Media ownership

I’m going to start off by being honest and saying that I am not one of those people who are regularly updates with news and current affairs. Of course I watch the news and enjoy finding out what’s happening in the world, but before this week I had never considered that the news I’m receiving may be effected by the influence of who owns the media platform, and what they value.

Stations like the ABC are owned by the Federal Australian Government, when delivering the news they are factual and show no prejudices or personal opinions. It is clear that the government is concerned with delivering facts that are proven to the general public in a clean way so that they are currently and correctly informed with what is happening among their nation, and not influenced by the opinions or beliefs of the presenters.

This contrasts to Win, which is majorly owned by Bruce Gordon. The content shown on this program is largely commercialised, while the news shows and programs still deliver news factually it is intertwined with light hearted moments and segments which enable the presenters and guests to express their opinions to others. The dialogue in shows like ’60 minuets’ also often portrays the personal opinions of the presenters as it is riddled with emotive language either clearly supporting one side of the story.

To further differentiate the contrasts of these two stations and the differences the ownership makes I have decided to analyse the differences between the morning’s shows on each station “ABC breakfast news” on ABC and WIN’s popular ‘The Today Show”.

“The Breakfast News” on ABC is a program which delivers all the current news that may have developed over night, they often invite educated and specialised guests who can inform the public of extra information about certain issues that may affect them. This reflects the ABC’s values to inform the public of correct and current information. The clip below depicts an episode of “The Breakfast News” where they have invited the CEO of Kmart in to discuss the issue of the conditions in which Kmart’s clothes and products are manufactured. The news is delivered in a clean direct way.

WIN’s ‘The Today Show” also often still invites specialised guests on to discuss certain issues however the show is also interspersed with entertainment segments, the grill which enables the hosts and guests to speak their opinions on the Issues relevant to our society, movie reviews and light hearted segments. While the shows news is still delivered professionally, the presenters are given more freedom and are often known to play jokes on one another and partake in banter with each other.

The ownership of these stations definitely affects the information they give and the ways it is presented, however who is to say which is right and which is wrong? Some people may prefer to get the news factually and focus on the serious issues, others may enjoy a bit of light hearted humour, who’s to saw hats more important? It’s all down to personal preference, and as long as we have the options and rights to choose the way we gain our information what harms is the effects of ownership really having?

As a huge TV lover I have always noticed the differences between the stations available on free to air TV, however before this week I had never bothered to consider why they might be occurring. After considering the power of the owner and their values I have come to understand the ways in which this is reflected through their TV stations. So to answer the question, does it matter who owns the media? Yes it certainly does!

-Amber

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