Most Memorable Childhood Christmas Sample Assignment

The most memorable Christmas I ever had was during the time I was quite a young kid on Christmas eve, just out of the theatre where the movie Superman I was running. It was a breathtaking experience and I remember quite well that it took a long time to get over it. The basic idea of flying was the most significant part of it all. Of course the acts of heroism were always there but to me the one element that set the movie apart was the element of flying. It could be a logical conclusion that flight has been a long obsession of the human mind. It could be remembered that most of the works by Richard Bach are related to flying. I was no different but that lead to a near disaster soon enough on that very evening but it made the most memorable Christmas of my childhood days.

Once I reached home the scientist in me was struggling to break free and that freedom came in form of an umbrella of disaster or my accident. The flight stimulator within my pituitary gland was constantly sending in electric pulses. The pulses guided me to our roof. I moved towards the edge of the roof. It was on the third floor. Opened the umbrella and jumped. Soon I found myself lying in a nursing home bed with a hairline crack on my left ankle. More than the mortal injury I was ashamed of damaging the entire Christmas party that my parents had planned all month.

This incident of that Christmas is vividly stored in my memory because of the gift I received the day after on Christmas. Though the accident is a bad memory, and bad memory hardly stays, (Anand, 12) I remember it as I saw the painful of it and it was more of an adventure. Thrilling memories are there to stay (Lamb, 245) but this was quite that. As Banerjee pointed out that we only remember those aspects that we want to remember. (Banerjee, 18) But it became really memorable soon after. The next day, on Christmas, when my father came to visit me at the hospital I found that he has bought for me as a Christmas present a VCR and a Superman cassette. These things were not cheap in those days and still my father went out of his way to buy these particular Christmas presents to encourage me. This was his love and his caring heart.

This gift served as a prop for the expression of my father’s care and love for me. It is not only a ‘literal gift’ but becomes a mere object of speculation for the speaker. The pan and tension, the presence of some activity underneath the surface of my skin was great but this gift brought me encouragement from my father like metaphors, irony, double meaning loaded sentences. I understood that it was not the VCR or the Superman cassette that brought me joy. It was the love of my father and the care for me. This joy was the fatherly love on Christmas that made it so memorable.

It could be ascertained that this love and care of Christmas should be composed and restored as an element of individual justification of human dignity that makes a Christmas special. This means that one should be justified in terms of love and care to oneself. The human dignity is to be taken into consideration in relation to love and care. One must always love, care and always be clarified and justified to the personal self like my father. This is the importance of love and care and the value of Christmas and the rest depends on the survival strategies in the modern world. Thus, on Christmas these two human elements remain in its position and thus this Christmas became so special and memorable to me when I found my father to be a greater hero than Superman.

Works cited

Anand, Vijay. The Process of Thought and Perception. Auckland: HDT Ltd, 2006.

Banerjee, Dibakar. Details from Medical Journals of AIIMS. New Delhi: AIIMS, 2001.

Lamb, Davis. Cult to Culture: The Development of Civilization. Wellington: National Book Trust, 2004.

Foreign Direct Investment For Overseas Organizations

Executive Summary

Most of the advanced countries in the world involve themselves in foreign direct investment in the less developed countries with an aim of increasing their potential for investment and making appropriate use of other countries’ resources to promote development (Hill 2008). Before an organization decides on the country to invest in it must come up with proper strategies for identifying the most appropriate location in terms of economic, political, social, and other factors that make an investment viable. An organization must take into consideration the risks involved, the market situations, and the external factors that affect the operation of a business venture.

This report creates a critical analysis of the impact of foreign direct investment in both the home country and the host countries and the factors that have to be taken into consideration while coming up with the location for foreign direct investment. The study comes up with fictitious manufacturing industry in the UK that wishes to establish industries in either India or Chad, which are both developing countries.

The introduction gives an informed explanation of the reasons why the UK wishes to establish a manufacturing industry in a developing country and not in its home country. With a choice of two countries, India and Chad, an analysis of the available investment opportunities has to be made. This is to help the managing directors of the manufacturing company to come up with the best decision on the most suitable location for the industry. The UK has for a long time invested in India and with the progress that previous investments have had, it can be argued that establishing the manufacturing industry may also result in similar success.

The report looks at the benefits and the limitations that a country like the UK may experience by investing in its manufacturing industry in India as well as in Chad. From this analysis, conclusive evidence has been identified showing that it would be better to invest in India than in Chad. Despite the major efforts that Chad is making to improve its economy, it still experiences great challenges that are likely to affect foreign investment especially in terms of production costs and market accessibility. The UK would incur fewer production costs in India than in Chad because the economy of India can more easily sustain a manufacturing company than that of Chad. On the other hand, the market structure is so rigidly structured that there is no accessibility to international markets. The local markets are also not well developed and this is made worse by the fact that the country is landlocked and poorly located.

