The media is a huge part of our daily lives. We have constant access to it and are exposed to it almost every hour of the day. So much so that I am sitting here, on my computer, various tabs open in Google Chrome, watching She’s the Man on my TV; and having a fantastic time doing so.
We are often oblivious to who actually controls the media that we access on a daily basis. It doesn’t tend to be something that we think about often; someone making millions off of my laziness isn’t something that I enjoy thinking about, but nonetheless, it’s happening so I might as well think about it.
Some big frontrunners earning their success through my indolence are Alphabet Inc. (the company that owns Google and, thus, YouTube) and Rupert Murdoch (the mightiest of all media moguls who owns just about every Television company in existence).
Seeing as Rupert Murdoch plays a huge part in my sources of entertainment, I’m going to continue to use him as an example.
Due to his vast influence on various companies, Rupert Murdoch can manipulate how audiences receive certain information through the media. It’s no secret that Rupert Murdoch is a climate change sceptic. There is an excellent article by The Guardian analysing his views and the inaccuracy of some of his statements.
So what kind of impact does this have on media audiences?
Well, due to his success and power, some people might take his word as law, as they may have little to no knowledge on the topic themselves. This spread of misinformation downplaying the seriousness of climate change causes immense damage to media audiences and their understanding of the issue. This could lead to further damage in the future, to both the environment due to our lack of urgency, and our knowledge of how climate change in affecting us.
However, Murdoch is not the only one who does this. The media is notorious for misinforming audiences about current social and political issues, some examples can be found in an article by the Huffington Post.
This is understandable seeing as large companies are usually money driven. They try to gain popularity through having a differing opinion and influencing the thought processes of the masses who don’t get involved in the details.
So does it matter who owns the media that use?
Yes, it does.
We as an audience need to make sure that we don’t let biased misinformation affect our knowledge of the world and social issues, so we can create a better future for the real world, and not the make-believe world that the media so often creates.