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July 15, 2013 / C H Thompson

Media ownership

The ownership of the main mass media in the UK is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies who dominate UK newspaper circulation. As the data shows circulation is dominated by just a few companies with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation dominating with 35.5% of all national daily newspaper sales in the UK.

Such concentration of media ownership has four distinct features:

  • concentration of ownership within a single medium
  • such owners having interests in a range of media outlets such as television; film etc
  • ownership is international
  • such companies are often part of huge conglomerates like Virgin

The concerns with such a concentration of ownership gives an extraordinary amount of power to individuals or companies to the extent the Business Secretary Vince Cable recently ‘declared war’ on Rupert Murdoch’s empire because of the amount of power and influence the media baron might yield. Sociologists have similar concerns because the concentration of ownership allows:

  • communication of specific ideologies, such as those of the ruling-class
  • influencing content, therefore the ideology
  • influencing the way the audience thinks

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