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Fake news, fact-checking, and bias: Media consolidation in the U.S.

This guide is intended to serve you as a "toolkit" to help you evaluate fact from fiction, journalism from agenda

Media consolidation

What is media consolidation?

"Media consolidation, or media conglomeration, is the term used to refer to the concentration of ownership in the media—more specifically, to the series of policies that have facilitated ownership of the majority of the major media outlets by a small number of corporations... An important aspect of the concentration of power is the consolidation of media outlets into conglomerates. Looking at conglomeration gives insight into the economic aspects of ownership and their effects on the content and structure of media" (Vargas, 2012, p. 206).

In 1983, 50 companies owned 90% U.S. media*. Since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the act that reduced the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership, 90% of U.S. media, is owned by 6 companies, Viacom, News Corporation, Comcast, CBS, Time Warner and Disney (Corcoran, 2016; Lutz, 2012).

Sources:

Corcoran, M. (2016, March 30). Twenty years of media consolidation has not been good for our democracy. Moyers & Company. Retrieved from http://billmoyers.com

Lutz, A. (2012, July 14). These 6 corporations control 90% of the media in America. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com

Vargas, V. Y. (2012). Media consolidation. In M. Kosut (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Gender in Media (pp. 206-208). Los Angeles: SAGE Reference. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com


*media includes radio, television, newspapers, magazines, books, music, movies, internet sources, cable,...

Who owns the media?


Source: "Who owns the media" by Dr. Strangelove, Standard YouTube license.

Media consolidation and what that means for you and me

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