Media Economics and Governance

4.1 Introduction

This chapter provides an overview of the main features of media economics and typical system of regulation (governance). Both show distinctive features compared with other industry sectors and other institutional areas. The key to differences in both cases is the dual character of media, being both a commercial enterprise and a key element in the political, cultural and social life of society. They cannot be left entirely to the marketplace or be closely regulated. Neither media forms nor governments have a free hand to imply policy. Although the trend is towards greater freedom, there will be limits to action.

Mass media can be regulated in marginal or indirect ways by governments. The forms of governance are extremely varied, including internal as well as external, informal as well as formal means. Different forms of regulation are applied to different technologies of distribution. Forms of governance are rooted in the history and political cultures of each society.

4.2 Some Economic Principles of Media Structure

  1. A) Different Media Markets and Sources of Income

According to Picard (1989:17), ‘A market consists of sellers that provide the same good or service, or closely suitable goods or services, to the same group of consumers’. In general, markets can be defined according to place, people, type of revenue and the nature of the product or service. A more fundamental line of economic division in the media business is between the consumer market for media products and services and the advertising market, in which a service is sold to advertisers in the form of access to the audience. This feature of media economics – reliance on two different sources of revenue – has far reaching significance. One can note within the consumer market there is another division: between the market for “one-off” products like books, tapes, videos and newspapers sold directly to consumers and that for continuous media services like cable or broadcast television or online media. In fact there are other sources of income besides the two mentioned. They include sponsorship, product placement and public relations, as well as public money and support from private backers.

  1. B) Implications: Advertising Verses Consumer Revenue

The difference between the two main sources of revenue – direct product sales and advertising is an important tool for comparative analysis and for explaining media features and trends. The distinction cuts across the difference between media types, although some media are rather unsuitable for advertising (especially the ‘one off’ media), while others can operate equally in both markets (especially television, radio newspapers, magazines and the internet) there are some ‘advertising revenue only’ media, with no consumer revenue- for instance, free newspapers, promotional magazines and a few television channels.

Advertising based media are accessed according to the number and type of consumers (who they are, where they live) reached by particular messages (e.g. circulation, readership and reach/ratings). The market performance of media content that is paid for directly by consumer is assessed by the income received from sales and subscription to services. Ratings of (quantitative) satisfaction and popularity may be relevant to both markets, but they count for relatively more in the consumer income market.

Performance in one market can affect the performance in another, where a medium operates in both. For instance, an increase in newspaper sales (producing more consumer revenue) can lead to higher advertising rates, provided that the increase does not lead to lower than an average level of socio-economic composition, with a reverse effect on unit advertising rates. It is also clear that the difference of revenue base can lead to different kinds of opportunity or vulnerability to wider economic circumstances.

Media that are highly dependent on advertising are likely to be more sensitive to the negative impact of general economic downturns than media that sell(usually low-cost) products to individual consumers. The latter may also be in a better position to cut costs in the face of falls in demand (but this depends on the cost structure of production).

4.2.1 The Effects of Ownership

For mass communication theory, it is nearly always the ultimate publication decision that matters most. Liberal theory rests on the assumption that ownership can be effectively separated from control or editorial decisions. Larger decisions about resources, business strategy and the like are taken by owners or boards of owners, while editors and other decision-makers are let free to take the professional decisions about content which is their special expertise. In some situations and countries there are intermediary institutional arrangements (such as editorial statutes) designed to safeguard the integrity of editorial policy and the freedom of journalists. Otherwise, professionalism, codes of conduct, public reputation (since media are always in public eye) and common (business) sense are supposed to take care of the seeming problem of undue owner influence.

The existence of checks and balances cannot, however, obscure several facts of life for media operation. One is that, ultimately, commercial media have to make profits to survive, and this often involves taking decisions which directly influence content (such as cutting costs, closing down, shedding staff, investing or not, and merging operations). Publicly owned media do not escape an equivalent economic logic. It is also a fact that most private media have a vested interest in the capitalist system and are inclined to their interests alone.

4.2.2 Market Media Reach

The difference between the two revenue markets interacts with other features of the media market. As noted above, the social composition of the audience reached (and sold to advertisers) is important, because of the differences in purchasing power and in types of goods advertised. There is logic in the advertising based mass media which favours a convergence of media tastes and consumption patterns (less diversity). This is because of homogenous audiences are often more cost-effective for advertisers than heterogeneous and dispersed markets, unless there are very large mass markets for mass products. This is one reason as suggested by Bakker, 2002, that the viability of the free newspaper that provides complete coverage of a particular area with relatively high homogeneity. However, on occasion there can be premium on diversity, when a medium can accurately deliver small but profitable niche markets. This is one the potential of the internet and of other specialist (non-mass) channels.

It is important for some advertisers such as local traders to be able to reach a high proportion of their potential customers. One result is that the newspapers with a dispersed set of readers are often more at risk economically than those with a locally concentrated circulation. This is partly because of higher distribution costs, but it also stems from the relative capacity to cover a particular market of consumers, especially the relevant so called ‘retail trading zone’. The general effect is to reward media concentration, almost by definition, the more newspapers-or other media- which compete, the more dispersed their separate set of readers are likely to be.

4.3 Distinctive Features of Media Economics

Let us understand some typical features of the economics of media which distinguish them from other kinds of business. First, the media are typically ‘hybrid’ or mixed in character. Often they operate in a dual market, selling a product consumers and a service to advertisers. They are also extremely diversified in terms of the terms of the type of product sold and the range of technologies and organisational means for distribution. Secondly, media cost structures are characterised by high labour intensives and high fixed costs, although both dependencies are diminishing as a result of technological change and media expansion.

A third feature of the media is the high degree of uncertainty and also the uniqueness of the product. Uncertainty refers to consumer evaluation (it is still difficult to predict audience taste for music, films or books, however much manipulation through publicity is tried). Fourthly, despite standardisation, many media products can be easily differentiated on a day to day basis and can rarely be repeatedly sold in exactly same form. Fifthly, the media seem has a tendency of concentration. This may happen because of the advantages of monopoly control of advertising markets are so evident, and perhaps because of the appeal of power and social prestige to would-be media ‘tycoons’. Sixthly, many media businesses at least those involving distribution are unusually hard to enter without large capital resources, mainly because of high fixed costs and high launch costs. One cannot hope to start up a significant newspaper or a television channel ‘in a small way’, although there are niche markets available. Finally, the media are different simply because they are affected by public interest, as suggested by Melody, 1990. And thus, they are not just ‘any other business’, and tend to be burdened with a considerable responsibility.

