Research reveals influence of media moguls

Dec 16, 2013

Individual or family ownership of media outlets is bad for editorial independence, according to new research by an academic at the University of East Anglia.

Dr Chris Hanretty, a lecturer in politics, investigated the levels of owner influence in 211 different print and broadcast outlets in 32 European media markets, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain. He found that owner influence is greater where voting power within the company is concentrated in the hands of individuals and families rather than companies.

The findings also show that groups which own multiple titles on a national level only are more likely to exercise owner influence, whereas groups which spread their ownership across titles in different countries are less likely to.

Dr Hanretty looked at whether more concentrated ownership increases owner influence and whether individual owners (or ownership stakes held by individuals) bring with them more influence than corporate owners (or stakes held by corporations). He said the findings had implications for policy-makers and regulators.

"Competition authorities might want to look not just at how concentrated the ownership of a particular media outlet is, but also who owns it.

"To the extent that policy-makers and regulators are involved in scrutiny of the acquisition of ownership shares in , they should exercise different levels of scrutiny depending on whether a proposed acquisition will take an ownership interest from an already-controlling share to a larger share, or whether instead the acquisition will increase the ownership interest's voting power compared to the status quo.

"Policy-makers and regulators interested in minimizing proprietorial influence have good reason to 'pierce the corporate veil' and examine the ultimate owners behind ownership interests, because ultimate owners of different types differ in the propensity to exercise owner influence."

Dr Hanretty also warned against putting barriers in the way of ownership of media outlets by foreign operators, in particular groups which have other international titles but no other domestic title, as these groups reduce owner influence.

Explore further: Less privileged kids shine at university, according to study

More information: Read the paper: www.ueapolitics.org/wp-content… minster_preprint.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Is the iPad Creative? It depends on who's buying it

Mar 05, 2013

Encouraging consumers to feel ownership of products they haven't yet purchased can backfire because consumers tend to see themselves in the products they own, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Recommended for you

Why are UK teenagers skipping school?

Dec 18, 2014

Analysis of the results of a large-scale survey reveals the extent of truancy in English secondary schools and sheds light on the mental health of the country's teens.

Fewer lectures, more group work

Dec 18, 2014

Professor Cees van der Vleuten from Maastricht University is a Visiting Professor at Wits University who believes that learning should be student centred.

How to teach all students to think critically

Dec 18, 2014

All first year students at the University of Technology Sydney could soon be required to take a compulsory maths course in an attempt to give them some numerical thinking skills. ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

presschoice00
not rated yet Feb 15, 2014
Hello,What's an amazing experience! It is really informative for me. I read the article and love the concept of Dr. Chris Hanretty. Thanks a lot for sharing.
British news
Nestle
not rated yet Feb 15, 2014
Individual or family ownership of media outlets is bad for editorial independence, according to new research
And the overemployment of researchers is bad for quality of research. Why we have so much duh science?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.