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Media Ownership

October 10, 2003 • Volume 13, Issue 35
Do media conglomerates have too much power?
By David Hatch

Introduction

A contestant reaches for an electric eel on NBC TV's “Fear Factor.” Critics say network ownership of studios has resulted in lowbrow, cookie-cutter programming like “reality” TV shows. But networks say they are popular with viewers and cheap to produce, freeing up funding for other projects and expansion.  (NBC/Chris Haston)
A contestant reaches for an electric eel on NBC TV's “Fear Factor.” Critics say network ownership of studios has resulted in lowbrow, cookie-cutter programming like “reality” TV shows. But networks say they are popular with viewers and cheap to produce, freeing up funding for other projects and expansion. (NBC/Chris Haston)

Media companies are expanding rapidly, integrating broadcast television, cable, radio, newspapers, books, magazines and the Internet under their roofs. Five conglomerates control most prime-time TV programming, and one company — Clear Channel — dominates radio. Yet, in the paradox of today's media landscape, consumers have more choices than ever, although critics say too many choices are low-brow offerings like “reality” TV. Meanwhile, newcomers — such as satellite radio and Web bloggers — keep sprouting. Now, as media companies push to grow even bigger, a nationwide debate rages over whether there's enough diversity of content and ownership. In June, the Federal Communications Commission relaxed its media-ownership rules, but growing resistance from lawmakers threatens to roll back the sweeping changes.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Journalism, Newspapers, and the Media
May 30, 2014  Digital Journalism
May 03, 2013  Media Bias
Apr. 26, 2013  Free Speech at Risk
Apr. 12, 2013  Combat Journalism
Nov. 2010  Press Freedom
Oct. 08, 2010  Journalism Standards in the Internet Age
Feb. 05, 2010  Press Freedom
Mar. 27, 2009  Future of JournalismUpdated
Jun. 09, 2006  Blog ExplosionUpdated
Jan. 20, 2006  Future of Newspapers
Apr. 08, 2005  Free-Press Disputes
Oct. 15, 2004  Media Bias
Oct. 10, 2003  Media OwnershipUpdated
Dec. 25, 1998  Journalism Under Fire
Jun. 05, 1998  Student Journalism
Sep. 20, 1996  Civic Journalism
Sep. 23, 1994  Courts and the Media
Aug. 24, 1990  Hard Times at the Nation's Newspapers
Jan. 19, 1990  Finding Truth in the Age of ‘Infotainment’
Aug. 18, 1989  Libel Law: Finding the Right Balance
Jun. 06, 1986  Magazine Trends
Oct. 12, 1984  News Media and Presidential Campaigns
Jul. 15, 1983  State of American Newspapers
Oct. 23, 1981  High Cost of Libel
Dec. 23, 1977  Media Reforms
Mar. 11, 1977  News Media Ownership
Jun. 21, 1974  Access to the Media
Dec. 20, 1972  Newsmen's Rights
Aug. 16, 1972  Blacks in the News Media
Dec. 15, 1971  Magazine Industry Shake-Out
Jul. 18, 1969  Competing Media
Sep. 02, 1964  Politicians and the Press
Dec. 04, 1963  Libel Suits and Press Freedom
Jan. 09, 1963  Newspaper Mergers
Dec. 20, 1961  Reading Boom: Books and Magazines
Dec. 02, 1959  Privileged Communications
Apr. 25, 1956  Newsprint Deficit
May 06, 1953  Government and the Press
Sep. 21, 1948  Press and State
Sep. 05, 1947  Newsprint Supply
Mar. 26, 1947  Facsimile Newspapers
Dec. 10, 1945  World Press Freedom
May 01, 1940  New Experiments in Newspaper-Making
Nov. 04, 1933  Press Freedom Under the Recovery Program
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Antitrust and Monopolies
Journalism and the News
Regulation and Legal Issues
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