Proper justification has also been identified of the most suitable country that the UK should invest in and this has been related to the countries’ gross domestic product and their general economic situation. On the other hand, once the UK decides to establish its industry in India, there are those management factors that must be taken into consideration in order to be successful in its operations. These factors are in respect to the cultural implications that would be encountered at the management level as well as the marketing implications that involve improving the product or creating intermediary networks to improve the market structures. The report then comes up with a conclusion of all that is required of an industry or business that is intending to promote its foreign direct investment in its host country.

Introduction

According to Abdallah (2001), UK has involved itself in investing in various countries of the world through its multinational corporations and as a result, has been able to obtain sufficient amounts of foreign direct investment. The manufacturing industry has been one of the major sectors that benefit greatly from foreign direct investment despite the fact that the sector has been experiencing a fall in its development for the last decade due to increased production and transportation costs. A decline in the manufacturing sector’s gross domestic product has not prevented the country from establishing new industries in other developing countries of the world through multinational corporations (Rugman 2003).

The two main countries that the UK has invested its manufacturing business in are India and Chad. The UK anticipates that de-industrialization in the country and in Britain, in general, will not affect the success of the multinational corporations that it has established in India and Chad, among other developing or transition countries. This study looks into the capability of the UK’s manufacturing industry is relocating to the two developing countries to obtain foreign direct investment. It focuses on the benefits derived by the country from investing in other parts of the world as well as the challenges experienced.

Analysis of the investment opportunities

India

The UK, like most other developed nations, has invested in India from as early as the late 1990s and with the tremendous growth in India’s economic development, the investment is likely to go up for a relatively long period (Abdallah 2001). A report by the IRIS Business Services in India shows that the country receives one of the highest proportions of foreign direct investment in comparison to other developing and developed countries of the world and the UK has been one major contributor of this proportion. In the year 2002, the UK’s foreign direct investment in the country rose from 1.4billion pounds to 2.3billion at the end of the year 2006, an average of 13% increase per year. The rate of investment by the UK’s manufacturing industries in India is quite high, relatively totaling 54% of all other investments by the UK in the country. The key businesses that the country invests in are the manufacturing of chemicals, fuel products, and plastic and in food processing.

What makes India suitable for investment in FDI?

Economic factors

According to Hill (2008), since the country dropped its socialist-based policies, it was able to move from a period of under-development towards a developing economy. The country’s economy was initially characterized by protectionism, public ownership of property, and rigid regulations which resulted in high levels of corruption and slow economic growth. The socialist-based policies have since 1990 been replaced by a market-based system that has promoted economic liberalization and hence economic growth (Luff, 2006). With agriculture being the major activity in the country, raw materials for the manufacturing sector are readily available. UK’s multinational corporations that deal with the manufacture of chemical products can obtain the raw materials more easily and at low costs hence reducing the high transportation expenses that would be incurred in obtaining the raw materials from the home country. On the other hand, the food processing industries that have been established by the UK are able to obtain the agricultural products as their raw materials and have ready markets for the finished products.

Market dominance

The industrial sector in the country constitutes only 12% of the country’s total economy. This implies that by investing in the manufacturing sector, UK will be able to dominate the market more easily and hence promote greater demand for its products (Nayal 2003). The per capita income of India is approximately $1043, which is high compared to other developing countries. This means that the people’s purchasing power is also relatively high thus promoting the market for manufactured goods. This makes the country a suitable location for most multinational corporations and UK has taken the opportunity to develop new manufacturing industries since 2006. Another factor that shows an increase in people’s purchasing power is the average economic growth that is 7.5% per year, determined in 2008 and which implies that the level of unemployment has gone down significantly.

Market accessibility

According to Rugman (2003), India successfully participates in the global market, with its local trade also showing tremendous growth after the year 2000. According to the World Trade Organization statistics, the country accounts for 1.5% from the year 2007. In 2006, the country’s total imports and exports were valued at $437billion in both goods and services. This implies that it had wide coverage in the global market, thus creating greater market access for the multinational corporations that are established.

Political factors

The Indian government is encouraging foreign investors to invest in the country’s economy. The government advocates for investment into the country so long as 50% of the company’s equity shall be owned by Indians. This has encouraged the UK to set up manufacturing and food processing industries in the country, with a clear understanding of what entails a foreign holding in a local Indian company. With the strict restrictions on foreign investment having been modified to encourage investors, UK is likely to make a success from its foreign direct investment. The government aims at reviving the domestic markets and through liberalization efforts that it has implemented the country will be a suitable location for foreign investors (Dunning 1998).

