Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Big business and how it affects media ethics Essay
The effect of media on the public as shown in the long list of Hollywood movies is of prime interest with big business that targets mass consumption of their products, services and ideas. Big business sells not merely a product or a service but a whole lifestyle and mode of thinking. Big business sells a whole package of beliefs passed on from one generation of consumers to the next. McGuire (1986) noted several of the most commonly mentioned intended media effects: (a) the effects of advertising on purchasing, (b) the effects of political campaigns on voting, (c) the effects of public service announcements (PSAs) on personal behavior and social improvement, (d) the effects of propaganda on ideology, and (e) the effects of media ritual on social control. And the one who could manipulate the media eventually controls the effects media has on its audience. And due to this interest, big business has not been complacent in using media to further its interests to the extent of affecting media ethics. There is a war between big business and media as one tries to use, outwit and profit from each otherÃ¢â¬â¢s power. Media needs the advertising money that big business has. And big business needs mediaÃ¢â¬â¢s format and reach to help push their products in competitive markets. On ordinary and traditional circumstance, business news will be the usual reporting of financial markets, who recently go hired or who recently got promoted but times are changing as media and big business realize the power they have over each other. Ã¢â¬Å"Private enterprise has been and continues to be thought of as a private ?affair by many who engage in it. But for a multitude of reasons, the ? media try (and not often enough, some argue) to make private transactions public business. The press is watching business closely. One page from a metropolitan ? newspaper can tell the story. The Orange County Register, a southern ? California daily with a circulation of over 300,000, reported stories under ? these headlines one day in early 1987: Ã¢â¬Å"GM plans to lay off 2,000 in ? Kansas CityÃ¢â¬ ; Ã¢â¬Å"Ford exec asks cut in Japanese ImportsÃ¢â¬ ; Ã¢â¬Å"SEC chief says ?more big news is comingÃ¢â¬ ; Ã¢â¬Å"Guiness director quits over schemeÃ¢â¬ ; Ã¢â¬Å"People/Continental to offer 2-for-1 ticketsÃ¢â¬ ; Ã¢â¬Å"GE to lay off 3,000 workers at ? Northeast plantsÃ¢â¬ ; A large picture showed striking Lockheed Shipbuilding workers crossing a picket line ? in Seattle. Ã¢â¬ (Blohowiak, 1987) ItÃ¢â¬â¢s more dangerous when both cohort each other into twisting the truth and step over business and media ethics. In this light, big business and media profit from the unethical practice of their crafts with the mass markets eventually receiving unjust consequences as illustrated by the highly celebrated Enron fiasco. Ã¢â¬Å"In the wake of apparently dishonest practices by Enron Corp. executives, and apparent negligence by members of its board of directors, many are asking how people believed to be so smart could have lacked the moral courage to seek and tell the truth. As there is after every financial scandal, a call is being made for more courses in Ã¢â¬Å"business ethicsÃ¢â¬ in the leading universities. Ã¢â¬ (Berlau, 2002) Another example of the big business that has continually been in headlines is the business of war. Media has played a critical role in convincing voters to support the decision of their leaders to go to war and spend for war. Smith in 1994 explains Ã¢â¬Å"that armament firms have sought to influence public opinion through the control of newspapers in their own and foreign countries, that armament firms have organized international armament rings through which the armament race has been accentuated by playing off one country against another, that armament firms have organized international armament trusts which have increased the price of armaments sold to governments. Ã¢â¬ (Smith, 1994) As the Bush administration furthers its campaign against terror, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are slowly becoming the most expensive campaign since World War II. Lawmakers and congressional staff reports that Pentagon is preparing $127 billion to $160 billion worth of requests for its armed services due for 2007. Ã¢â¬Å"ThatÃ¢â¬â¢s on top of $70 billion already approved for 2007. Since 2001, Congress has approved $502 billion for the war on terror, roughly two-thirds for Iraq. The latest request, due to reach the incoming Democratic-controlled Congress next spring, would make the war on terror more expensive than the Vietnam War. Ã¢â¬ (Wolf, 2006) The business of war just like any other kind of big business will succeed to prosper and profit because behind these big businesses are media partners that by themselves big business as well. Media ethics is nowhere to be found in bottom line discussions between the big businesses and the use of the networks to serve specific interests as elaborated by the action of Sinclair Broadcasting Group and their support for the Bush Administration presidential campaigns. Ã¢â¬Å"If what can only be described as an attempt by a large, conservative corporation to keep a corporate president in power, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which owns 62 stations nationwide, has ordered all of its stations to pre-empt regular programming and instead show an anti-Kerry film along the lines of the Swift Boat Liars one week before the election. Ã¢â¬Å"ItÃ¢â¬â¢s not the American way for powerful corporations to strong-arm local broadcasters to air lies promoting a political agenda,Ã¢â¬ said David Wade, a spokesman for the Democratic nomineeÃ¢â¬â¢s campaign. Ã¢â¬Å"ItÃ¢â¬â¢s beyond yellow journalism; itÃ¢â¬â¢s a smear bankrolled by Republican money, and I donÃ¢â¬â¢t think Americans will stand for it. Ã¢â¬ (Bowers, 2004) Big business has taken into its payroll media elements including important roles that protect standards. This is imperative if big business wants to ensure success in the big amount of money they invest on advertising or news reporting for example. Although bad or good advertisement is still advertisement and can help brand retention, at the end of the day, consumers would always go for the products and services that have a good reputation. And with media ethics slowly getting softer and softer, with manipulations with words, graphics and endorsers, a not so good product will sell. These are possible due to evolving market models. Ã¢â¬Å"The unrestrained market model has diminished the authority of news editors, once guardians of quality, the domainÃ¢â¬â¢s bulwarks against illegitimate pressures exerted by the owners, the public, or other stakeholders. The editors, in a sense, were newsroomsÃ¢â¬â¢ superegos, the disinterested enforces of standards. Most editors are now firmly embedded in the corporate hierarchy, directly answerable to fiscal matters. They are paid like executives Ã¢â¬â a big change from the recent past Ã¢â¬â and are expected to conform to corporate fiscal priorities. Ã¢â¬ (Gardner, 2001).