While the production and manufacturing oriented business is focuses on production and tries to sell products. The customer oriented business focuses on the need of the customer and produces accordingly, being aware of the marketability of the services or product sold.

4.3.1 Mass Media Governance

The manner in which the media are controlled in democratic societies reflects both their indispensability for business, politics and everyday social and cultural life and also their relative immunity to government regulation. Some controls, limitations and also their relative immunity to government regulation. Some controls, limitations and prescriptions are necessary, but principles of freedom (of speech and markets) require a cautious even minimal approach to regulatory control. It makes sense to use the term ‘governance’ in this context to describe overall set of laws, regulations, rules and conventions which serve the purposes of control in the general interest, including that of media industries. Governance refers to the formal and binding rules, numerous mechanisms, internal and external to the media, by which they are steered towards multiple inconsistent objectives. Despite the ‘bias against control’, there is an extensive array of actual potential forms of control on media. Because of the diversity of the terrain covered it is inappropriate to speak of the ‘system’ of governance, although they are some general principles and regulatory to be found in the same form in many countries. Essentially governance entails some set of standards or goals coupled with some procedures of varying strictness for enforcing or policing them.

Distinctive Features Of Media Economics

  • Media are hybrid in respect of markets, product and technology
  • Media have high fixed costs
  • It involves creativity and uncertainty
  • Products can be multiply used/recycled
  • Media tend naturally to concentration
  • Media business is difficult to enter
  • Media are not just any other business, because of the public interest aspect

4.3.2 Purposes and Forms of Governance

The variety of forms of governance that apply to the media reflects the diversity of the purposes, which include-

♦ The protection of interests of the state and of public order, including the prevention of public harm

♦ To safeguard individual rights and interests

♦ Meeting the needs of media industry for a stable and supportive operating environment

♦ Promotion of freedom and other communication and cultural values

♦ Encouragement of technological innovation and economic enterprise

♦ Setting technical and infrastructural standards

♦ Meeting international obligations, including observance of human rights

♦ Encouraging media accountability.

It is clear that such wide ranging goals call for a diverse set of mechanisms and procedures, given the limited scope for direct governmental action. The outline of four media frameworks (law, market, public responsibility and professionalism) has given an overview already of the main alternatives available. The complex terrain can be mapped out according to two main dimensions; external versus internal, and formal versus informal. The main forms of governance are classified in this way into four types, each with appropriate mechanisms for implementation.

Governance applies at various levels. We can distinguish between the international, national, regional and local levels, according to the way a media operates.

4.3.3 Media Regulation and Self-Regulation

Regulations are formal and compulsory instructions about the structure, conduct or content of the media. These include control on monopoly ownership or media cross ownership, control over the amount of advertising on television (found in many European media systems); or the basic requirements to have an operating or receiving license for television or radio.

The legal system has formal regulation for media, even if not specifically part of any communication policy, as with laws that govern wireless, broadcasting, telephonic and other electronic communication.

Legal requirements that de facto help to regulate the media include, prohibitions against libel and defamation, laws protecting privacy, laws concerning intellectual property rights, and prohibitions against incitement to violence or racial hatred, pornography or obscenity. Generally the justice system protects itself by law against media activities that might pervert the course of justice, e.g. the publication of information about accused persons. In some countries, political communication is regulated, especially at election times in order to maintain fairness.

The typical framework of mechanisms for media regulation can be described in terms of a dimension of greater to lesser formality in respect of the main areas of application described above. Formality refers to three main aspects of regulation: whether or not it is established in law; whether provisions carry enforceable penalties (financial or otherwise); and whether it is permanent or temporary.

Most informal mechanisms of regulation rely on customary agreement and voluntary compliance, but there are pressures toward compliance aside from the law (e.g. from colleagues, industry clients, audience, advertisers, sources, etc.).

The degree of formality is related to power. Most powerful is the state and government, although the ultimate power to intervene in the media directly is usually avoided, even in authoritarian regimes (because it may be counterproductive). After the state, in descending order of power are: specific laws to regulate the media (Media or Broadcasting Laws); general laws of the country to which the media are also subject; administrative, technical and economic regulations which also affect the media; supervisory and advisory bodies for the media – e.g. the CSA (Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel) in France, Ofcom (Office of Communications) in the UK or the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the USA; industry or public bodies to monitor standards of performance in specific areas (e.g. advertising, privacy); press subsidy systems; voluntary codes of practice and ethics for media organisations (self-regulation); outside pressure groups.

Self-regulation refers to responsibilities assigned to media operators to implement by themselves or that are voluntarily chosen by them. Such rules often have the character of desirable goals, guidelines or principles, rather than fixed or compulsory standards to be achieved. They are `policed’ either within and by the media organisation itself or by some intermediate body representing public and industry interests.

Self-regulation in the press mainly takes the form of journalistic codes of practice for accuracy and fairness plus some procedures for implementation. In broadcasting, it abounds in various forms such as guidelines for reporting on controversial issues such as terrorism or violence. Self-regulation also deals with privacy issues, the protection of journalistic sources and standards in advertising.

There is a large and growing category of communication regulation that is neither clearly formal and binding nor informal which relates to technical, legal and administrative points. These help to facilitate better interconnection and smooth operation of markets agreed nationally and internationally. Examples of this category include technical standards and copyright rules.

4.4 Media Policy and Policy Making

Between such general statements of principles and actual regulation we expect to find policies, which are projects of government formulated in particular countries for application to their own media systems. Communication policies are usually formulated as a result of pressures from public opinion or from self-interested groups (e.g. a branch of the media industry).

Media policies organise goals and means of action in relation to the media in general, to one media sector or some problematic issue (e.g. media concentration or transnational media flow) and the policy-making process normally involves the expression of conflicting interests. The main struggles over communication policy involve the following oppositions:-

  • Public versus private interests,
  • Economic versus social or cultural interests, and
  • International versus national or local interests

The main different levels at which communication policies are formed are the transnational, the national and the local or regional. Examples of policy actors at the first level would be: UNESCO, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and the European Commission (EC). At the national level there is probably the widest range of actors and interests, including many political bodies, labour unions and media industry interests. At the local or regional level, decisions about access (e.g. to a city cable system) may be in the hands of local government. Political and cultural bodies may also sponsor media provision for special needs. The level at which an issue is formulated largely determines the particular decision forum in which related discussions and decisions take place.

Communication policy-making can follow or appeal to a variety of different logics according to which an actor engages in the policy process. “Logic,” here refers to the “perception of the situation and the structure of goals and means…in a given situation” (McQuail and Siune). Logic (of policy) can also be considered as a consistent rationale of thinking and action related to particular goals. The most relevant kinds of logic for media policy and regulation are as follows:-

  • Political (based mainly on partisanship)

 

  • Administrative (reflecting organisational efficiency)

 

  • Commercial (refers to profitability)

 

  • Industrial (related to broader national economic strategies)

 

  • Cultural (depending on a choice of values, for instance relating to language, nation, ethnicity, community, gender)

 

  • Technical (operating efficiency and technology innovation)

These terms reflect the different roles and perspectives which are brought to bear on a particular issue.

4.4.1 Alternative Mechanisms of Media Accountability and Regulation

Accountability can be defined as “all the voluntary or involuntary processes by which the media answer directly or indirectly to their society for the quality and/or consequences of publication” (McQuail). Accountability covers a much wider range of matters than is likely to be dealt with by regulation. It is based on the existence of standards and responsibilities which the media either accept or which may be imposed on them. Where the media are voluntarily accountable to their audience or the society, there is less need for regulation. However, regulation, especially in relation to issues of content and effect, is often necessary because the media do not choose to be accountable. The two concepts are brought together here because the there is a considerable overlap between the means of regulation and the mechanisms that exist for accountability.

In general there are four main types of accountability mechanism. One is provided by the media market, which balances the demands and evaluations of the audience (and advertisers) with what the media provides. In an open and competitive media market, the media should be rewarded for good conduct and content, and be punished (commercially) for their sins. A second type is also of an informal character and derives from the pressures from public opinion and pressure groups that may eventually be felt by way of the political system and by new media policy. Thirdly, there is the sphere of law and regulation where the media are formally required to meet certain (limited) standards and may be punished for failing to do so, after due process of inquiry and defence. Fourthly, there is the sphere of industry or professional self regulation, which has already been explained. In this context, accountability is usually voluntary but carried out according to set procedures. It does not usually lead to any material penalty.

With the help of specific examples, explain in your own words the relation between theory, policy and regulation.

Unit 4, Part 2

4.1 Introduction

Corporations and industries reach out to their target audience through marketing. Advertising is an integral part of marketing. If customers are not aware of the products manufactured for them, they cannot buy them, and if they are not aware of the substitutes of a category of one product, they will not be able to compare the prices and take a better economic decision according to their budget. As well as the manufacturers of product line up which has more such substitutes has to compete with the other company for the customers’ attention.

So, we can say that the focus of marketing oriented departments is directed towards consumer satisfaction and maintenance of that level of satisfaction with that company for a longer time. The customers stay loyal as long as they are satisfied. These two prerequisites of marketing oriented organisations yield rich dividends in terms of profits for the organisation.

An important aspect for successful marketing is to direct a successful ad campaign, you must have seen how ads with certain jingles and tag lines are creatively put in order to appeal the customers. It is the advertising that quantifies the efforts of marketing by reaching the targeted customers.

Let us understand how advertising is beneficial for an organisation:

  • It generates the appetite for the product amongst new consumers.

 

  • It provides new reasons to the potential customers to buy a certain product.

 

  • It is an integral element of the marketing process like sales, distribution, promotion and product development.

4.2 The Role of Media in Boosting Advertising

The reach of media is substantial. When people talk about the media, they are referring to the distributors of news and entertainment contents. All medium of communication taking a part in advertising are in the advertising delivery business.

Media is largely dependent on advertising for its survival. Media gets almost a major chunk of its expenses and profits from the advertising revenue. On the other hand, the advertising industry is equally dependent on the media to reach out to wider mass.

It is not that advertisers have no option than going to media for publication of their advertisement. They can advertise their product by moving from door to door or resorting to conventional methods in reaching out the people. But what brings on a major effect and makes all the difference is the reach and influence of media on peoples’ decision making.

Media is popular and has a wider reach and people generally believe what the media shows. Media acts as a channel between the product and the target market. This is the money making or revenue generating process that takes care of the cost of publication or to stay afloat. Today, some of the highest profitable enterprises in the world are run by the media organisations.

The Times of India or Dainik Bhasker- papers with good circulation in the country may be costing the producer about Rs.20 a piece. And when the agent commission and distribution cost of a paper is added the copy’s cost soars up. However, the paper reaches to the reader at a much lower rate at about Rs. 5. This implies that the publication houses are losing a lot per copy. The question is how and why publishing business flourishes after all these odds on cost of production and distribution after selling a copy of newspaper below a rate that does not cover its production cost.

Here, we have to understand that the revenue that comes from selling the newspaper is not all that a publication house is dependent on. For them the larger source of income that takes care of their cost of production and distribution are due to the advertisements.

The quality of contents of a newspaper or a magazine’s is directly proportional to its brand appeal and consecutively affects the circulation. Higher circulation brings in more number of advertisements. More advertisement implies higher the price of advertisement space. Higher the advertisement price, more the revenue. More the revenue, better the spending on quality of paper, staff, circulation initiatives and brand building

With the convergence of media i.e. the traditional publication house and digitisation say internet- media houses have spread their base. A newspaper house may be into broadcasting business as well as internet blogging and vice versa. Due to these reasons, media salespersons simply cannot limit their work operating from within a box i.e. segregate themselves as print, broadcast, electronic, internet sales persons. They are media marketing sales professionals.

Thus even a media professional should be aware of the five Ps of marketing, i.e. Product, Price, Promotion, Place and Post-purchase-service, feel Tim Larson and Ken Foster in the book Media Selling: Broadcast, Cable, Print and Interactive.

4.3 Income Sources of Media

Advertising has been the main source of revenue for most of the media organisations be it the print, television or internet. They all do space selling. Even trailers of movies and ads before or after a screening of a movie at the theatre generate revenue. Movies or cinema being a mass media also generates revenue through playing advertisements rather than just distribution of their film and screening. While Newspapers advertising depends on its circulation and readership, television’s advertising revenue rests with TRP and internet with that of “hits.”

4.3.1 Newspapers and their Sources of Income

The two main source of revenue for a newspaper organisation are,

  1. Circulation
  2. Advertisement

In fact, both these revenue generating components are mutually dependent on each other.

  1. A) Revenue Through Circulation:

The revenue that generates from direct or indirect sales of newspaper copies is the revenue via circulation. This comes from the sale of the newspaper copies to the readers.

It could be through home delivery to the regular subscribers, single issue sale through vendors, and through news outlets or though bulk purchases at hotels and business establishments. Besides there is a marketing gimmick used by the news houses i.e. “sample copies” which are distributed to potential subscribers, advertisers and business establishments. Circulation money is not surplus for a publication but ‘copy’ sales helps in retaining old advertisers and attracting new ones.

  1. B) Revenue Collection through Advertisements

Newspapers advertisements can be categorised under,

  1. a) Classified
  2. b) Display
  3. c) Classified display advertising, and
  4. d) Newspaper Inserts

Now let us study them in detail,

  1. a) Classified advertisements are small messages grouped under a specific heading (classification) in a separate section of the newspaper or magazine. These are relatively small advertisements and are usually placed in column and do not include any graphic. These advertisements generally deals with offers or requests for jobs, houses on sale or rent, apartments on rent, drivers, vehicles on rent, car rentals, tutorials, hostel vacancies among others. Classified advertisements are generally sold on per line basis or number of word basis to the clients. Though small in size and inexpensive, the classified section filled with a large number of small advertisements on almost daily basis. These are a regular source of income for newspapers and magazines. There is generally a fixed page where classified advertisement appears regularly.
  2. b) Display Advertisements are the bold advertisements found in different pages of a newspaper. These advertisements have a generous share of newspaper space and their size is measured in the column centimetre or square centimetre basis. Besides, the standard measurement scale these may also be counted in terms of quarter page, half page or on full page basis. Display advertisements are placed in any page of the newspaper and earn good revenue. Display advertisements are divided into two categories namely local (retail) and national (general). Local advertisements are booked by the sales people of the newspaper in their local market, and are the main source of revenue. Advertisements by local vendors starting from car show room to restaurants, boutiques, educational institutions, food joints and opening, discount sales in super malls make this section of advertisements. Whereas national advertisements are booked by the representatives of the organisation and consist of brand promotion, image promotion or sale of company manufactured goods like television sets, ACs, Cars, Bikes etc.
  3. c) Classified Display Advertisements are different from classified advertisements in several ways. In this case, the copy occupies more space and in several instances carries graphics. It is generally surrounded by bold border and also carries bold headlines and logo of the company. Generally automobile dealers, recruitment agencies and real-estate agents use this space.

Besides these ads procured from commercial establishments and service providing firms, another kind of advertisement which is popular as well as seasonal is Political advertisement, which usually covers the display section and predominantly appear during political events, rallies and before elections.

  1. d) Newspaper Inserts are not part of the newspaper but are inserted in the newspaper before distribution. Advertisers like big grocery stores, shopping malls, restraints, food festivals in hotels, food joint promotions prefer the kind of advertisement. While the advertiser gets mileage by distributing its message to a huge number of people through the newspaper inserts, the newspaper gets revenue for facilitating the distribution of the insert advertisement via their distribution chain.

4.4  Television and their Sources of Income

The major sources of revenue for the visual broadcasting medium are:

  1. a) Paid subscription
  2. b) Advertisements, and
  3. c) Cable distribution

4.4.1 Revenue through Subscription

Almost all news channels including the public broadcaster Doordarshan now run on the paid subscription mode. Like newspapers, the subscription revenue is very less as compared to that of the cost involved in the production of various programmes aired by the television channels. The shortfall of the cost is filled up by advertising generates profit.

4.4.2 Revenue through Advertisements

Television advertising could be classified into several segments like,

  1. a) Television Commercials
  2. b) Direct selling advertising
  3. c) Political Advertising

4.4.3 Television Commercials

Television commercials are short films that vary from 15 to 120 seconds and in some cases even more. Unlike newspapers where advertising ‘space’ is measured by square centimetre or column centimetre, in television, the ‘space’ is measured by seconds.

There is another factor though considered for pricing slot like the timing of the commercial i.e. prime time, news hour, morning space, evening space etc. Rate of the commercial advertisement varies on the basis of timing as well as the length of the commercial. These advertisements are termed as “commercials” as they generally intend to promote a product or service so that its commercial interest in fulfilled.

4.4.4 Direct Selling Adverting

This is a new concept of advertising on television. Through this companies do direct selling by advertising their products over television. They generally book spots on specific television channel for a particular time and for a particular duration. The difference between television commercials and direct selling advertisement is that the latter did not have a middle agent in their business. The content advertised directly reaches the customer.

4.4.5 Political Advertisements

Broadcast mediums earn through political advertising like they would from any commercial advertising. It is difficult to categorise this under commercials because they are basically promotional and no real buying or selling of product takes place. But image building and publicity takes place on behest of ads.

4.5 Sources of Income for a Radio Station

The major source of revenue for a radio station is advertisements. Almost all radio programmes in India are free on-air, the listener need not have to pay any fees/subscription charge for radio station services. However, radio stations recover their cost of production of various programmes through advertisements. Like television, Radio commercials are also measured in seconds and the price varies from time to time like price of a 15 min radio advertisement may cost more during morning or evening hours than that of during the day. Listening to a radio does not require any special attention like engaging with other forms of mass media might demand. One can listen to the  radio while at work or while driving.

4.5.1 Sources of Income for a Magazine

Like newspapers, major source of income for magazines comes from circulation and advertisements. A fraction of the cost is recovered by Magazines from the subscription and single-copy sales or news-stand sales. However the major revenue is generated via ad space. Magazine sale their ‘space’ in terms of pages or fraction of it, in form of full page or half page or quarter page advertisements. Since magazines are periodicals and are meant to stay with the reader for a longer duration, the quality of production is better than that of the newspapers. Magazine advertisements are comparatively expensive in terms of newspaper ad space.

4.6  Outdoor Medium

Outdoor media is one of the oldest media. The use of outdoor media is to declare something or to attract attention. This is done through large banners or hoardings. It has gone through several transformations with time. Posters or Flex banners have been replaced by electronic LED display, paintings have acquired 3D painting shape and clothe banners have been replaced by more colourful and glossy vinyl sheets etc.

Several advertisers solely rely on outdoor advertisements like posters, billboards and wall paintings where as several others use this medium along with Newspaper/TV/ Radio for improving their product’s reach and impact.

4.7 Yellow Pages

Yellow Pages are directories containing information about a particular segment like telephone numbers of all the telephone subscribers of a city or details of important vendors, shops, malls, hospitals and other places of public utilities, including addresses of individuals and other professional service providers in a town or city. This unique feature made yellow pages a good advertising tool. Given the fact that yellow pages are published once in a year, advertising space is purchased for a year at a time. As yellow pages are referred during the year and beyond, pricing of yellow pages are generally competitive and advertisers strive for a better space and font size.

4.8 Sources of Income through the Medium of Internet

This is the new medium which has become a major trend in recent times. Thanks to the spread of on-line marketing concepts and ‘smart phones’, internet advertising has grown by multifolds. In fact, companies like Google, the behemoth online search engine is the topmost grosser of online advertising revenue. Today Google offers a wide variety of services like online search engine, email, weather forecast, navigation services, news and tons of other online services for various platforms. As people are increasingly glued to these services, Google is earning huge revenue by placing advertisements in its content & applications. What appears true for Google is true for other internet players also. But the differentiating factor is the number of users. It is a number game where the more the number of users a particular website has the better  the advertisement revenue. A website offering user-friendly features would certainly attract more users and thereby generate more revenue. By 2019 the market size is estimated to be worth $220 billion globally

Unit 4, Part 5

4.1 Introduction

There are many media organisations in India that are owned and controlled by a wide variety of entities including corporate bodies, societies and trusts, and individuals. Information about such organisations and people is scattered, incomplete and dated.

Let us study a few salient aspects of media ownership,

  • The vast number of media organisations and outlets often conceal that there is dominance over specific markets, i.e. oligopolistic in character.

 

  • The absence of restrictions on cross-media ownership implies that particular companies or groups or conglomerates dominate markets both vertically (that is, across different media such as print, radio, television and the internet, as well as horizontally namely, in particular geographical regions.

 

  • Political parties and persons with political affiliation own or control increasing sections of the media in India.

 

  • The promoters and controllers of media groups have traditionally held interests in many other businesses they may often use their media outlets to further these.

 

  • Large industrial conglomerates are acquiring direct and indirect interest in media groups.

 

  • The promoters and controllers of media groups have traditionally held interests in many other business interests and continue to do so, often using their media outlets to further these. There are a few instances of promoters who have used the profits from their media operations to diversify into other (unrelated) businesses.

 

  • The growing corporatisation of the Indian media is manifest in the manner in which large industrial conglomerates are acquiring direct and indirect interest in media groups. There is also a growing convergence between creators/producers of media content and those who distribute/disseminate the content.

4.2 The Press in Developing Countries

The pattern of ownership of the press in developing countries is influenced by several factors including

  1. a) colonial or investment spheres of influence initially
  2. b) government structure, whether democratic autocratic or modelled on a single governing party
  3. c) The size of the local investment
  4. d) The proportion of the population which is literate
  5. e) The vote bank, and
  6. f) Cultural factors

It is difficult to generalise even in a single region; in Asia, e.g. there is a government ownership in China, press is controlled and monitored by the communist government. This is also practised in Taiwan and Burma. In other countries, the influence of western press model is dominant, i.e. the one financed by advertising or corporate interests.

In India concentration of ownership follows some of the same problems in Europe, and there are periodic Press Commissions to consider the problem. The government has also considered making funds and tax commissions available to new independent newspapers.

In the Philippines, which follow a capitalist model of development, press ownership reflects similar problems of concentration to the West, perhaps more blatantly than elsewhere; the press operates to support the owner’s vested interests. Competition at national level among a few owners has left little finance available for finance available for a provincial press. There is little foreign investment in the media, either on the part of advertising firms or others.

Consolidation of media holding means that certain of the newspaper group own radio and television stations, magazines and comic books. There has been an attempt to prevent further horizontal integration of this kind, but it has not yet been very successful

In the Caribbean, the patterns of ownership is mixed: foreign ownership principally by the Thomson Group has been transformed to local private or state ownership, locally owned newspapers in financed by advertising, and in the Eastern Caribbean the news paper ownership, the horizontal integration with other forms of media. Decline in circulation, owing partly to the competition with television, been accompanied by decline in the number of titles in the last decade in the region.

The press in Africa is of limited importance as a mass medium because of low rates of literacy. There are five types of ownership, namely: a religious, political party, private and government, of which the latter is by far the most important. The foreign owned commercial press was important in a former phase, dominated by major press groups in Britain and France, with overlapping investment from the electronic media groups.

The locally owned commercial press is circumscribed for three principal reasons: lack of capital, limited market size which affects advertising revenue, government control. Because of the weakness of the private local press and the desire to create a single national identity, government and party newspapers predominate, a situation which is likely to last for some time to come. For twelve countries, there is no daily newspaper at all.

4.3 Integration of Media Organisations

In the last few years, there has been a growing integration of media organisations across the globe. Looking at the political economic scenario of the media the world has a dearth of not-for-profit media organisations. Neither subscription- nor advertising revenue-based models of the media have been able to limit this tendency of large sections of the corporate media to align with elite interest groups. The media is perceived as an active political collaborator. It also seeks to influence voters on the basis of loyalty of owners and editors. This often limits the free and fair exchanges of views to facilitate democratic decision-making processes.

The Indian media market differs from those of developed countries in several ways. As India is a developing country and all segments of the media industry are still growing unlike in developed countries. The media market in India remains highly fragmented, due to the large number of languages spoken in this country, size of the country and cultural barriers.

As we have studied in the earlier chapters, we now know that India has over 82,000 publications registered with the Registrar of Newspapers as on 31 March 2011. There are over 250 FM (frequency modulation) radio stations in the country. It would be interesting to note that India is the only democracy in the world where news on the radio is under the monopoly of the central government. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has allowed nearly 800 television channels to uplink or downlink from the country, including over 300 which claim to be television channels broadcasting “news and current affairs.” There is an unspecified number of websites aimed at Indians.

The mass media in India is possibly dominated by less than a hundred large groups or conglomerates, which exercise considerable influence on what is read, heard, and watched. It is noteworthy to see that Delhi is the only urban area in the world with 16 English daily newspapers; the top three publications, the Times of India, the Hindustan Times, and the Economic Times, would account for over three-fourths of the total market for all English dailies.

