In the article, ‘Media Concentration and Minority Ownership…’ Omachonu and Healy argue that media reform efforts must incorporate Habermasian and Ellulian approaches. For this question, Ellulian approach will be looked at to see whether it is necessary or useful. His approach was to see the mass media as ‘covert sociological propaganda by which he means that society’s goals are dominated by technical means’ (Omachonu and Healy 93).
He thought the mass media was the precondition for propaganda to thrive and survive and stated that ‘where film production, the press, and radio transmission are not centrally controlled, no propaganda is possible’ (Omanchonu and Healy 94). In others words he found that the way to to reform the mass media, it can not longer be centrally controlled and allow ‘propaganda to flourish while the absence of centralized control dissuades propaganda formation because there are many players, then the current wave of media concentration is encouraging a ‘sociological propaganda’ that allows the twin trends to perpetuate themselves and stifle efforts to encourage diversity of ownership’ (Omanchonu and Healy 95).
In other words, the problem that media is facing is that it only talkings about things that people in power want the audience to know and leave out the the big picture issues because they seem like they don’t want to deal with them. Propaganda is the leading force behind all of this because it is ingraining the same information into everyone’s mind so that they become complacent with how the nation is trying to run.
The approach by Ellulian is useful because it makes people start to question and demand that there is a change in the way that issues are brought up and talked about by the mass media. They should not be a denial of certain topics because the media, and those who control it, don’t want to talk about it. The mass media has to try and decentralize itself from its propaganda and big companies so that they can facilitate change in a country by providing the facts that were once shielded to the public.
We have to talk about things like equality among genders, the treatment of minorities, and many more in order to create some sort of change. That is why this is reform is needed, there needs to be equal opportunity for everyone so if there is no more propaganda, and bias towards certain topics and people, there can be a shift. It allows people to see all sides of a topic and not just one, that is why Ellulian’s reform needs to happen.
The ‘broadcast commons’ is the publics trust in the advertisements done by companies. The problem that is being faced is the most companies are moving away from ethical ways of persuading people to buy their product and are now moving towards unethical ways. In other words the companies are manipulating the truth behind some of their products by leaving out possible dangers that could come with it.
The primary stay on the positive side of the products use so that people don’t get scared of what could happen. There is also an over-saturation of product advertisements as the article states, ‘The increases in product placement and brand integration have blurred the distinction between program content and advertising, with the duration of in-program brand appearances in some network shows exceeding the total duration of commercial breaks’ (Newell 201).
With the used of product placement and video news releases the consumer is always seeing some sort of product that is trying to be sold. If we think about, if you put on any sports broadcast you will see advertisements on all the walls of the stadium, on the jumbotron, and even the players are wearing ads on their jerseys. Then you put on the news, when they talk about advertisers they leave out information that could be harmful to them and there is no way for the public to gain access to that information.
The companies are tying to keep secret certain things that could be harmful to them in the long run should anyone find out what they are hiding. The problem is that most people have started to lose trust in the advertisements because they are starting to understand that the companies don’t care what happens to them as soon as they buy the product all they see the money rolling into their pockets. The public see that there is no more mutual understanding of trust and respect. Even though ‘broadcasters are technically required to disclose all forms of consideration under law, recent forms of stealth marketing, such as product placement and VNR’s, raise the question how effectively sponsor identification rules are enforces’ (Newell 206).
Stealth marketing is a big one because it is a way for the company to sell you a product without your knowledge. They usually send an employee out to test a new video game we will say, put them in a coffee shop and just let people come up to ask them what they are playing and then ask if they can play. They are not directly telling the person to buy this game but are setting a trap for them. It is stuff like this that is breaking the trust with the public and the increase of product placement and video news has a big part in that.