CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, BET, Paramount Pictures, UPN, Spike TV, TV Land, CMT: Country Music Television, Comedy Central, Showtime, and Blockbuster Video. These are just a few of the companies that media giant Viacom owns. Viacom’s website states that CBS is the most watched network on TV. It also says that MTV is the most widely distributed television network in the world, Paramount Pictures is a leading distributor of motion pictures, and infinity broadcasting is one of the largest radio operators in the United States.
Viacom also owns book publishing companies, video stores, and even amusement parks. There is no doubt that Viacom is one of the largest and most influential companies in the world. But does the quality of the media go down because of these large media giants? Do companies care about the public being truly informed, or are they just out Beginning with thefirst of the mega media mergers, Capital Cities buying ABC in 1986, and then after the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which opened the floodgates, the trend has been for large corporations to buy media and broadcast companies.
According to the FCC there have been over 1000 broadcast deals in the last ten years. But often the conglomeration of media outlets hurts consumers by taking choice out of their hands and putting it into the hands of corporations. The media giants have become neglectful in their duties to serve a “public interest”. Instead they serve their own narrow interest.
These narrow interests do serve the stockholders, theoretically of which anyone can become, but this is not the traditional position that media outlets should hold. Corporate pressure to squeeze out every penny in earnings has forever changed the look of news reporting. Gone are the days of respected newsmen such as Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow. Gone are the …