Journalism
Seeking profitability in media

Seeking profitability in media

Media organizations have continued to strive for the creation of ethical boundaries. However, with a burgeoning presence of monetary decline, boundaries once set seem to be forgotten.

Media and its societal presence

Media has asserted itself as one of the most prevalent and efficient mediums in today’s world. The way we live and conduct certain actions in our lives is highly influenced by global media. Therefore, it is highly important to recognize the individuals or parties that lead these influential platforms. Understanding of media structure relies on the nature of ownership and how their powers are exercised.

The belief that ownership ultimately determines the nature of media is not just a Marxist theory but a common-sense axiom. It’s not just ownership that counts, but a wider question of who pays for the derived outcome. Although there are platforms whose owners do personally pay for the privilege of influencing content, most of them desire profit.

Effects of acquiring media

Media ownership attains relevance when it comes to factors such as ownership and independence. It may also matter whether a company is owned by a so-called ‘media tycoon’ or ‘mogul’, typified as wanting to take a personal interest in the editorial policy. In some countries, there are intermediary institutional arrangements designed to safeguard the integrity of the editorial policy and the freedom of journalists. Otherwise, professionalism, codes of conduct, public reputation and common sense are supposed to take care of undue owner influence.

In recent times, media ownership has been studied carefully and the observations are common. Most media houses rely on the principle of profitability and financial stability. This has led to a downward trend in the press freedom index, leading to increased threats to the lives of independent journalists. While these instances present a need for concern, media cannot ignore its need for necessities.

Understanding media ownership

Ultimately, commercial media requires profits to stay afloat, which often involves taking decisions which directly influence content. Besides, press freedom there are several other markers that make the study of media ownership crucial. Media institutions are powerful as corporate-political groups. They can help influence political decisions and can assert a party’s political viewpoint on the public.

Another important part of understanding media ownership is the presence of diversity. For example, if three media houses exist in a society and one of them decides to buy the other two out, the news will become stagnant and only a single viewpoint will be offered as opposed to the three that existed before the takeover.

For media platforms to do their jobs they need to acquire “freedom”, meaning they should possess the ability to put out a story without any interference in their editorial policy. This freedom should be, ideally, provided by the government. This includes, but is not limited to, an absence of censorship, licensing, or other forms of government control.

Explanation through scenarios

One of the most prominent scenarios attempting press execution can be seen in the case of Jeff Bezos acquiring The Washington Post in the United States of America. Bezos acquired The Washington Post in 2013, a move that shocked many who thought that newspapers were a dying trend. Within the span of three years, Bezos was able to overturn the newspaper’s status and double its traffic. He wanted the newspaper to escape national constraints.

The newspaper flourished within the fiscal department however, it forsook its long-preserved value of freedom. With the appointment of a new publisher the newspaper had made a superb leap towards achieving success, but this came at the cost of altering the editorial policy. The pandemic saw Amazon being accused of crushing start-ups by investing in them to steal proprietary information for launching competitors. The inception of this thread saw many media houses jump on the bandwagon of accusing Amazon, excluding, The Washington Post.

A possibility of renewal

While journalism will continue to exist well into the future, the profitability standards for the industry face a constant decline. Ethical standards and moral high grounds, once pursued by journalists seem to fade away with the growing reliance on monetary streams. With employees unwilling to pursue headlines, the reason for capitalism’s takeover of the world does not seem all that questionable.

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