Running Head: EFFECTS OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP ON CONTENTS

EFFECTS OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP ON CONTENTS

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Effects of media Ownership on Contents

Karina Babio

IDS3309

Amy Winters

Florida International University

06-06-2022

What has happened to Sinclair? CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns and operates nearly 200 tv channels in the United States, would require its newscasters to record a promo about the pervasive problem of one-sided news stories plaguing the nation (Eldridge, 2019). In the wake of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s consistent interference in local television broadcasts, the script, which parrots Trump’s frequent declarations of negative developments in his presidency as blatant propaganda, caused upheaval in newsrooms.

In Stelter’s view, this was an attempt at both-siderism. Essentially, the disparity is documented in the report shows the event where Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates sign normalization agreements on Sept. 15, 2020, during the presidency of Trump (Heeding et al., 2019). The union was a major commencement of the Middle East after decades of separation and violence as stated by Trump during the ceremony. Between 7pm and 11pm on Fox News, there were 1,278 words of news coverage, compared to only 84 words on CNN’s 7pm to 11pm programming (Sydnor, 2018). As a result, this was a call for alarm on the legitimacy of the news presented.

Media outlets are using their channels to nudge their own individual biased agenda to control what people think. In response, Sinclair Broadcast Group affiliates started running promotional segments warning about a scourge of fake news (Eldridge, 2019). In another scenario, Deadspin’s Timothy Burke was able to create a supercut of Sinclair presenters saying the exact same words by splicing together the segments, which echo Trump administration anti-media rhetoric, across all Sinclair affiliates. And the question on the validity of the news presented by the media houses owned by Sinclair became more questionable among most Americans.

Despite the video, Sinclair stations’ partisan bias was clearly on. Research shows that Sinclair begins to support more governmental and less local partisanship when it acquires a local station. Viewership declines as the scope becomes more conservative, proposing that the rightward tilt is not implemented as a strategy for winning more audiences but as aspect of a persuasion effort (Eldridge, 2019). Furthermore, the company wasn’t getting the most out of its potential audience. It could have gotten better reviews if it was a little less conservative (Blankenship & Vargo, 2021). To boost its power of persuasion, it sacrificed viewership by increasing the number of conservative logical reasoning viewers saw, even when doing so cost some Direct democracy viewers. While CNN, on the other hand, merely set its programming to maximize viewership.

CNN spoke with a previous Sinclair news director who said that Sinclair uses local anchors’ reputation to advance a political agenda. In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, former news director Aaron Weiss expressed his sorrow for the presenters who were compelled to read the promo and likened the compulsory ads to a hostage video (Heeding et al., 2019). Sinclair’s prejudice is another example, as a Sinclair producer resign in disgust of the company’s compulsion to show certain parts (Sydnor, 2018). According to former KHGI producer Justin Simmons, who resigned from the station on March 26, Sinclair had demanded that the written promotional portions be shown. Simmons wrote an editorial article for the Washington Post in which he detailed a difficult working environment for his former Sinclair colleagues.

It’s odd how influential the media has become in modern life. Freedom of the press is seen as critical to the democratic process because it allows citizens to learn about and hold their government and political leaders responsible for their activities (Blankenship & Vargo, 2021). When it comes to profit-maximizing enterprises such as the media, it is important to remember that the media is a business in and of itself. In a market where customers may choose practically any media channel they choose, media businesses must establish brands that people are ready to pay for to survive in this new environment. The degree to which the aspirational and the economic are at odds.

The motives of the media are a mystery at this point. Even though it may seem clear, the influence of ownership changes on institutions whose coverage choices define the brand being marketed to customers is generally dependent on anecdotes or personal observations rather than rigorous characterizations. Sydnor (2018) delineates that the content on media platforms may be affected by who controls the media is shown well by Sinclair’s narrative. Furthermore, the case illustrates how media ownership will continue to pose significant hurdles to journalists’ ability to exercise editorial discretion. Blankenship & Vargo (2021) further describe those political and media logics are expected to become more and more distinct as commercialization, deregulation, internationalism, media consolidation, convergence and other reoriented movements take hold. As a result of these tendencies, the dominance of huge corporate media grows, and they can remove themselves from democratic power structures.


References

Blankenship, J. C., & Vargo, C. J. (2021). The Effect of Corporate Media Ownership on the Depth of Local Coverage and Issue Agendas: A Computational Case Study of Six Sinclair TV Station Websites. Electronic News15(3-4), 139-158.
https://doi.org/10.1177/19312431211043483

Eldridge, S. A. (2019). Thank god for Deadspin”: Interlopers, metajournalistic commentary, and fake news through the lens of “journalistic realization. new media & society21(4), 856-878. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444818809461

Hedding, K. J., Miller, K. C., Abdenour, J., & Blankenship, J. C. (2019). The Sinclair effect: Comparing ownership influences on bias in local TV news content. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media63(3), 474-49. https://doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2019.1653103

Sydnor, C. (2018). Fake News: Agenda setting and Gatekeeping in the media.
https://digitalcommons.gardner-webb.edu/undergrad-honors/24

For this part of the project, you’re going to continue using the same topic/event that was used in Capstone Part #1 and do a compare-and-contrast case study. It will require you to view your topic from three different angles: locally, nationally, and globally.  Your case study should be written in APA style, have 800 words, and compare and contrast your topic with how it was portrayed from a local, national, and global standpoint.

· Was there a difference with media coverage about your topic in other parts of the world?

· Were the reactions from media consumers varied in other parts of the world?

· Did different movements happen in other parts of the world based on the topic/event?

· What were the similarities?

· What were the differences?

DO NOT include the questions within your case study and do not summarize the event.


Directions for Capstone Project Part 2: Case Study (15%):

·  Word count for the body of the essay: 800. Going under or over the word count will be counted against your overall grade for the assignment.

· Times New Roman 12pt. font double-spaced.

· Must be written in third person. DO NOT include yourself or your name in the essay.

· Needs to be in APA style: A cover page, running header, citations within the body of the essay, and a reference page at the end.

· Submit it as a Word document ONLY.

· Paragraphs should have proper punctuation, grammar, and structure. Practice the proper writing skills you learned in ENC 1101 & ENC 1102.

· You will need to do substantial research to support your claims before you start writing.

· View rubric to meet the expectations of the assignment.

· Similarity index within TurnItIn should be 25% or lower. Higher similarity indexes will receive an automatic zero.