? There are very stark differences. Firstly, a newspaper or television is solely for consumption. This means that the creator can control what the users watch, read etc. It allows no personal opinion and is not open to the public for input. Whereas, the media platforms such as Facebook allow the public to freely express their opinion. They are essentially prosumers (consuming and producing). Owning either of these outlets have a type of control but I personally believe that owning a mass media outlet has more control because of the sheer influence it can have on people by purely just consuming.
To conclude, I personally think we can’t truly trust the media. They constantly cross the line which involves negative propaganda and poor ethics (which is shown in the phone hacking scandal). I do believe though however saying this, that the media does shape everyone to an extent, and that it does matter who controls the media. If the control is used negatively like we have seen many times in the past, who knows where the world of media is going to end up? As I stated before it’s all about control, control, control!