Financial incentives

Nayal (2003) argues that, with the country’s high economic growth rate, there is the possibility that the country will develop its financial instruments to promote the growth of foreign and domestic investments. The presence of financial structures like the futures markets shows that there is high potential for economic growth which will, in turn, enable the investment companies to increase their activities. The development of banking systems has made it possible to provide credit facilities to the key economic sectors like agriculture, small-scale enterprises, and other small industries thus attracting foreign investments.

Limitations of investing in India through FDI

Despite the benefits, the UK derives from investing in its manufacturing industries in India, there are challenges that it is likely to experience as a result of the various economic and other political and social barriers. This is likely to lead to the UK involving itself in risks as it establishes the corporations in India. The fact that India has had a significant economic growth rate, it has a wide disparity in terms of economic inequality (Rugman 2003). Wage differentials are a major barrier to most foreign and domestic investments and the rising levels of poverty lower the availability of skilled and competent labor, as almost a third of the total population suffer from what has been termed as chronic energy deficiency. This is a major challenge to the upcoming foreign investments, which will have to obtain labor from the home country or import from other foreign countries in order to enhance profitability. This may mean that the investments will be incurring greater costs in the host country than when it would have invested in its home country (Rugman 2003).

Luff (2006) notes that Infrastructural facilities in India are also poorly developed and investing in the country would imply that the UK first develops the facilities in the location where it intends to establish its industries. Inadequate infrastructural services are a barrier to development and foreign investments would incur greater expenses establishing or improving the infrastructure in India.

The country is also not sufficient in its technology and most of it has to be imported from outside. The manufacturing sector in the UK had been declining as a result of increased costs of production and transportation and such a situation is likely to recur in India especially because of the poor technology and infrastructure. Despite steady economic growth in India, the country has not developed the key areas that will promote foreign investment, having not spent much on power, transportation, telecommunication, and other infrastructural facilities. In 2002, the country spent only 6% of its gross domestic product on infrastructure and the Indian government has been made to open up more infrastructures in the private sector in order to promote foreign investment (Hill 2008).

Chad

Chad’s economy has been boosted by the major foreign direct investments that establish projects in the oil sector. The UK, among other major countries, has established a manufacturing industry that deals with oil and petroleum products. Chad is known as one of the largest African countries that are still under-developed and foreign investment would imply that capital will more easily flow from the rich and more developed countries to the poor country. Chad has made dramatic efforts to create incentives for foreign direct investment, mainly through exploiting its natural resources and promoting political stability hence reducing the level of poverty (African Research Bulletin, 1999).

Advantages of investing in FDI in Chad

With major efforts being made to develop the industrial sector in Chad, UK has made its establishments in the sector to ensure that the natural resources exploited do not result in the decline of the country’s economy, a situation that was experienced by Nigeria and the Netherlands. The country’s political system is promoting foreign investment and the government has provided incentives that will enable the country’s economy to benefit from the FDIs. The recently developed political stability measures by the president have enabled Chad to begin exporting its oil reserves to approximately a 1.5billion barrels in the year 2000 alone (Trends in Developing Economies 2006).

In the investment code provided by the government in 1987, incentives for foreign direct investments were established on the condition that the investments will benefit the local people and the local raw materials will be fully utilized (African Research Bulletin, 1999).

In 2002, the country experienced growth in its agricultural sector and this accounted for 35.8% of the gross domestic product which was relatively significant and which worked well to promoting foreign investment. Other sectors that contributed to the country’s GDP in 2002 included industry, at 17.7%, and trade, at 24%. It implied that the country was developing and there was a great chance for the foreign investments to thrive and more so with the support of the government.

The major incentive for UK’s foreign direct incentive in Chad is the oil discoveries that have been used by the manufacturing industries to provide raw materials for the oil products which they process. In 2002, Chad had become the African major performer in attracting foreign direct investment, with the previous year having received no FDI at all. The country benefited in over $900million in 2002 and this also promoted the country’s exports to neighboring Cameroon and also to other countries like Germany and France (Rugman 2003).

Barriers to and disadvantages of investing in Chad

Despite the efforts made to promote the country’s economy, there is still great risk involved in foreign direct investment. The country continues to experience political instability with warfare that continues to hinder development. The political hardships have brought with it many economic challenges including the loss of currency value. Even with finances being obtained from the World Bank, the country lacks proper financing strategies, and hence developing the local structures like the development of the Doba oil structures proved a challenge (African Research Bulletin, 1999).

Most of the country’s economic activities are carried out informally and it is, therefore, difficult to determine the areas that show development. The UK may not be able to get accurate data that will help it make the right decision whether to set up a multinational corporation or not since there are hardly sufficient economic statistics (Trends in Developing Economies 2006). For instance, the country involves itself in the export of livestock, agricultural products, and camels to the neighboring countries but since this is mainly informal, a multinational corporation in the country may not know the nature of the markets in terms of accessibility.

