transitioning from sole or family ownership

The table below shows the pattern of various media units transitioning from sole or family ownership to corporate ownership. Whether this pattern continues well into the future will depend in large part on changes in the federal tax code and whether alternate ownership models can become more viable.

Media Unit Early Proprietor Later Ownership Books Scribner Charles Scribner CBS Newspapers Wall Street Journal Bancroft family News Corp. Magazines Time Henry Luce Time Warner Recording Motown Berry Gordy Universal Music Movies Paramount Adolph Zukor Viacom Radio NBC David Sarnoff NBCUniversal Television NBC David Sarnoff Comcast & General Electric Internet Huffington Post Arianna Huffington AOL

Writing Prompt Applying Your Media Literacy – Rethinking Media Ownership
How much do you believe media consumers care? are about institutions that sponsor some media products? How might this sponsorship affect media output?

The response entered here will appear in the performance dashboard and can be viewed by your instructor.


3.5 Funding Alternatives

Study Preview The key to new media business models is generating the money to be in business. Some ideas, like government funding, strike many people as antithetical to an independent media. But government has factored into media business models since the beginning of the republic.

Learning Objectives By the end of this module you will be able to:

  1. 3.5.1 Describe the relationship between the U.S. government and media
  2. 3.5.2 Outline the reasons why the U.S. government limits its media role
  3. 3.5.3 Explain how philanthropy works to support media
  4. 3.5.4 Compare fund drive methods

3.5.1 Government Role 1. Objective: Describe the relationship between the U.S. government and


With bankruptcies plaguing the newspaper industry, there has been renewed interested in government support. The idea was not new, reflected by one of its first Congressional acts in 1789, when the First Congress gave periodicals a discount on postage. Newspapers could be mailed as far as 100 miles for a penny a copy and 1-1/2 cents beyond. A newspaper could be sent 450 miles, for example, for 1-1/2 cents, compared to 45 cents for a three-page letter. The policy operationalized a point made by Alexander Hamilton, one of the nation’s founders, about the value of newspapers. In the Federalist Papers essays Hamilton praised newspapers as “expeditious messengers of intelligence to the most remote inhabitants of the Union.” Put another

way, early national leaders saw the press as public good worthy of government support.

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