India’s established media conglomerates have refused to accept the need for restrictions over ownership and control, arguing that this would result in some sort of censorship post the infamous censorship that occurred during the 1975-77 Emergency.

4.4  Media Ownership in India

It is difficult to ascertain who owns mass media in India. In India’s unique “media intern escape,” proliferation of publications, radio stations, television channels, and internet websites guarantees plurality, diversity, and consumer choice. However, there are many media organisations in the country that are owned and controlled by a wide variety of entities including corporate bodies, societies and trusts, and individuals.

A few trends can be perceived as instances of integration in a sector in which big players have been steeped in debt and strapped for cash over the past few years. The shake-out also signifies growing concentration of ownership in an oligopolistic market that could lead to loss of heterogeneity and plurality.

While the growth of the internet has led to a collapse of geo-spatial boundaries and lower levels of gate-keeping in checking information flows. The perceived increase in diversity of opinion has led to a shrink in the number of traditional media operations in television and print.

Powerful politicians need media barons as much as they need them – play a mutually role for each other. E.g. Shobhana Bhartia of the Hindustan Times group, the late Narendra Mohan of the Dainik Jagran group (bring out India’s most widely circulated Hindi daily), the Dardas of Lokmat, the Marans of the Sun group, and Chandan Mitra of The Pioneer.

A report prepared by an independent institution recommending imposition of cross media ownership restrictions recently entered the public domain nearly three years after it was submitted following a rebuke to the government by a panel of lawmakers. The report, running into nearly 200 pages, was prepared by the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) at the instance of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B). Though this report was submitted in July 2009, it was placed on the Ministry’s website only after Parliament’s Standing Committee on Information Technology sharply criticised the government for not initiating any action on the ASCI report’s recommendations. We will study about in detail, in this chapter.

4.5 Market Dominance in our India

The restrictions on vertical integration of media companies owning stakes in both broadcast and distribution companies within the same media can result in non competitive behaviour. Here, a distributor can favour own broadcasters’ contents over the content of a competitive broadcaster. In this scenario, large conglomerates would be able to impose their preferred content, which is not an healthy hypothesis.

Debates on media ownership are almost as old as the nation itself. The country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon would criticise the “jute press” in a clear reference to BCCL which was then controlled by the Sahu-Jain group. Then came references to the “steel press.” The Tata group, which has a substantial presence in the steel industry, used to be a part-owner of the company that publishes the once-influential The Statesman. These were basically family-owned groups would use their news companies to lobby for their other business interests.

For example, the Dainik Bhaskar group, which, in 1958, ran a single edition Hindi newspaper from Bhopal, has a market capitalisation of Rs 4,454 crores (as on July 30. 2010), owns seven newspapers, two magazines, 17 radio stations, and has a significant presence in the printing, textiles, oils, solvent extraction, hotels, real estate, and power-generation industries.

Media companies tend to have a variety of professionals on their boards, such as investment bankers, venture capitalists, chartered accountants, corporate lawyers, and CEOs of corporate houses. Professional journalists, ironically, rarely figure on-board. As a result, those at the top of the decision-making hierarchy, rarely considers the interest of the bottom-line.

4.6  Concerns and Challenges

The real challenges that lie ahead for the media in India are to ensure that growing concentration of ownership in the oligopolistic set up. This scenario does not essentially lead to loss of heterogeneity and plurality. In the absence of cross-media restrictions and with government policies contributing to further corporatisation, especially with respect to the television medium, diversity of news flows could be adversely affected contributing to the continue to privatise and commodity information instead of making it more of a “public good.”

The government seems unlikely to accept the recommendations of the report prepared by ASCI, which describes itself as an “autonomous, self-supporting, public-purpose” institution. The Ministry has, for the time being, tossed the contentious set issues on cross-media ownership on to the court of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

The Standing Committee on IT, noted that the issue of restrictions on cross-media ownership “merits urgent attention” and needs “to be addressed before it emerges as a threat to our democratic structure.” It urged the Ministry to “formulate” its stand on the issue in coordination with the TRAI “after taking into account” international practices.

The earlier (February 2009) report of the TRAI had stated that it is important that “necessary safeguards be put in place to ensure plurality and diversity are maintained across the three media segments of print, television and radio.” Before the TRAI report was finalised, during the consultation phase, there was strong resistance on the part of media groups to the idea of restrictions on their sector. Many different arguments were proposed, among others that regulation would stifle growth, that the multiplicity of media and the highly fragmented nature of the Indian market prevents monopoly.

It was also regulation of the sector amounts to an impingement on the Constitutional right to freedom of speech. Further, some groups, “particularly those associated with print” even argued that it was not under the jurisdiction of the authority to make recommendations on any matter which did not relate directly to telecommunications. This view was not accepted by the government.

4.7 Trai’s Argument

According to the TRAI’s report, vertical integration in the media market is already causing serious problems. There have been numerous disputes brought before the Telecom Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) between broadcasters and cable operators alleging denial of content by other service providers. New cases are being added regularly, which the TRAI regards as “a clear indication that the current market situation requires corrective measures”.

Having taken into account all the arguments of the media groups, the TRAI nevertheless came to the conclusion that certain restrictions are required. It argued for restrictions on vertical integration, that is to say on media companies owning stakes in both broadcast and distribution companies within the same media. The reasoning behind this restriction is that vertical integration can result in anti-competitive behaviour, whereby a distributor can favour his/her own broadcasters’ contents over the content of a competitive broadcaster. In this scenario, large conglomerates would be able to impose their preferred content which is unhealthy. This allows them to have controlling stakes both in broadcasting and distribution by acquiring licences under their different subsidiary companies, thus totally bypassing current restrictions and defeating the purpose of their existence in the first place. The report, therefore, suggests that restrictions no longer be placed on “companies” but on “entities” or groups, which would include large groups and conglomerates such as BCCL and Dainik Bhaskar

With regards to cross-media ownership, the report points out that no such restrictions exist in India, in stark contrast with most other countries in the world with a free press, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Canada. It argued that restrictions are necessary and recommend that the Ministry should conduct a detailed market analysis in order to identify which safeguards would be most appropriate in the Indian context.

