Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Media Hegemonies/Mapping Who Owns What

The Big Ten refers to the ten largest and most dominant companies in the world which are AOL/Time Warner, AT&T, General Electric, New Corporation, Viacom Inc., Bertelsmann, Walt Disney, Vivendi Universal, Liberty Media Corporation and Sony. Of these ten I’ve chosen to explore Disney. While discussing this blog with other peers in my Mass Communication class I found many of us chose to investigate Disney’s cross media ownership. As I got to thinking about what it was about the Walt Disney Company I realized why I personally had chosen it.

As a child who grew up with Disney I considered myself a “Disney Princess.” I had the Bell Barbie from Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella pyjamas, Minnie Mouse winter gloves and hats, Winnie the Pooh comforter, Bambi toothbrush, and practically every Classic Disney film on VHS. I was a child obsessed. In my eyes, Walt Disney was a magical man who created stories I loved and characters I admired; there just couldn’t be a bad bone in Mr. Disney’s body.

My point it not to state that Mr. Walt Disney is a bad man. His image is much different than the kind, humble elderly man I’d pictured drawing all of those adorable cartoons. In my mind he lived in a small room somewhere inside the beautiful Disney Castle I’d visited at Disney Land so many times. The truth is, Walt probably had a house more than double the size.

Disney owns ABC; Disney Channel; Toon Disney; Soap Net; ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS and ESPN Regional Television; A&E, History and Biography Channels; Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network; E! and Style; Fox Family Channel; Disney and ESPN Channels in more than 140 countries, plus stakes in other channels. Disney owns 11 different stations and movie production companies like Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Film Corp., Dimension and Buena Vista International [1].

I find the most unsettling thing about finding this out is realizing how much control Disney has over our lives. I once thought that Disney was a movie-making company that offered movies to the public if they felt like watching that kind of movie. Now that I realize just how much Disney owns, it is quite possible I watch, listen and use Disney products practically every day. This shows that Disney has the ability to control and even brainwash society and would have quite an easy time doing so. We must remember Mede-cognition (thinking about thinking) and remember to always speculate what we watch and see because you never know who owns the idea and why they want it out there.

Work Cited

[1] “The Big Ten.” Media Reform Information Center. 2005. 12 November 2008. http://www.thenation.com/special/bigten.html

No comments: