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Characteristics of Dominant Media Institutions – Media and Public Relations | Management Notes

Characteristics of Dominant Media Institutions
Media and Public Relations
Management Notes

Media Institution is an established,often profit based organization that deal in the creation and distribution of advertising,entertainment and information services.Dominance in case of what might be confusing and vague . But for now I will at least refer to dominance in terms of income/turnover/expenditure, volume of product/output, size of audience/consumer base.One may refer to the following:

    1. Degree of vertical integration
    1. Investment in new technology
    1. Multi-nationalism
    1. Conglomeration
    1. Lateral Integration
  1. Diversification

a. Degree of Vertical Integration:
Vertical integration refers to the pattern of business ownership in which a company buys or sets up other companies which relate to the core business – say, publishing. In particular,big media organizations tend to try and control production, distribution and exhibition/retailing.

For e.g:
When NewsCorp moved into the USA it bought Twentieth Century Fox which is about film production and distribution. These films provide product for Fox TV,which itself was greatly expanded in respect of its production and distribution of TV material.

b. Investment in new technology:
Investing in new technology as per the need,context and changing scenario of environment helps the media institution to rule over the other media institutions. Since,they integrate latest technology in their services will help them to have a good market coverage.

c. Multi-nationalism:

Multi-nationalism links to globalization and refers to the fact that the largest mediacompanies do business in different countries, have links across national boundaries (coproductions),distribute product across different countries, and have manufacturing bases in different countries.

This can make them more difficult to regulate, less easy to tax and generally more difficult to ‘challenge’ in national and cultural interests.


Conglomeration refers to a tendency to buy into similar businesses in order to meet competition and to dominate the media sector which a given company is in.This integration and unity brings power for the single media institution.

For e.g:
The Gloucestershire Gazette was owned by a group called Southern Newspapers, but the group was taken over by another called Newsquest, which as a conglomerate is now one of the biggest groups in the country (and is itself owned by a US media company called Gannet).

e. Lateral Integration:

Lateral integration refers to a company move sideways, buying across different media.

For e.g.
Walt Disney Company, which in respect of films owns Miramax and Touchstone, as well as Walt Disney Pictures. In terms of television,it owns the ABC network, as well as Touchstone and Buena Vista television, plus anumber of cable channels. In radio, it owns ABC radio networks. In music, it owns Walt Disney and Hollywood records. In publishing it owns, among others, Hyperion books,seven daily newspapers and a variety of magazines.

f. Diversification:

Diversification refers to another version of the lateral process in which a media company is either bought by a business having nothing to do with media, or in which the media company buys into a non-related media business as a way of spreading its financial bets.

For e.g.
The Bristol Evening Post is now owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust media organization. Before this, it was mainly owned by the British Electric Traction company.


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