Today, the situation described by Nehru has intensified multifold. In fact, instead of using their media companies to lobby for their non-media business interests, a few large media groups have been able to diversify their business activities, thanks to the profits generated by their media business. In India at present, promoters of media companies have subsidiary business interests in sectors as varied as aviation, hotels, cement, shipping, steel, education, automobiles, textiles, cricket, information technology, and real estate. For example, the Dainik Bhaskar group, which, in 1958, ran a single edition Hindi newspaper from Bhopal, has a market capital of Rs 4,454 crore (as on July 30. 2010), owns seven newspapers, two magazines, 17 radio stations, and has a significant presence in the printing, textiles, oils, solvent extraction, hotels, real estate, and power-generation industries.

4.8 The Problem of Paid News- Content Creation and Distribution

This closeness between the media and corporate India leads to a deplorable confusion of priorities. Instead of media houses relying on advertisers to fund for quality journalism, the relationship has insidiously reversed. Advertisers and corporate units have begun to rely on news outlets to further their interests.

In 2003, Bennett Coleman Company Limited (publishers of the Times of India and the Economic Times, among other publications) started a “paid content” service, which enabled them to charge advertisers for coverage of product launches or celebrity related events.

The behind-the-scenes influence of corporate and vested interests was made particularly apparent by the leaking of tapes recording conversations between Nira Radia, a powerful lobbyist with clients such as the Tata group and Reliance Industries, and a variety of business men, politicians, and journalists. They revealed what had long been an open secret: the collusion and uncomfortable closeness among corporate units, politicians and journalists, a world in which the line between politics and business, public relations and news is reducing.

From a business point of view, media consolidation has undeniable advantages. It allows for economies of scale, which enable media companies to absorb the costs of content and distribution over a large volume of revenue. This in turn allows companies to invest in better resources such as talent or technical equipment. In a competitive market, small media companies have a very hard time surviving. Consolidation makes a lot of economic sense and can even, to some extent, translate into improvements in quality.

 

Course credits:

