The Media Sector, Organisations and Roles

Introduction

In this essay the professional working roles and some of the many organisations currently in the media sector will be explored. I shall investigate whether the current economic climate has had a negative effect on the industry and what has changed as a result of this. The main organisations chosen to focus on are News Corporation, the Hull Daily Mail, and the British Broadcasting Corporation. The range of companies selected to analyse range in how they are operated and the size of the organisations.

The above organisations were chosen because of the following reasons: News Corporation was chosen as it is a major player in the media sector at the present time. The number of companies and products owned by the organisation is quite considerable, especially for the current state of the economy. BBC is another organisation that will be looked at as it is the most notable corporation in the United Kingdom, and is state-owned and publicly funded by TV licensing laws. Lastly, the Hull Daily Mail will be explored as it is a local newspaper in Kingston upon Hull and is still extremely popular after being a publication since 1885. The Daily Mail and General Trust have also just sold Northcliffe Media Ltd, which owned the Hull Daily Mail publication, to the company media business Local World.

Overview

The current expansion of blog popularity is one key factor in the current state of the media sector; the number of blogs that are used as a source of information is astounding compared with the audience amount for other forms of media, which includes websites, newspapers, and television broadcasting.

The major player in the media sector at the moment is News Corporation which includes the satellite television networks Fox in the United States, and Sky in the UK in its extensive range of assets. These networks are run by the production companies Twentieth Century Fox Television and British Sky Broadcasting Group (BskyB), respectfully.

In television production, Twentieth Century Fox Television together with the company’s other TV studios, produces and distributes television programming. The company’s TV studios are leaders in animated series and supply many of the most popular series to each of major US networks. News Corporation’s other segment is engaged in digital media and other businesses. The company, through IGN Entertainment, also provides Internet media and services that are focused on videogame and entertainment markets.

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is engaged in creating, commissioning and broadcasting programs in television and radio. A majority of the programming is produced in the UK. Freelance workers have become more common in the media industry due to the change in the state of the media sector because of the economic climate. Newspapers have become more online based for the reason that computers are progressively more common in everyday life today.

The Hull Daily Mail is just a small local newspaper in comparison to the above organisations, but its popularity in its area, across East Yorkshire and its surrounding areas, makes the paper successful in a time when the media is changing dramatically. To keep up with the progressing media, the Hull Daily Mail publishes online content as well as the daily print publication so that they can access and appeal to an audience greater than the newspaper readership. Some of the company’s past online articles have reached many different countries across Europe for the quirkiness of the content.

Operations

The BBC is a state-owned organisation that operates a television network which comprises several channels offered by the company. BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, and CBBC are a few examples of the channels that the business offers to UK households. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a broadcasting company based in the United Kingdom, which is where the corporation predominantly operates. The BBC’s headquarters is in England’s capital, London. The BBC HD channel is a high definition television showcase for a range of programming from across the BBC’s other television services which has been created because of the invention of High Definition televisions in the home. British Broadcasting Company also offers a range of services for radio segments, these include the following: Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 4, and also radio stations for local listeners, for example, BBC Humberside and Radio Lincolnshire.

In addition to the above the company provides online content through BBC Online and BBC Red Button which delivers interactive services and content to digital television viewers, including all day, up-to-the-minute content and information, which covers news, weather, learning, entertainment, interactive programming and support for major events. BBC Worldwide is the British Broadcasting Corporation’s commercial subordinate; it works to capitalise on the income the BBC gets from their programme rights and goods, this offsets the UK television license fee.

News Corporation is a diversified international media and entertainment company which run mainly in Europe, the UK, Asia, Australia, Latin America and the United States.  The company is currently based in New York City, NY. The business includes processes across the following industry sectors: publishing; cable network programming; filmed entertainment; television; direct broadcast satellite television; newspapers; and integrated marketing services. The organisation is involved in the production and attainment of films and motion pictures for entertainment and worldwide distribution; the company also produces television programming worldwide via multiple different TV broadcasting channel networks that the business owns.

Hull Daily Mail, a daily printed newspaper publication is an organisation based in the city of Kingston upon Hull in East Yorkshire, England; the paper has an online website where articles are published as well as the printed version. The Internet is where the organisation publishes its unique local news stories that would appeal to an audience on the web. As this company is only a daily newspaper and not an established media organisation as large as News Corp, it does not cover a broad range of media services such as television channels and radio, but Local World, a company which has just purchased the Hull Daily Mail from Northcliffe Media has a wide range of printed publications in its arsenal.

Media sector

The digital revolution has had a massive effect on the way these organisations operate; the developing technologies have affected the media sector in ways such as how the companies are promoted which includes using the social media/networking sites, websites, blogs, and so on.

Due to the increasing importance of technology and its growing Internet based products, the companies in the media have to keep up to date with these skills to be able to maintain their place as major players in the media sector; to do this they have created Twitter and Facebook accounts, online websites, blogs, iPhone apps, and so on; these have to be available to the audience so that they will still be interested in the products/information/news that they offer. BBC have several Twitter accounts which cover the main areas of the news, an example of this would be the BBC UK and BBC Breaking News accounts that have proven to be popular among the users on the social networking site Twitter.

The BBC launched their online website http://www.bbc.co.uk in 1991, after the invention of the Internet, and it was developed as a new way for the British Broadcasting Corporation to connect with its range of audiences. Since 2010, News Corporation has had an investment in Journalism Online which enables printed publications including magazines, online-only publishers, and newspapers to collect revenue from the readers of their online material. BBC News offers a 24-hour news loop 7 days a week; this information goes around the globe via television broadcast and the company’s online websites and social networking accounts.