Summary of the analysis

By looking at each of the two countries, it is possible to identify the most suitable country to invest in. Both countries have made efforts to encourage foreign investors and even with their conditions, the FDIs still find it difficult to invest in the countries. This is especially so with Chad, where, as a result of the civil war which was experienced in the 1970s, foreign investors are yet to regain their confidence in the country. The UK had not invested in the country earlier and its recent interest must also require proper management decisions so that the FDIs may be profitable.

The Porters Diamond theory shows the competitive advantage of nations and it emphasizes those factors that a foreign investor would take into consideration to be able to know which country would be most suitable to invest in. These include the availability and efficiency of the countries’ factors of production, the prevailing demand situations, available related industries and the prevailing nature of domestic rivalry. These are used to determine the country that has competitive advantage over the other countries that are in the list of selection. For instance, if the UK management uses the Porters theory, it will easily be able to determine which of the two countries, India and Chad, is most appropriate (House 2004).

Recommendation and justification of the most suitable country for investment

With the analysis of the two countries, it is clear that Chad is still experiencing great economic hardships and this may be a challenge to UK when it establishes its manufacturing industry. Therefore the most suitable country to invest in would be India. Chad is a landlocked country and this makes the country under-developed as it has little access to development. It is geographically remote, having been located at the heart of Africa. The country relies heavily on agriculture but productivity is greatly affected by poor environmental conditions, characterized by drought (Trends in Developing Economies 2006). This means that the contribution to agriculture on the gross domestic product is very low and since it is a major economic activity, the country’s GDP is still very low. While agriculture in India contributed 17.7% to GDP, Chad’s agricultural production only contributed 1% in the year 2007. This in turn led to a decline in the total GDP in Chad by over 40%. This shows that as a result of the unfavorable climatic conditions, the country’s economy remains unstable while that of India continues to show consistent growth because it does not rely solely on agriculture.

According to Nayal (2003), the economic liberalization of India has made the country consist of a market-based economic system and this enhances the market structure hence providing greater access to both the domestic and global markets. Chad, on the other hand, is landlocked and does not have access to the global markets. It mainly exports its goods to Cameroon and Libya and this means that investment by UK into the country would make it look for its own ways of establishing new markets. This will lead to the country incurring greater costs in the distribution of its products. A country that has a well established market structure is the most efficient and therefore India has competitive advantage over Chad with its market structure.

UK involves itself in the manufacture of chemical products and in food processing services. In India, the local industries deal mainly with household manufacturing services and this creates an effective supply chain with the foreign investors. The privatization of some of the major public sectors led to the increased production of the highly marketable consumer goods and this will help the UK’s industries to take advantage of this favorable markets. Chad, on the other hand, mainly relies on foreign aid and has not much established its local industries. Apart from the oil sector that is slowly taking root in the country’s economy, most of the other local industries are not developed. This would mean that UK’s investment in Chad would make UK to develop new infrastructures that will enable the development of the manufacturing sector. Chad is under-developed in its industrial sector and hence greater capital will be incurred in investing in a sector that has not been locally developed (Abdallah 2001).

The growth of the business sector mainly information technology has enabled specialization in labor and well skilled workers (Dunning 1998). This implies that through this growth, UK would not need to obtain labor from external sources and this will minimize the labor costs. Hence, the supply of skilled labor in India is more sufficient to cater for the upcoming manufacturing industries than in Chad, where most of the population is poor and there are lower levels of skilled labor. Information technology is likely to enable UK’s manufacturing industries’ technology to adapt to the existing economic conditions in India. This means that UK will not have to incur large amounts of expenses in implementing their technology in the foreign investments in India. In Chad, oil production is the major activity in the industrial sector. The technology is still not developed and the country mostly relies on foreign donors for the production of oil and this means that the country has not been able to develop its own technology. Investing in the country would mean that UK imports technology from its home country or from the other developed countries and this would result in the industries have higher production costs.

Hence, with these factors, the Porter Diamond’s theory may be used to show that India has competitive advantage over Chad and UK would more suitably invest in India than in Chad. The most appropriate form of investment in India would be through joint ventures. Since the country has already established its own local industries, the way to successfully invest in the economy would be to join the already existing manufacturing industries and exploit the country’s resources together (House 2004). The government of India also requires that a foreign company has to be owned by Indians by at least 50% and this way the company would be considered to be Indian equity (Dunning 1998). This makes joint ventures to be most appropriate. Joint ventures with the local companies will also enable the foreign company to have full access to the country’s resources in terms of labor, raw materials and the financial incentives.

Key strategic issues the MD needs to be aware of in respect of the investment in India

Cultural differences and implications of the FDI

The management of the foreign direct investment in UK must be able to identify the host country’s requirements in respect to investing in a joint venture. The India government is making great efforts to promote liberalization and it is through this that it is encouraging more foreign investors into the country. A simplification and liberalization of the norms of foreign direct investment will help revive the domestic industries and in turn promote the total country’s growth. Easing the entry restrictions for the foreign direct investors has, however, brought with it challenges that are likely to affect their success and which has also resulted in various cultural implications. The director of the UK foreign direct investments in India must be able to understand clearly these implications and make efforts to ensure that the investments have operated accorded to the expectations of the host country while at the same time achieving their desired goals (House 2004).

