• April 26th, 2016

Understanding Monopolies

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

UNDERSTANDING MONOPOLIES

Please use Walt Disney Corporation
https://www.cjr.org/resources/?c=disney

Text for reference is MEDIA AND CULTURE: Mass Communication in a Digital Age, 10th Edition. Macmillan. 2015

This project will help you get to know the small number of media corporations that control so much of U.S. and global culture and will help you understand what this influence may mean for democracy. Visit Columbia Journalism Review’s “Who Owns What” Web site (www.cjr.org/resources), and choose a media conglomerate to research. Then do more research by looking at news stories on Web sites like LexisNexis, the corporation’s own Web site, the corporation’s annual reports, Web sites such as www.freepress.org, and the Federal Communications Commission’s www.fcc.gov site (since big media corporations continually have business before the FCC).

• Describe the company’s history: When and how did it get so big?

• Find out where the company is headquartered, where its many divisions are located, and where its products are distributed to get a general idea of the company’s global expansiveness.

• Note the company’s latest revenue data and current standing among competitors.

• Describe the company’s current chair and CEO and, if relevant, the previous chair or CEO. What are their credentials?

• List all of the company’s many subsidiaries.

• Describe the company’s corporate values. What terms does the company’s corporate Web site use to describe itself? How do descriptions directed to the general public differ from descriptions directed to shareholders? What can you learn from the company’s latest annual report (usually located under “investor information” or “financial data” on the corporate Web site)? What are some specific strategies for the company’s future growth?

• Go through a broad range of news reports about the company (independent media as well as mainstream). What can you learn about the company from these reports? Use the five steps of the critical process:

1. Analysis. Isolate a few patterns among your many findings. For example, what are some successes or failures of this company in leveraging its potential synergies? Or focus on the company’s news media holdings. How does this media giant use its news media divisions to its advantage?

2. Interpretation. What do these patterns mean? First discuss them from an investor’s perspective. Then discuss them from a citizen’s perspective. Are these interests the same or different?

3. Evaluation. Is this company good for democracy? Does it enable multiple points of view? Is this company good for the world? Why or why not? What might the mass media look like with more competition from more companies? Present your findings and conclusions in your paper.

4. Engagement. To express your perspective on media conglomeration, visit the FCC Web site, and find out how you can officially comment on the regulatory process. The Free Press, a nonprofit organization focused on creating a more democratic media system, operates a Web site (www.freepress.net) that provides resources for tracking and becoming involved in media policymaking.

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