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While news and journalism are being transformed through social media news gathering and reporting, data visualizations based on big data and analytics, and consuming habits that seem to run hot and cold between long, text-based content and highly stylized storytelling video, it is important to consider the source outlets (other than individual user-generated content).

It always should be considered if there are political, economic or social agendas that drive both WHAT is fit to publish and HOW (with what bias or purpose) the information and knowledge is told. Is it “Fake news”? It might take looking at more than one source or outlet from different owners to fully understand where that leadership is driving the content and the coverage.

The infographic below was produced from the results of a study commissioned by tech blog Addictivetips intended to reveal the companies and CEOs who control the bulk of today’s news, primarily in three primarily English-language based countries/regions: The US, UK and Australia.

24 companies that own the news worldwide INFOGRAPHIC 2019

24 Companies that own the news Worldwide – click for larger version SOURCE: AddictiveTips.com

Here are part of the findings reflected in the infographic, as reported to VizWorld by AddictiveTips:

Now more than ever, news outlets have a colossal amount of power. Their bias can influence political opinions, consumer tastes and culture at large.

And while many believed the internet would bring openness and diversity to the world’s media, online news sources have become increasingly consolidated over the past several decades.

According to a recent analysis from the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information research center, the market concentration of internet media has more than doubled since 2000. In an analysis of 30 countries, researchers found that, on average, the top four media companies in each country hold 40% of that country’s media content market.

Such a high degree of media concentration — which is only projected to increase — has far-reaching implications for social, cultural, economic, and political life.

That’s why it is increasingly important to know who exactly controls the news we consume every day.

This new study, as commissioned by tech blog AddictiveTips, aims to uncover the powerful companies and CEOs who control the bulk of today’s news – and present the findings in a tangible way.

Methodology

To determine the companies and individuals that own the top news sites in the world, AddictiveTips identified the top owners of the news sites with the most monthly traffic as of September 2019. Data on average visitor traffic for the past one to three months and the relative rank of each news site came from Alexa, an Amazon company, and market intelligence provider SimilarWeb.

 

They identified the owners of the top 50 news sites globally, in the United States, in the U.K., and in Australia, respectively, using financial filings, corporate press announcements, and other public sources. They then isolated the 20 companies with the most visited sites in each geography, as well as other newsworthy media companies, and identified all of the properties in their online media portfolios, as well as the name of their highest-level owners, using financial filings, corporate press announcements, and other public sources.

 

For news sites that are owned by investment firms with a majority stake, the CEO or director of the investment firm was listed as the highest-level owner. For news sites that are owned or directly (or indirectly) controlled by the government (as is the case of the BBC, who since 2017 has had its board members selected by the UK government), the head of government was listed as the highest-level owner.

The companies that control GLOBAL news

Several names are synonymous with media domination around the world: News Corp in the United States, the U.K., and Australia, Globo in Brazil, Yomiuri Shimbun in Japan. While many of the oldest media conglomerates are as powerful as ever and still growing, the emergence of digital news has substantially altered the media landscape and allowed new companies to emerge as major players in the news industry. Tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, as well as telecommunications conglomerates such as Verizon and AT&T, now rank among the top owners of the world’s media.

In recent years, asset management firms and private investors have increasingly bought majority stakes in legacy newspapers and have come to dominate the list of the top media owners worldwide. In April 2019, for example, private equity firm Great Hill Partners acquired the Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion, and combined their digital news assets, which include Gizmodo, Jezebel, and The A.V. Club, into a new company named G/O Media Inc. In August 2019, American investment firm KKR purchased the largest stake in Axel Springer SE, a German media group whose assets include Business Insider and Rolling Stone.

A significant share of the world’s media is owned by national governments. Through outlets such as PBS and NPR, the BBC, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the governments of the United States, the U.K., and Australia all have significant media holdings. State ownership of media in English-speaking countries is dwarfed, however, by the Government of China’s media holdings.[1]

Who dominates the news in AMERICA?

Online news in the United States is dominated by publishers and broadcasters of traditional print and television news such as CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times. Online-only news sites that have a major presence in the U.S. include Yahoo!, Huffington Post, and Reddit.

Some of the top media owners in the U.S. have dominated the news media landscape for over a century, and continue to grow in the era of digital news. The Hearst name, for example, first appeared on a newspaper masthead in 1887. Today Hearst Communications owns dozens of newspapers and magazines throughout the country, each with a significant online presence. Advance Publications, which was founded by Samuel Irving Newhouse Sr. in 1922 and is still family-owned today, has a portfolio that includes Reddit, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and American City Business Journals.

What companies own the news in the UK?

Online news media in the U.K. is dominated by publishers of traditional print media, such as The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Guardian. Tabloid newspapers such as the Daily Mail, The Sun, and the Daily Mirror have a significant online presence in Britain. Several London-based news sites, such as The Economist and the Financial Times, have substantial readership outside of the U.K.

News Corp, through News Corp UK, and Daily Mail and General Trust plc own many of the largest national news sites in the U.K. Through its subsidiary Local World Holdings Ltd., Reach plc owns more than five dozen regional newspapers and their corresponding websites. The Guardian is owned by the Scott Trust Limited, which exists solely to control the finances of the Guardian and ensure its editorial independence.

Who dominates the news industry in AUSTRALIA?

From 1987 to 2006, Australia had specific legislation limiting foreign ownership of media companies on the continent, as well as restrictions on cross-ownership of media companies meant to preserve the diversity of news media.[1] Despite these restrictions, today Australia has a relatively high degree of media concentration.

 

National online news media in Australia is essentially controlled by two companies: News Corp, through News Corp Australia, and Nine. Rural news media is largely dominated by Australian Community Media, whose portfolio includes over 170 regional newspapers and their corresponding websites. Seven West Media also has a substantial news media portfolio that includes traditional newspapers, online-only news sites, magazines, and radio. The Conversation is one of the only major online news sites in Australia that is independently owned.

The state of the public’s trust in the media

As the concentration of online news has increased, so has public distrust in mass media. A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans remain largely mistrustful of the mass media, with just 41% currently having “a great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in newspapers, television and radio to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly.”

Sources

  1. Noam, E. 2016. Who Owns the World’s Media?: Media Concentration and Ownership around the World. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press

  2. Brenan, M. (2019). Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Edges Down to 41%.  gallup.com

  3. Great Hill Partners. (2019). Great Hill Partners Acquires Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion from Univision Communications Inc.. businesswire.com

  4. Thomasson, E. (2019). KKR becomes Axel Springer’s biggest shareholder. reuters.com

  5. Noam, E. 2016. Who Owns the World’s Media?: Media Concentration and Ownership around the World. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press

  6. (n.d.) A Brief History of Hearst. hearst.com

  7. Advance Publications. (n.d.) About Advance. advance.com

The orginal source of this highlighted content and the infographic may be found at: https://www.addictivetips.com/news/who-owns-the-news/

 

EDITORIAL NOTE: VizWorld did not participate in any form, either financially or editorial, in the commissioning, the infographic and the text portion of this article which is identified as verbatim from AdditiveTips.com, nor recieves any form of compensation for the dissemination of this content.  

Content production:

AddictiveTips.com

NeoMam Studios

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