Geert Hofstede in his Cultural Dimensions model argues that there is noting like universal management theory and different nations all over the world have different understanding of the term management. According to this model, management is not a concept that can be isolated from other activities that are taking place in a given society. Management instead is interactive; it interacts with all that is taking place among communities, in politics and the government and also interacts with the various aspects of religion and scientific beliefs (Kassem 1976).

In this aspect, the UK investment in India will imply that it incorporates the activities of the country with its management operations. The UK’s manufacturing industries in India have formed joint ventures with the local industries and through this they have to put into consideration proper management skills to cater for the needs of the local community while also achieving the business’s goals. To understand the management of India, the MD should a clear knowledge and empathy for the entire community of India. The MD while dealing with the management strategies needs to understand that other people’s needs in other regions are as important as their own experiences even when they are completely different (House 2004).

The major cultural implications to put into consideration, according to Geert Hofstede (1976) are in respect to understanding:

  1. The extent to which people take economic inequality as being normal. This will help the mergers be able to set its goals without having to go through a lot of pressure in keeping the economy of a country developed.
  2. The individualism and collectivism of people interacting with the venture. This will enable the management to be able to employ the most effective strategies of handling its employees and the local community.
  3. The long term and short term values of the society: This is in respect to setting management goals that the venture would take as short term and those that would be regarded as long term.

Marketing implications

With the advancement in information technology in the business sector, the joint ventures formed are likely to improve their activities and benefit from this advancement (Hill 2008). However, the FDI regulations in India require that the foreign investors must exploit the country’s resources to its benefit. In this aspect, even when the UK’s foreign direct investment market their products, they must make maximum use of the country’s local markets and enhance the market conditions.

This is however not difficult due to the easing of the FDI regulations. The joint ventures through government approvals have been able to improve their products by making the best use of the local and foreign technology (restrictions on technology transfer has been eased as well) and they are also able to successfully market their products to the local and international markets more effectively. According to Hill (2008), the joint ventures form networks with other business sectors to promote the distribution of products through the advanced information technology.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be noted that foreign direct investment requires critical analysis of the choice of countries that the investor has. One must look into consideration the benefits as well as the limitations of investing in a different country and not in the home country. Since there are a number of countries where FDIs can be established, a foreign investor is sometimes required to implement an appropriate model like the Porter Diamond’s model of competitive advantage so that a proper analysis is made and the best final decision made on the location of the investment. The managing director will also be required to clearly identify the cultural implications that come with establishing an investment in a certain country. Hence, foreign direct investments involve much more than simply coming up with a venture in a particular location.

Bibliography

Abdallah, W, 2001. Managing Multinationals in the Middle East: Accounting and Tax Issues: Greenwood Publishing Group, UK.

Africa Research Bulletin, 1999: Africa Research Ltd.

Dunning, J and Narula, R, 1998. Foreign Direct Investment and Governments: Catalysts For Economic Restructuring: Taylor & Francis, India.

Hendel, A. et.al, 2008. Rightshore!: Successfully Industrialize SAP Projects Offshore: Springer, New York.

Hill, C, 2008. International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace: London: McGraw-Hill.

Hofstede, G and Kassem, S, 1976. European Contributions to Organization Theory: Van Gorcum, USA.

House, R, 2004. Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study Of 62 Societies: SAGE, UK.

Jain, S, 1993. Market Evolution in Developing Countries: The Unfolding of the Indian Market: Haworth Press, UK.

Luff, P, 2006. Trade and Investment Opportunities with India: Third Report of Session 2005-06: Stationery Office, Britain.

Molyneux, P, 2004. Multinational Corporate Strategy and Finance: University of California, USA.

Nayak, S, 2003. Globalization and the Indian Economy: Roadmap to a Convertible Rupee: Routledge, UK.

Rugman, A and Hodgetts, R, 2003. International Business: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.

Trends in Developing Economies, 2006: World Bank Publications.

Wall, S. and Rees, B. 2004. International Business: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.

News Corporation’s Horizontal And Vertical Hegemonic Power

Introduction

Every student of political science, sociology, journalism or any other expression of the social sciences has been taught during its studies that the communication system among humans is the cornerstone of their building of society. From a political point of view, the communication system could either be used by parties to enhance democracy or it could even serve as a “weapon” of destruction for it. From a social point of view, the interaction of human beings through their communication system gives birth to many other social paradigms without which society as we know it would cease to exist.

