Media Monopolies

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Chart showing media concentration ownership

Description of the pattern

Media outlets that are controlled by a small number of corporations often broadcast propaganda that aligns with the interests of those corporations. Information that challenges or opposes those interests is rarely given through mainstream media sources.

How it works

A large company, or corporation, such as News Corp or Walt Disney Company, buys many shares of a media source (i.e. news, radio, newspaper, billboards. etc.) so that they effectively own that source. The information broadcasted is then under the corporations discretion. Now when there is an event that may jeopardize the interests of the company the news source controlled by them is forbidden from reporting on the event. The control and censorship of media is rendered more effective through media cartels; whereby different corporations that own media sources agree to support one another through the content and right-wing slant of the news they control.

If media is controlled by corporations, pro-business perspectives can dominate. This will also inhibit marginalized groups from spreading their messages. When we allow these media sources to frame the way we view current issues then the way we respond to those issues is informed and manipulated by corporate interests. Media monopolies try to ensure that the public thinks a certain way, and that they are overwhelmed by a sense of superficiality and fear (see Fear Mongering pattern).


See chart above. The Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian Viacom, Walt Disney, News Corps, AOL/TW

Links to other anti-patterns