  1. Melvin L. DeFleur and Sandra Ball-Rokeach, Theories of Mass Communication, 5th ed. (New York: Longman, 1989).
  2. Eric C. Newberger, Computer Use in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, Department of Commerce, October, 1997) [www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/p.20-522.pdf]; Jennifer Cheese man Day, Alex Janus, and Jessica Davis, Computer and Internet Use in the United States: 2003 (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, Department of Commerce, October, 2005) [www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p.23–208.pdf].
  3. Problems inherent in measuring media exposure are discussed by: George Comstock and Erica Scharrer, Television: What’s On, Who’s Watching, and What It Means (San Diego: Academic Press, 1999); Donald F. Roberts and Ulla G. Foehr, Kids and Media in America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004); John P. Robinson and Geoffrey Godbey, Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997).
  4. Donald F. Roberts and others, Kids and Media at the New Millennium (Menlo Park, Calif.: Kaiser Family Foundation, 1999) and Roberts and Foehr, Kids and Media in America (see note 3), report data on two through eight-year-olds gathered in 1999. Victoria J. Rideout, Elizabeth A. Vandewater, and Ellen A. Wartella, Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers, and Pre-schoolers (Menlo Park, Calif.: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003), reports data gathered on children from birth to age six in 2003; Victoria J. Rideout and Elizabeth Hamel, The Media Family: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers, Pre-schoolers, and their Parents (Menlo Park, Calif.: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2006) reports data gathered on children from birth to age six in 2005.
  5. Roberts and others, Kids and Media at the New Millennium (see note 4), and Roberts and Foehr, Kids and Media in America (see note 3), provide data on older youths gathered in 1999; Donald F. Roberts, Ulla Foehr, and Victoria Rideout, Generation M: Media in the Lives of 8–18-year-olds (Menlo Park, Calif.: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005) reports data gathered in 2004. Inclusion of media-focused, time-use diaries is an important element of these studies because they enable estimates of the proportion of time youngsters use several media concurrently, an increasingly common media behaviour among U.S. young people, raising an array of new issues and questions.
  6. Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5).
  7. Nielsen Media Research, “Nielsen Study Shows DVD Players Surpass VCRs” (Press Release, December 19, 2007)(www.nielsenmedia.com/nc/portal/site/Public/menuitem.55dc65b4a7d5adff3f659361, [3/19/07]).
  8. Amanda Lenhart, Mary Madden, and Paul Hitlin, Teens and Technology: Youth Are Leading the Transition to a Fully Wired and Mobile Nation (Washington, D.C.: Pew Internet & American Life Project, July 27, 2005) [www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/Teens_Tech_July2005web.pdf].
  9. Mary Story, Karen M. Kaphingst, and Simone French, “The Role of Child Care Settings in Obesity Prevention,” Future of Children 16, no. 1 (2006): 143–68, refers to apparently anecdotal evidence that children spend more time with TV in child care homes than in child care centres.
  10. Henry J. Becker, “Analysis and Trends of School Use of New Information Technologies (U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, March, 1994) (www.gse.uci.edu/doehome/EdResource/Publications/EdTechUse/C-TBLCNT.HTM [March 5, 2007]); Richard J. Noeth and Boris B. Volkov, “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Technology in Our Schools” (Iowa City, Iowa: ACT PolicyReport,2004)(www.act.org/path/policy/pdf/school_tech.pdf [March 21, 2007]); “State of the States,” Education Week 24 (April 5, 2005); Basmat Parsad and Jennifer Jones, “Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994–2003,” Education Statistics Quarterly 7 (2005): 1–2.
  11. U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (Department of Commerce, 2003) (www.census.gov/ population/www/socdemo/computer/2003.html).
  12. Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5).
  13. Parsad and Jones, “Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994–2003” (see note 10).
  14. The Children’s Partnership, “Measuring Digital Opportunity for America’s Children” (Santa Monica, Calif.:The Children’s Partnership, 2005) www.contentbank.org/AM/Template. cfm?Section= Research_From_The_Childrens_Partnership&CONTENTID=8044&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm.
  15. See, for example, Jack Lyle and Heidi R. Hoffman, “Children’s Use of Television and Other Media,” in Television and Social Behaviour: Reports and Papers, vol. IV: Television in Day-to-Day Life: Patterns of Use, edited by Eli Rubinstein, George Comstock, and John Murray (Rockville, Md.: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1972), pp. 129–256; Eleanor E. Maccoby, “Television: Its Impact on School Children,” Public Opinion Quarterly 15 (1951): 421–44; Wilbur Schramm, Jack Lyle, and Edwin B. Parker, Television in the Lives of Our Children (Stanford University Press, 1961).
  16. Although some recent studies have asked youngsters how often they use several media at once, the media use–media exposure distinction is possible only when research obtains measures of the amount of time youth use several media concurrently. Roberts and his colleagues (see note 5) accomplished this by collecting week-long time-use diaries asking youth to report all daily media activities for each half hour from 6 a.m. until midnight for seven days.
  17. Because Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5), included exposure to print media in their examination of young people’s media use, their published estimates of total media use and exposure differ somewhat from those reported here, which include only electronic media.
  18. It should be noted, however, that exposure times for computers, video games, and “other” screen media are not strictly comparable from 1999 to 2004, because the latter questionnaire included items not covered in 1999 (for example, handheld video games, instant messaging, DVRs); Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5).
  19. Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5). For a review of studies that have looked at displacement attributed to the introduction of television, see Diana C. Mutz, Donald F. Roberts, and D. P. van Vuuren, “Reconsidering the Displacement Hypothesis: Television’s Influence on Children’s Time Use,” Communication Research 20 (1993): 51–74.
  20. Lenhart, Madden, and Hitlin, Teens and Technology (see note 8).
  21. George Comstock, Television and the American Child (San Diego, Calif.: Academic Press, 1991), reviews a number of early studies of young children’s television viewing that illustrate lower exposure among younger
  22. Because data for younger and older children come from different data sources, results for the two age groupings have been kept separate in all tables and figures.
  23. This pattern, based on a “constructed curve” derived from abstracting findings from numerous small-scale, non-representative samples, was first noted by George Comstock and others, Television and Human Behaviour (New York: Columbia University Press, 1978), and was elaborated by Comstock, Television and the American Child (see note 21). Roberts and Foehr, Kids and Media in America (see note 3), using data gathered by Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Kids and Media at the New Millennium (see note 4), directly tested both TV viewing and overall media exposure and found that the bi-modal pattern holds remarkably well.
  24. Peter G. Christenson and Donald F. Roberts, It’s Not Only Rock and Roll: Popular Music in the Lives of Adolescents (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Hampton Press, 1998), give even higher estimates. They argue that because music listening is to adolescents typically a secondary or even tertiary activity, it is frequently overlooked when adolescents attempt to account for their time, and is therefore undercounted.
  25. Lenhart, Madden, and Hitlin, Teens and Technology (see note 8).
  26. Rideout and Hamel, The Media Family (see note 4).
  27. Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5); Roberts and others, Kids and Media at the New Millennium (see note 4). Also see A. F. Albarran and D. Umphrey, “An Examination of Television Motivations and Program Preferences by Hispanics, Blacks, and Whites,” Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 37 (1993): 95–103; Aletha C. Houston and others, Big World, Small Screen: The Role of Television in American Society (University of Nebraska Press, 1992); J. P. Tangney and Seymour Feshbach, “Children’s Television Viewing Frequency: Individual Differences and Demographic Correlates,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 14 (1988): 145–58.
  28. Comstock, Television and the American Child (see note 21).
  29. Roberts and others, Kids and Media at the New Millennium (see note 4); Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5); Comstock and Scharrer, Television: What’s On, Who’s Watching, and What It Means (see note 3).
  30. Both Roberts and others, Kids and Media (see note 4) and Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5) used federal estimates of median community income for the zip code area of each participating school as their proxy for household income.
  31. Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5).
  32. Comstock and Scharrer, Television: What’s On, Who’s Watching, and What It Means (see note 3), reviews this trend.
  33. Rideout and Hamel, The Media Family (see note 4).
  34. Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5). Christenson and Roberts, It’s Not Only Rock and Roll (see note 24), in their review of adolescents’ use of popular music, found that since the 1970s girls have consistently reported more exposure than boys to music media.
  35. Such a scenario is supported by at least one recent study of young children’s parents. Rideout and Hamel, The Media Family (see note 4), found that not only do today’s parents see the media as important educational tools, but they also report that they are more likely to witness their children imitating positive than negative behaviours observed in the media.
  36. Rideout, Vanderwater, and Wartella, Zero to Six (see note 4); Rideout and Hamel, The Media Family (see note 4).
  37. Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5).
  38. Ibid.
  39. See, for example, Schramm, Lyle, and Parker, Television in the Lives of our Children (see note 15); Mark Fetler, “Television Viewing and Academic Achievement,” Journal of Communication 34 (1987): 104–18. For extended reviews of the relationship between various measures of academic performance and television exposure see Comstock, Television and the American Child (see note 21); P. A. Williams and others, “The Impact of Leisure-Time Television on School Learning,” American Educational Research Journal 19 (1982): 19–50.
  40. Although concern has been voiced that self-reported grades produce inflated estimates, the ordinal strength of the measure has received validation. Sanford M. Dornbusch and others, “The Relation of Parenting Style to Adolescent School Performance,” Child Development 58 (1987): 1244–57, report a correlation of r=.77 between self-reported grades and actual grade point average.
  41. Roberts and Foehr, Kids and Media in America (see note 3).
  42. See, for example, Hilde T. Himmelweit, A. N. Oppenheim, and Pamela Vince, Television and the Child(London: Oxford University Press, 1958); Eleanor E. Maccoby, “Why Do Children Watch Television?” Public Opinion Quarterly 18 (1954): 239–44; Schramm, Lyle, and Parker, Television in the Lives of Our Children (see note 15); J. P. Tangney, “Aspects of the Family and Children’s Television Viewing Content Preferences,” Child Development 59 (1988): 1070–79.
  43. Comstock, Television and the American Child (see note 21), p. 33.
  44. Roberts, Foehr, and Rideout, Generation M (see note 5).
  45. Ulla G. Foehr, Media Multitasking among American Youth: Prevalence, Predictors, and Pairings (Menlo Park, Calif.: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2006); also see Ulla G. Foehr, “Media Multitasking among American Youth: Prevalence, Predictors, and Pairings” (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., 2006).
  46. Amelia Lenhart, Lee Rainie, and Oliver Lewis, Teenage Life Online: The Rise of the Instant-Messaging Generation and the Internet’s Impact on Friendships and Family Relationships (Washington, D.C.: Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2001).
  47. Amelia Lenhart and Mary Madden, Teen Content Creators and Consumers (Washington, D.C.: Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2005) report that over half of U.S. twelve- to seventeen-year-olds have created website content.
 
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