Monthly Archives: October 2014

Media Convergence and its Effect on the Consumer

One of the primary goals of media outlets today is to increase their viewership. This is not only logical but also necessary in order for these outlets to remain relevant and to make a profit. However, this task is growing increasingly difficult in the modern age of niche media, where smaller interest groups are creating and drawing from smaller pools of content relevant to their interests. “Niching down,” a popular term used to explain such specialization of content, is perhaps most challenging for the largest media conglomerates. These outlets, which are the most popular in a traditional sense of media, are often controlled by corporations, or “big businesses.” As such, the information they put forward is sometimes skewed to favor the sponsors and owners of such outlets. The most dominant worry most viewers have as media moves to accommodate our modern world is that businesses are growing too involved in the reporting of news to the general public. These businesses can not only alter the news, but work to give us, the public, less outlets from which to choose from. If one conglomerate buys up too many avenues of mass media, we as the viewership and readership will no longer be able to find both sides of the story, no matter where we look. This danger seems ominous, but in practice, it isn’t incredibly likely. Possible, yes, but it is almost guaranteed that such a monopolization won’t occur in the near future. One of the best reasons that can be given for the improbability of such an occurrence is the saturation of the media with partisan stories and angles. For example, it is practically impossible for one business or conglomerate to control both Fox News, which hosts the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly, and Comedy Central, which is home to both The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. These types of programs are so drastically different and continually attack each other in such a way that their cooperation or even merging is hardly possible. Since we as the public are privy to so many resources and ways by which to keep informed of news, it is our duty to do so. We, the people who are given the power in government, must stay informed in order to ensure the government in power is truly working for us. If not, we have not only failed each other, we have failed ourselves. Without the news, we are unable to see when the rights of ourselves and others are being infringed upon. We cannot share our opinions about such matters without first hearing about them from somewhere. The news is a powerful tool that will only grow in scope, and it is our responsibility as democratic citizens to keep tabs on it.