But on the last century a new powerful relationship was born; that between the communication system and the business world. This new ‘coupling’ continued to strengthen its relationship to such an extent that now it has become one of the most powerful forces within a society or among different societies. It is a well recognized fact among scholars now that only a few industries have been affected and changed so radically from globalism and capitalism as has the communication industry (McChensey and Schiller, III).

And this radical change was made possible thanks to the usage by the private sector of the communication system of society for profit purposes. This new combination has greatly enhanced the capabilities of the communication system itself and the impact it can have on the daily life of individuals as well as communities. Expressed through the words of authors McChensey and Schiller:

“The dual role of the communication system, at once a pivot of the emerging global economy and a key foundation of political democracy, constitutes a vital tension on the world stage.”

Here comes the main point of the research. The central issue of this short paper is to make an analysis of the News Corporation horizontal and vertical hegemonic power within the discussed media and communication industry.

We will try to do this analysis first, by assessing what this new media industry is, how was it born and how did it evolved to such a degree we find it today. Then we will discuss how the News Corporation used different techniques to gain majority, or at least a considerable part, of the market share. It ultimately offered its own business model which became then an example for other media corporations to follow. Basically, News Corporation was the first media company to really treat communication as a ‘product’ or ‘service’ offered to the market just like any other company would offer its products or services to consumers. This was a paradigm shift in the way communication was perceived in society. Then we will discuss the methodology how the News Corporation managed to gain big shares of several big markets. This is the part we have labeled “vertical integration and horizontal regulation”.

At the end comes the concluding part. This is the part of the commenting of the dilemma of today’s media scholars: should the media become purely a business or should we enhance more the social integration and information aspects of it?! The answer to this question we will try to give in the “profit and the public interest” final part of the paper.

And finally, I would say that this research paper may not encompass all the resources available for analysis in the area but it almost certainly has a strong and solid structure and reference basis.

The new media industry

In their fine research published just a few years ago, David Croteau and William Hoynes, for the first time introduced a study focused not on the media and communication effect on society but on what now has become ‘the business of media’. Media and communication that serves primarily as means for the good of the individual and society and then for other things, has passed away time ago (Croteau & Hoynes, 2006). They note in their research that from the ‘public sphere’ modeling of the media now we have a dominance of the ‘market’ model of the media. Even if the research is focused on American society still it can be generalized for all societies labeled as developed or industrialized. Nevertheless, the authors do mention the fact that the emerging ‘so called third world’ countries, or developing countries, also are ‘copying’ the market model of the developed countries instead of developing a more public sphere approach to the media (Croteau & Hoynes, 6).

But, before coming to the focused media group of our paper, News Corporation and its Fox News subsidiary, it is best to have an overview of what is this new media industry.

The booming of this sector began in the early 1980, when Margaret Thatcher, in the United Kingdom, and Ronald Reagan, in the United States, brought a new view of the role of government in society. The advent of laissez faire capitalism as governmental policy, made possible for the business world to expand to other sectors that were deemed until that time to be not places for private ownership. The same happened to the media sector. As a new form of cultural expression born just a few decades ago the television had an enormous growth rate (16% per year from 1980 to 1984 in the United States for example) that could not pass without being noticed. This fact coupled with the deregulatory policies of government made corporations direct their attention toward the media. As author Douglas Gomery states:

“In a single year one network (ABC) was sold (to Capital Cities Communication), another (NBC) taken over (by General Electric), and the third (CBS) nearly toppled by cable television mogul Ted Turner.” (78)

At this same time are the advent of Rupert Murdoch in the mass media business and the creation of his News Corporation. This takeover of corporations of the media sector in society made possible the conditions for the advent of the new media we have today. Since corporations, as any other business-based company, have as their priority increase of revenues and, thus, profits, so the media too was changed to adapt to the new objectives. Now the focus of the corporate owned media groups was to increase their profits for the benefit of their shareholders.

The public sphere interest came to be second if not third. By 1985, Rupert Murdoch owned 51% of News Corporation and was an important player in three major markets: Australia, United Kingdom and United States.

What should be noted is that he was one of the first investors and media owners to grasp that in order to be as much profitable as it could a media should not just serve public interest, it should form it. Thus, the media now was not just a ‘servant’ of the public sphere providing it with information but it became an important actor of the public sphere. This new role was meant to influence the formation of public opinion as much as it can by turning it into a consumer of what the media would offer. This was revolutionary thinking that aimed to turn the public sphere from a citizen based one to a consumer based one. We will talk in detail at the “vertical integration and horizontal regulation” part how Rupert Murdoch set the example to be followed by other corporate owned media groups.

The global media system of News Corporation

Rupert Murdoch was the first to understand that in order to succeed, a business needs clients and customers. This way it can both increase its sales and attract other investors for future projects. It is now a recognized fact that the satellite television networks alone that News Corporation owns, worldwide can reach as many as three hundred million homes (Broe, 99). If we have to count also the press media part, cable television and movie studios that this corporation owns that number could be even doubled. The reach of every media sector News Corporation owns also is global making it, as many would say “the only real global company that covers the world” (Broe, 97).

