MASS MEDIA

Media Moguls and Their Power

Media Moguls and Their Power

A media mogul is a very rich and powerful owner of media companies. A media mogul is able to use the media he owns in order to express his idea of what is good or bad. A lot of the media is owned by a small number of people, so that people like Rupert Murdoch, who owns newspapers, important websites and film companies, can have a huge influence on the way we see the world.

A threat to democracy: Many people are critical of a system which enables Rupert Murdoch and other powerful figures to control so much media content. Others take a pluralistic approach to the press and argue that there are a wide number of publications and news channels and that people can choose between them. They also argue that press content reflects public opinion more than it influences it.

Agenda setting: By selecting what is contained in the newspapers, media owners and their senior employees also exclude a range of other newsworthy items. This means they have some control over what the general public talk and think about. This is known as agenda setting.

The press can help shape the way we think about certain groups of society. In recent years, for example, bankers, estate agents, football stars, single mothers and politicians have come in for a lot of journalistic criticism. The tabloids like to poke fun at animal rights activists and environmentalists and tend to show them in an extreme light. This has a powerful effect on the way the public regard particular pressure groups.

The press also tells us, through negative or positive reporting, what it thinks is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in society. It therefore exercises a lot of power in terms of norm referencing i.e. defining what we see as normal or deviant.