Living in the 21st century we have more media outlets than ever before, but do we have more options on what kind of media we are getting? Most major news companies are owned by one huge company; these are called conglomerates. Conglomerates are the big guys, that have bought out the little guys and made one massive giant. Disney, Time Warner, CBS, Viacom, are all big media conglomerates. If you haven’t noticed, most companies like to publish the news that sells. So what does that mean for us media users? Are we getting real news or are we getting the highlights that make the company the most money? Sadly, the majority of the time we are only seeing the most popular topics and what brings in the most money.
As media users, we really have to search out the facts. Even though there are more outlets for us to use, there are fewer options for content. Most companies mirror each other when they see success in other companies. We have MSNBC on the left and Fox News on the right and the news has a twist that lines up with each sides agenda.
We see this mirroring in business all the time. An example would be the Instagram stories and Snapchat debate. A lot of people are upset and saying that Instagram ripped off Snapchat when they came out with “Instagram stories”. Instagram stories are very similar to Snapchat stories but Instagram made a few changes so it didn’t look identical; such as adding a playback action, more filters, different fonts to put on pictures, etc.
Is this trend being carried over in the news media field? Are we getting the same stories just in different words? Several years ago, the public had full confidence in the media and believed it as true reporting. Anything that Walter Cronkite or Barbara Walters said was considered truth and people had faith in their journalistic integrity. In this day and age, it is getting harder and harder to believe in what the media is reporting. Yes, we do have more media outlets but with that, the media content has suffered. Rather than the news being reported, the news is being sold.