This is what makes the News Corporation unique in its role and influence. Soon, fellow corporate owned media groups followed it in the business model it offered for the new media industry.

Vertical integration and horizontal regulation

Rupert Murdoch began its ‘conquest’ with News Corporation by acquiring local newspapers one by one in local markets. After that the corporation went on to acquire television stations in his native home, Australia. After he had consolidated his position there, the News Corporation went on to become a major player in the biggest market of the world, the United States. At the end of 1985, it has managed to become a major player there by acquiring local television stations and newspapers and integrating them as parts of a wider network. This vertical integration of the local media players was done in such a way like the pieces which are separate are connected together to form a bigger puzzle. The Fox Cable News is an example of this vertical integration.

In a certain sense, the corporation had no need to start up from the beginning new media, being those printed or visual, but it managed to link together existing ones in order to form a bigger entity that would revitalize all its ‘forming members’. This is exactly the way a privately owned business firm is managed in order to make it more profitable. Corporations were born out of this model, or scheme.

This was the first time that it was being used for the media, which was considered to be more a public sector than a private domain. This came to be a ‘disaster’ for the independence of the media though. Independence in the sense that, prior to the acquisition, these local media had their own editorial viewpoint and policy, but now they had to stress out the editorial viewpoint and policy that the ‘mother corporation’ decides. All of them had to uniformly form a single editorial policy and express the same viewpoints about different issues.

These editorial policy and points of view were decided by the board or directors of the News Corporation. But these people were at the same time the shareholders of the company. It is natural that their tendency is to safeguard the future of their company as ‘a business’ primarily than as a public serving concern. Thus, it can be fair to say that the natural tendency of these network media was to ‘mind more their business’ in order to make it more profitable than to have as their major concern the serving of the public opinion.

The second characteristic of these new media is the so called horizontal regulation. What it means is that the media tries to create hegemony among the public in order to be the sole directing force of public opinion trends (Herman, para. 4). The corporate media, of course, presents itself as helper of the public or even as protector of its freedoms and as serving its interests. But in reality it is serving its own corporate interest and is ‘using’ the public for consumerist reasons.

The variety of entertainment and of other sort of offerings that the corporate media offers the public is meant to keep the public ‘busy’ on selecting which product or service to consume. On the other hand, the opinions and ideas presented are filtered accordingly by the editorial policy of the corporate. This editorial policy of course favor opinions and viewpoints of ruling elites and that are in accordance with business sector’s benefits and profits (Herman, para. 7).

Of course the News Corporation is not going to trumpet against its own interests as a business company. To give an example of this situation, we can mention the fact that Fox Cable News is not going to trumpet against the interest of its shareholders or investors or even partner businesses in other sectors and industries. The combination of entertainment and presenting of only ‘favorable’ opinions and ideas made the corporate media become an important actor of the business world. The profits of this industry increased even more that what they were before corporate takeover as mentioned above.

This is especially characteristic of the ‘Murdoch’s media conglomerate’ since it was this group that lead the way in this area. As in Rupert Murdoch’s own words the media was “meant to entertain and not educate” (Broe, 98). But entertainment means consumerism and consumerism means more profits for those entities offering such consumer products or services. Thus the horizontal regulation means to be the first public choice when it comes to consumer related issues. This can be said to be one of the reasons why the Fox Cable News incorporated so much of the Afghanistan and Iraq war in its daily schedule of transmissions. The favoring of ruling elites has become the norm for this corporation or other giant media conglomerates. On their turn, these ruling elites favor the advancement of business over other sectors of society with the so called deregulating and free market policies. Indirectly, the media was favoring its own future as a business. But there were other reasons too. The vast media coverage of a harsh event like a war had its own consuming benefits.

The extensive use emotional language and slogans like “our troops fighting for freedom against an evil enemy who wishes our destruction” attracted the attention of the public more and more.

It is not casual than after September 11th, 2001, Fox Cable News trumpeted in support of the war and subsequently, in the midst of the war in Iraq, Fox Cable News passed CNN as the most viewed cable news network in the United States (Broe, 100). At this time the advertising time cost (dollar you have to pay per second of advertisement) in this media skyrocketed. Thus, it had a direct impact on the revenues and profits of Fox Cable News as a network. Many believe that it was the turning of warfare as an entertainment consumerist television show that served as an attracting tool to gain the attention of the public and subsequently orient public opinion in the directions the corporate media wants (Croteau and Hoynes, 122).

