Media are basically the communication tools or means utilized to deliver and store data or information to the end-users. The word also refers to diverse units of the mass communications sector, like the print media, broadcast media, publishing, music, television, film, photography, video, and marketing. There are several different types of media, but they can be classified into four main categories, namely: analog (electronic), cable/solar (electric), digital (fax) and satellite/online media. Today, the most popular mediums used by consumers are television, radio and cinema.
TV and news media are almost always dominated by one particular organization, either public or private, with major players in each of these categories having overlapping interests, goals, and views. The dominant media outlets are generally driven by a set of editorial policies, values, and practices. Major players in this field are: television networks, radio stations, and several newspapers. Public relations are a very important element in any organization’s media activities as it plays an important role in attracting advertisers to participate in the media events and in shaping the content provided by the media outlets.
All these organizations depend on a number of mass media for their existence. For instance, all radio and television stations rely on the broadcast television industry for their distribution and reception, while newspapers depend on the newspaper industry for their publication. In some cases, even a single media outlet carries some or all of these elements. In the US, some of the most prominent conglomerates include the Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, Cheddar, CNN, and Hearst. These media giants have a stranglehold on the distribution of most, if not all, forms of broadcast and non-broadcast media across the country.
One of the major challenges for the conglomerates is to find ways to differentiate their various products from each other. This is done by means of production and advertising as well as by attracting a large number of viewers through the various mediums. As such, newspapers and broadcast media play a very important role in providing information to the public and also in educating them about the latest trends and offerings by the various companies involved in the business. The influence of print media in influencing consumer behavior has been proven time and again.
Another issue that the media face is bridging the gap between the audiences and the producers of various forms of media. Many companies in the United States have realized that the best way of promoting their products is by focusing more on the audience rather than the producer. This has led to a variety of changes in the way television, radio, and print media are consumed in the country.
One of the biggest disadvantages faced by media conglomerates is the overall influence of “commercialism.” Due to a greater number of media outlets competing for audience shares, it has become harder for a particular brand or product to survive the competition. Although the overall impact of commercialism may be a boon to consumers, it has also come with a wide array of disadvantages. The disadvantages of commercialism are highlighted by the reduction of quality. As more media conglomerates merge, they become more dependent on one another. Thus, as one company utilizes all its outlets to promote a particular brand, the other company’s products will become watered down and thus the impact of commercialism is reduced.