We users are now living in the era where media is everywhere. We see a reality show on a TV channel, post a status on Facebook, hashtag a content on Twitter and read a piece of the today’s world news on a newspaper mean we are using the media. Every each of us is using the media for both academic and entertainment purposes, however, how many of us know who own those media platforms we are consuming everyday? And more, do we need to consider about who owns the media? What are the differences between the media with or without the ownership?
As people seem to rely on the media and be largely affected by media content, it is necessary to know about who owns the media we are using. The owners of the media platforms will be the ones who control what is able to be seen by users. Journalist A.J.Liebling said: ‘Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one’. What he means by this is that the owners of the mass media including the press are the only ones to have a final decision on what kind of the content to be published to the community. They are creating the trend calls ‘media bias’. They have a control on what we users are sharing, reading and thinking. We are affected by the media content they brought out and have comments about them. They give us an amount of sources to read and share and we are not allowed to know anything they don’t want us to know.
Let’s take an example to see the differences: the media owned by the government and by private companies. The two are all giving a control on the flow of content users are consuming. The difference is the purposes of the two ownerships. The media owned by the government can either give out any announcements through their official media channels to keep their citizens on track with the country’s latest news or blurring the boundary between the truth and lies in the individual news. We don’t know what they don’t show us. On the other hand, the media owned by private companies is free-spoken. They may give us the information which the government doesn’t want to bring out and we consumers now, have the opportunities to know the truth behind problems.
Similarly with the social networks, I’ll take Facebook as an example. When we sign up for Facebook, they ask us to provide our personal information. Even some of the Facebook apps still ask for permission to access those details and then let the users use the apps. We’ve trusted and given out many pieces of our information but have no idea what Facebook owner, Mark Zuckerberg and his fellows will do with it. They can share it to the public, use it to make a market survey or sell it to another groups or organizations and have the total control on what we are providing. Now the media ownership matters.