Their master’s voice

“You have got to admit that Rupert Murdoch is one canny press tycoon because he has an unerring ability to choose editors across the world who thinks just like him. How else can we explain the extraordinary unity of thought in his newspaper empire about the need to make war on Iraq? After an exhaustive survey of the highest-selling and most influential papers across the world owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation, it is clear that all are singing from the same hymn sheet. Some are bellicose baritone soloists who relish the fight. Some prefer a less strident, if more subtle, role in the chorus. But none, whether fortissimo or pianissimo, has dared to croon the anti-war tune. Their master’s voice has never been questioned.” (Greenslade, para. 1)

During the last decade and especially after the invasion of Iraq, the News Corporation has been accused of being one-sided and of censuring the critical voices to the war. It is not casual that News Corporation is accused as all of its subsidiaries, all of the networks and media part of this conglomerate do follow exactly the editorial policy for the ‘mother corporation’ and express its point of view. The quote cited above is part of a research article published by journalist Roy Greenslade in the British newspaper The Guardian since February 2003. In this part we will refer heavily to that article since the research undertook by Mr. Greenslade does fully prove our point of view.

It is not casual that all of the newspapers, television channels or any other sort of printed or digital media owned by the News Corporation has shown public support of the war expressively or indirectly. For all of the conglomerate members to have shown essentially the same public support backed by almost the same form of argumentation in an autonomous and independent way, it is quite impossible. Even in the form of support they offered the United States government, along with its alleys, for their action toward Iraq has a clear business background. One of the most important fact to be noted for our study purposes of the new political economy of the mass media is Rupert Murdoch’s own reference to “the rationale for going to war, blatantly using the o-word” (Greenslade, para. 5). Even though publicly many politicians in the United States and Britain have strongly denied the significance of oil for this war and stressed out the important of values like freedom and democracy, Murdoch himself was more direct and less reticent.

In an interview for a local Australian newspaper he expressed his believe that deposing the Iraqi leader would lead to an opening of Iraq’s oil market which, in turn, meant cheaper oil for the entire world. “The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy…would be $20 a barrel for oil. That’s bigger than any tax cut in any country” (Greenslade, para. 6).

This is his personal opinion but what should be noted here is the fact that every one of the major media components of his News Corporation expresses at least three times this point of view as a supportive argumentation for the ongoing of the war in Iraq (Greenslein, para. 8). This is an important fact to mention regarding the loss of independence of this media and the ‘pressure’ corporations are putting upon them. At the same report of Mr. Greenslein we will find that the corporate own media groups offered less than 20% of the total coverage of the issue to critical voices of the war. Of course the Fox Cable News led this statistics with less than 10%.

It is not the scope of this paper to come to final conclusions but we do not think that it is a premature conclusion to say that it seems quite clear that what Fox Cable News has done is in opposition with professional journalistic principles and, of course, a tentative to direct public attention toward the viewpoint that this corporate media believes is the correct viewpoint.

Conclusion: Profit and the public interest

In social studies, there exists a conventional view of the proper relationship between the government and the media. It is one of mutual control and help for the benefit of the society.

The way it developed in the United States, is well known: the focus is on the free press, generated by private citizens independent of government censorship and control but with the final purpose of benefiting public interest more than individual interest (McChensey and Schiller, 3). Public interest is the core principle behind this relationship. Private profit from this sort of activities is not deemed to be neither illegal nor immoral but it is deemed to be less important than the general public interest. Hence the communications systems developed within a community are meant more to deliver to the community than to profit from it. It is when the private profit interest becomes the primary concern of the communication system that society begins to lose because its interest, the public interest, is not the focus of the communication systems.

The media is the most advanced expression of the communication system society has ever constructed. Thus, it was meant to focus the most on public interest than on private profit gaining. The problem with the new political economy of the mass media invented by Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation is that it has changed the status of the media as a communication system developed to benefit the public interest. As a consequence its role has changed also. It now is transformed into a tool of profit increase for privately owned corporation which, in turn, benefit only small groups within society.

Works Cited

Broe, Denis. “Fox and its friends: Global ‘commodification’ and the new Cold war”. The Cinema Journal, no. 43, 2004.

Croteau, David & Hoynes, Williams. The business of media: Corporate media and the public interest, 2nd edition. U.S.A: Pine Forge Press, 2006.

Gomery, Douglas. “Vertical integration, horizontal regulation: the growth of Rupert Murdoch’s U.S. media empire”. Screen, no. 27 (3-4), pg. 78-86, 1986.

Greenslade, Roy. “Their master’s voice”. The Guardian [online]. Web.

Herman, Edward S. “The Political Economy of the Mass Media: Edward S. Herman Interviewed by Robert W. McChesney”. Monthly Review [online]. January, 1989. Web.

McChesney, Robert W. & Schiller, Dan. “The Political Economy of International Communications Foundations for the Emerging Global Debate about Media Ownership and Regulation”. Technology, Business and Society, Program Paper Number 11, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, 2003.

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