In the last 2 years a lot has changed at the British Broadcasting Corporation; the company launched applications for smartphones in 2010, which included the BBC News and BBC Sport apps. Furthering BBC’s allure to an online audience, in 2011, the organisation launched a new BBC iPlayer on televisions, which offered the customers several additional features to the normal BBC iPlayer. The creation of the catch up channels on televisions and Internet meant that the BBC and the other major channels in the UK were more appealing to the public as the programmes that the networks offered could be viewed after they had aired at their normal broadcasting times.

News Corporation has taken a major hit in the past year due to the News of the World/News International phone-hacking scandal, the on-going Leveson Inquiry is a result of this. This inquiry into the British press has had a colossal influence on the way publications acquire their information nowadays; its investigation included a thorough exploration about the ethics and culture of today’s British media. Consequently, new regulatory body has been presented to the British Parliament to monitor and censor the British press, which would be backed by law if a situation negating these regulations were to occur.

The inquiry participants comprise of the following: the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), News International, the Telegraph Media Group, the Metropolitan Police, Guardian News and Media Ltd, the Trinity Mirror, Northern and Shell Network Ltd, and Associated Newspapers Ltd. In 2011 News Corporation shut down the News of the World publication due to several accusations and allegations claiming the newspaper had paid police officers at the Metropolitan Police for information by a number of its employees.

The Hull Daily Mail has had to keep up with the direction the Media Sector is travelling by expanding to online websites (thisishullandeastriding.co.uk). However, of the 61 employees/reporters that the company employ, only one works to publish the online articles. According to Jamie Macaskill, assistant editor for the newspaper, there is more a demand for journalism than ever before, meaning there still is a wide audience for the printed Hull Daily Mail publications, with three quarters of the East Yorkshire population still reading it daily. Forty thousand papers are sold per day, meaning it reaches a total of 125,000 people daily.

Job expectations

The increasing amount of work expected from a single journalist has increased exponentially, this due to the growing number of redundancies in the workplace, as a result of these redundancies because of the state of the economy, a single employee is anticipated to be able to have a more broad range of skills and cover a wider area of expertise in the business. More experience is needed by the companies for them to employ a worker as a member of the organisations staff, for example, a news reporter would also be estimated to be able to do camera work, photography work, article writing, and so on.

The Hull Daily Mail has dramatically reduced its number of staff recently, downsizing to a single floor in the Daily Mail and General Trust building; the Daily Mail and General Trust has just over 12,000 employees nationally, just a small fraction of this number of workers are employed at the Hull Daily Mail newspaper. The staff at the Hull Daily Mail in today’s climate have much more experience and a broader range of skills than past employees hired to work for the publication in its 127 year history. This is due to the fallen economy, the need for more qualified staff has become greater as the number of employees fell; the companies simply could not afford to retain all of the specialist workers and fund a vast workforce.

News Corporation’s number of employees currently stands at 51,000 people; this number of workers spans the main countries/continents they operate in, and beyond. 23 of the 51,000 News Corp workers are part of the Senior Management or higher, meaning they are part of the Executive and Non-Executive Board. The BBC employs 13 people who are included in the Senior Management Staff and the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Executive Board; according to figures by MarketLine, in February 2011 the BBC had approximately 22,886 additional employees across the rest of the company.

The rising prospects of the business’ employees in the all areas of the media sector has resulted in the employees going above and beyond what has been previously expected by the media organisations. This diminishing number of staff in all of the industries has had a huge impact on the media business; many journalists have been forced to go freelance in the last couple of years because of the state of the economy.

Conclusion

The overall findings in the research into all of the organisations is that all of the organisations that have been researched have expanded their coverage in accordance to the growing Media Sector, as a result of this the job titles in the companies have changed and the expectations of the organisations employees have increased. The Hull Daily Mail has reduced its number of staff because of the economic climate, which meant the workers kept on at the company were expected to increase their workload and develop and increase their skill set.

The Leveson Inquiry has had a huge impact on the press, with the British government allowing the media to produce their own policing and laws following Leveson’s regulatory body, Parliament are then expected to review the press’ self-regulation system to establish whether they have met a detailed and tight enough media law guideline. This could affect the future of the British, and even global, press greatly.

Online journalism has also impacted the Media Sector, as the Internet has become increasingly more popular, and information getting to the public in many more ways, like social networking sites, for example Twitter, which is one of the fastest ways to hear a news story; television, 24 hour news channels, CNN, BBC, Sky News; blogs, including WordPress, Tumblr; and many other online sources.

References

MarketLine. (2012). British Broadcasting Corporation. Available: http://advantage.marketline.com/Product?pid=DF6A4575-EC99-49A3-8C71-EB552752F3AC. Last accessed 27th Nov 2012.

MarketLine. (2012). News Corporation. Available: http://advantage.marketline.com/Product?pid=BC44C9A8-F448-47E9-B7D3-9869C85E59F0. Last accessed 28th Nov 2012.

Northcliffe Media Limited. (2012). Hull Daily Mail. Available: http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/people/Hull%20Daily%20Mail/profile.html. Last accessed 29th Nov 2012.

Local World. (2012). About us. Available: http://local-world.co.uk/aboutus.html. Last accessed 29th Nov 2012.

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