BCM 110, Media Blog

The State of the News

Tim Worner, Advance Publications and Mark Zuckerberg.

These are all the names of the people who own or control the news services I watch or read, which are 7 News, Reddit and Facebook respectively.

Tim Worner is the CEO of Seven West Media, and is responsible for sister channels 7TWO, 7Flix and others. They have an audience share of 30.3% in Australia that shows their capacity to have a monopoly over Australia. This matters to me because there is no knowing what goes on behind the scenes. Media companies are all profit driven and rely on hitting monetary goals to make a profit. This makes the news a race to post as many controversial articles and clicks to get revenue.

Reddit’s CEO is Steve Huffman and Reddit is a social media site that relies on people using it and commenting. It ranks #3 most visited website in the US and #6 in the world with around half of it’s userbase in the US. This matters because in my own personal experiences, there have been instances of Reddit accounts being used to advertise a product, so-called ‘social media marketing’ but in a more insidious manner of being a ‘normal commenter’ and then recommending the advertised product with no prompting. I can bet that everyone that has been on Reddit has seen at least one post where the poster thanks a company for a product that helped their dog/sister/great-uncle/pet snail or whatever.

Reddit CEO
Reddit CEO- Steve Huffman

Facebook is owned by Mark Zuckerberg and is a popular subject matter for news and privacy. Facebook has around 2.2 billion active users as of January 2018. The ‘news’ all come from third-party companies that put articles in Facebook’s website, and can put in any information they wish (same with Reddit). The information doesn’t have to be verified, but Facebook occasionally removes some of these ‘fake news’ and propaganda sites from the site. It is impossible to take down all the information. There are verified sources to look at on Facebook, such as established media groups, but generally information is a free for all for people to reinforce establishing biases they have simply by clicking ‘like’.

Do I trust News Sources?

News Sources Montage.png
A montage of news sources- The deluge is unstoppable!

No. Long Answer is that I believe some news sources are too unpredictable and are susceptible to making stories overblown to get their revenue or are intended to ‘outrage’ people and creates a mob mentality. I take the news with a grain of salt and critical thinking with all articles. Do you, reader, trust news sources? And why?

References

7 News Stats –

TV Tonight. (2019). Seven wins 2018 ratings year. [online] Available at: https://tvtonight.com.au/2018/12/seven-wins-2018-ratings-year.html [Accessed 30 Mar. 2019].

Reddit Usage –

Alexa.com. (2019). Reddit.com Traffic, Demographics and Competitors – Alexa. [online] Available at: https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/reddit.com [Accessed 31 Mar. 2019].

How media companies make money-

Finance.yahoo.com. (2019). Yahoo is now part of Oath. [online] Available at: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/media-networks-money-180605757.html [Accessed 31 Mar. 2019].

FB stats –

Newsroom.fb.com. (2019). Company Info | Facebook Newsroom. [online] Available at: https://newsroom.fb.com/company-info/ [Accessed 31 Mar. 2019].

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