Comm Research Paper

Comm Research Paper - Meyer2 Rebecca Meyer Professor Lyons...

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Meyer 2 Rebecca Meyer Professor Lyons Mass Communication 272 B December 2009 When the internet became more readily available to the public in the early 1990s, the world of mass communications amongst Americans changed. Mass communication is “the process of creating shared meaning between the mass media and their audience” (Baran 6). Media communication began with the creating of the printing press and has adapted in many forms to bring us to the internet era. Different methods of communicating between the Media and the public include books, newspapers, magazines, films and movies, radio, television, video games, and the newest method, the internet. Two relatively new media concepts that the creation of the internet seemed to spark were hypercommercialism and convergence. These two concepts in particular are affecting all types of Media and the world of mass communication is becoming more narrowly focused as technology seems to improve, and the internet seems to grow. Media concentration is a serious problem for United States, and it began to impact the media companies shortly after the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was passed by congress, legally allowed the consolidation of different types of Medias. The purpose of the act is: "to provide for a pro- competitive, de-regulatory national policy framework designed to accelerate rapidly private
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Meyer 3 sector deployment of advanced telecommunications to all Americans by opening up all telecommunications markets to competition" (Conference Report, Telecom Act, 1996). However, all the Telecommunications Act really did was allow the big named companies to gain momentum to buy out the smaller companies. According to figure 1.1 on page nine, in 1997, there were 10 different conglomerates in the cable industry and today, there is only five. These five companies are Comcast, Fox, Viacom, GE, and Time Warner. Comcast, which seems to be the country’s largest cable company to date, has really benefitted from the merging of conglomerates over the past decade. NBC, a famous television station that has been around since the explosion of the TV industry in the 1950s, is at risk for losing its deal with General Electric. General Electric is currently contemplating whether they want to sell the majority of their media business to Comcast as NBC is presently rated fourth out of the four major cable companies here in the United States. The reason for this major move amongst television networks is due to the fact that the mass audience has splintered into niches as viewers flock to alternative entertainment choices on the Internet, to video games and to cable channels dedicated to individual tastes, like the forthcoming OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network (www.nytimes.com). Another reason, shown by figure 1.2 on page nine, explains how people tend to be watching television on their own schedules, and not on the schedule of the broadcasting company. And now, because cable program interests are now more individualized,
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Comm Research Paper - Meyer2 Rebecca Meyer Professor Lyons...

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