Teacher Blogs

GCSE Media

A Level Media

Codes & Conventions

Legacy Resources

Useful Materials

Introducing Media Institutions

Steve Campsall | Wednesday December 08, 2010

Categories: Introductory Resources, Intro to Media Institutions

One of the most difficult Media Studies ‘Key Concepts’ to write about meaningfully in your essays is ‘Media Institutions’; but write about it you must if you want to obtain a high grade at the end of your course.

It can help to think about what it means when a concentration of media companies – those that can manufacture high quality media texts and products and distribute them widely and easily – lies in just a few hands. These companies are called ‘media institutions’.

Source: Sony Christmas Advert 2010

An institution is something in society that plays a major role in people’s lives. Thus, the family, school, the NHS are all ‘institutions’.

The media plays a massive part these days in everyone’s lives – and that’s why we speak of ‘media institutions’.

But there is a key difference between the family, the health service and school and media companies.

The first three are there to serve us all; the last works to serve its shareholders.

It’s a fact that most of the media is owned by just a handful of companies and individuals.  In the USA, for example, just five large corporations control nearly all the ‘visual media’ such as television and films.

[Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation CEO]

  • Can you think of any well-known ‘media moguls’ who own a large share of the UK mass media industry – TV, film, newspaper, music, etc?
  • Now being very cynical in your thinking, can you suggest why they wish to own such massive media empires?
  • Now be far more objective an un-cynical and answer the same question!
  • Where do you think the truth lies?

Critics argue that a concentration of media ownership offers an individual or a corporation a huge level of influence and thus power. In the music industry, for example, just two or three worldwide corporations dominate sales worldwide – despite the growth of internet music.

  • How might ownership of a music empire be important?
  • You might not have even realised...

Please subscribe or log in to access the rest of this resource (including associated media).

This website offers a wealth of enriched content to help you help your students with GCSE & A Level Media. Please subscribe or log in to access this content.

The content of this site has been produced by teachers and examiners. Edusites have similar support sites for English and Film called Edusites English and Edusites Film.

If you would like more information about Edusites Media, get in touch using the contact details below.

Kind regards, Richard Gent
Edusites Ltd

[email] admin@edusites.co.uk
[telephone] 01604 847689
[fax] 01604 843220