Big Corporations Controlling Mainstream Media Why
The diversity is an illusion. Neither in the supermarket nor on television can we see how the apparently different brands are ultimately in the hands of a few economic conglomerates. If you remove Kraft and Nestlé groceries from your supermarket shelves, half the supermarket will be empty. And it doesn't look any better in the world of media.
In the USA, five media groups rule the world of entertainment and infotainment. Their product range is so diverse that consumers believe they have an almost endless choice.
If a certain valuation of an event is represented in the news and this valuation also appears on other television channels, then the impression arises of having hit the common denominator of diversity. It is an illusion. The rough directions of the illusory world that the media play for us are decided by a few and then implemented on a large scale nationally and internationally.
The five powerful US media groups that control around 90 percent of the US media world are as follows:
Comcast includes NBC, NBC Universal, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks, Bravo, CNBC, The Weather Channel, MSNBC, NBCSN, Exquire Network and many more.
Walt Disney Company
Disney is more than a comics and cartoons brand name. Disney is one of the most powerful media and film groups in the world. Disney includes ABC Television, ESPN, Disney Channel, Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone, Lucasfilm as well as around 30 radio stations and many more. Disney also owns Hearst Corporation, which in turn controls numerous TV stations, newspapers, magazines and media holdings.
21st Century Fox
This group includes the Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox News Channel, Fox Sports, National Geographic, FX Movie Channel, Blue Sky Studios and the film studios of 21st Century Fox, as well as many investments in other media companies.
Time Warner includes CNN, HBO, NBA TV, Warner Bros., Turner Classiv Movies, TNT, TBS, New Line Cinema and many other media companies and media holdings.
National Amusements, Inc.
National Amusements is a media group that owns shares in many other companies. Since two groups are particularly well represented, they are also often viewed as separate entities, so that one can often read that 90 percent of the US media is not dominated by five, but by six corporations. These two main carriers are CBS Corporation and Viacom.
Go to CBS Corp. Holding include, among others, CBS Television Network, CBS Sports, CBS Radion and around 30 smaller TV stations and numerous publishers.
Viacom Holding includes MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Logo TV, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment, Dreamworks SKG and many other media.
Who owns these large media corporations?
Comcast's major shareholders include The Vanguard Group, Inc., Capital Research & Management Co., SSgA Funds Management, Inc., BlackRock Fund Advisors, ClearBridge Investments LLC, Wellington Management Co. LLP, Fidelity Management & Research Co. , Dodge & Cox, TCI Fund Management Ltd. and T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.
The major shareholders of the Walt Disney Company include The Vanguard Group, Inc., SSgA Funds Management, Inc., Powell Laurene Jobs Trust, BlackRock Fund Advisors, State Farm Investment Management Corp., Fidelity Management & Research Co., Goldman Sachs & Co. (Private Banking), Massachusetts Financial Services Co., Northern Trust Investments, Inc., and Norges Bank Investment Management.
Major shareholders of 21st Century Fox include Capital Research & Management Co. (Global Investors), Dodge & Cox, Capital Research & Management Co. (World Investors), The Vanguard Group, Inc., SSgA Funds Management, Inc., BlackRock Fund Advisors, Yacktman Asset Management LP, Wellington Management Co. LLP, Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss LLC and Independent Franchise Partners LLP.
Time Warner's major shareholders include The Vanguard Group, Inc., Dodge & Cox, SSgA Funds Management, Inc., BlackRock Fund Advisors, Massachusetts Financial Services Co., Capital Research & Management Co. (World Investors), Franklin Mutual Advisers LLC, Capital Research & Management Co. (Global Investors), Fidelity Management & Research Co. and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC (Broker).
Now you can play the game and look for cross connections. You can imagine how the media world dances when, for example, BlackRock, The Vanguardgroup or SsgA Funds Management set the pace and rhythm of the entertainment and reporting. There can be no talk of diversity.
Of course, there are also individuals who own a particularly large number of shares, such as Sumner Redstone, who holds 79.8 percent of Viacom shares. Such media tycoons have a lot of power, as do Rupert Murdoch internationally, who rules the media world through his News Corporation, which in turn includes 21st Century Fox (see above).
Media power in Germany
By far the most powerful media group in Germany is Bertelsmann, with sales of more than 16 billion euros in 2016. Bertelsmann holds around 75 percent of the shares in the RTL media group.
Bertelsmann is followed by ARD. Then come Axel Springer SE, ProSiebenSat.1 SE, Bauer Media Group, Hubert Burda Media, ZDF, Holzbrinck Verlagsgruppe, Funke Mediengruppe and Verlagsgruppe Weltbild.
These corporations control most of the German media, including most television stations, newspapers, magazines and radio stations.
Quiz question at the end
If the big financial institutions and corporations that control the shares of the media world have interests in Eurobonds (joint debts of the EU countries), which television station, which newspaper, which radio station will report critically on Eurobonds? And if a presidential candidate like Emmanuel Macron campaigns for Eurobonds, which media will frenetically promote and celebrate him and which will describe him critically? It's a shame that many French didn't see through this game.
The only chance to break the opinion power of the media and opinion monopoly is the alternative media on the Internet.
But large corporations like Google (which also includes YouTube) will endeavor to thwart the civil society's counter-opinion.
Google belongs to the parent holding "Alphabet". The main shareholders are: The Vanguard Group, Inc., Fidelity Management & Research Co., BlackRock Fund Advisors, SSgA Funds Management, Inc., T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Wellington Management Co. LLP, Capital Research & Management Co . (World Investors), Northern Trust Investments, Inc., Capital Research & Management Co. (Global Investors), and Geode Capital Management LLC.
This has come full circle. Only education about these connections can help to free the population from the influence of the media's power of opinion. As long as the majority of citizens consume the media uncritically, little will change.
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