Choice and Control…

Based on what we’ve talked about in class today, who have the upper hand in terms of control and choice of the media?  Is it the owners of the media, the advertisers in the media, or the audience of the media.

Please be specific and give an example or two.  You have until Sunday midnight to comment.


About Samir "Mr. Magazine™" Husni, Ph.D.

Samir Husni, aka Mr. Magazine™, is the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi. He is also Professor and Hederman Lecturer of Journalism at the School of Journalism and New Media. Dr. Husni is the author of the annual Samir Husni's Guide to New Magazines, which is now in its 28th year. He is also the author of Launch Your Own Magazine: A Guide for Succeeding in Today's Marketplace published by Hamblett House, Inc. and Selling Content: The Step-by-Step Art of Packaging Your Own Magazine, published by Kendall Hunt, Magazine Publishing in the 21st Century, published by Kendall Hunt, and co-author of Design Your Own Magazine. He has presented seminars on trends in American magazines to the editorial, advertising and sales staff of the magazine groups of the Morris Communications Company, Hearst Corp., Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, Meredith Corp., Reader's Digest Magazine, ESPN the magazine, Sail Magazine, American Airlines Publishing, the National Geographic Society, the Swedish magazine group Bonnier, the Finnish magazine group Sanoma Magazines, Southern Progress magazines, New South Publishing, Inc., the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Magazine Editors, Vance Publishing Corporation, the Florida Magazine Association, The Magazine Association of Georgia, the National Society of Black Journalists, the Japanese Magazine Publishers Association, and the American Press Institute. He is "the country's leading magazine expert," according to Forbes ASAP magazine, "the nation's leading authority on new magazines," according to min:media industry newsletter; and The Chicago Tribune dubbed him "the planet's leading expert on new magazines." Dr. Husni has been interviewed by major U.S. media on subjects related to the magazine industry. He has been profiled and is regularly quoted in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other newspapers nationwide, as well as the major newsweeklies and a host of trade publications. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, CNNFN, PBS, and on numerous radio talk shows including National Public Radio's Morning and Weekend Editions. Dr. Husni has also served as an expert witness in several lawsuits involving major media corporations including Time Inc. and American Express Publishing among others. He has been a judge of The National Magazines Awards, The Evangelical Magazines Association, The City and Regional Magazines Association, and The Florida and Georgia Magazine Association Awards. Dr. Husni is the President and CEO of Magazine Consulting & Research, a firm specializing in new magazine launches, repositioning of established magazines, and packaging publications for better sales and presentations. Dr. Husni holds a doctorate in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. When he is not in his office reading magazines, Dr. Husni is at the newsstands buying magazines.
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39 Responses to Choice and Control…

  1. Colton Herrington says:

    In today’s world, the audience has a huge advantage when it comes to control and choice of the media. The audience knows what it wants and asks for it, which is exerting control. If the audience doesn’t like something, that particular thing won’t last long, no matter how badly the owners and advertisers want it to. While the owners provide the choices, the audience has benefitted greatly in having options. As long as a myriad of options continue to exist and media attraction remains skewed, the audience will continue to exert its power. Consumers allow big corporations to flourish through purchases (i.e. Apple, “Time”), but if the audience started to collectively shift to another entity, the previously mentioned corporations would lose influence and money.

  2. Robert Phillips says:

    The owners of the media have ultimate control over what is reported and shown to the viewer or listener. They can decide what news they want to show and when they want to show it. An example of this is how the media used to wait until friday after the evening news to show any new issue that the white house needed the weekend to prepare for, because there were not nearly as many viewers at that time. I am a firm believer that it is the audience’s choice what they watch, listen to, and read. If an audience is concerned with politics mainly, then they have the choice to watch a news channel and not watch Jersey Shore. I make choices daily about what music I listen to and the TV shows I watch. Ultimately it is the owners of the media who have control because they decide what they will show, but the audience always has the choice whether or not to give the media their attention.

  3. Herbie May says:

    The audience is the all mighty of the media industry. Content changes and is catered to what the public wants. No matter what the category, it won’t sell if people don’t find it entertaining. Owners have the power of putting what they want in front of the public eye. That being said, what they want to show may not be what is actually going to sell. This leads me back to my point of the audience having all the power in this new digital media era. The audience will continue to have control for the rest of time. Power and control are in the content.

  4. Patrick Thompson says:

    I think that the audience has more control in what is shown in the media because the producers and publisher want to keep their audience as happy as possible and if they are not they will receive complaints from them asking, and in some cases demanding, for change to happen. And if the change does not happen they will pull whatever media is from their community until change is made. The audience wants to feel like what is being presented is safe for everybody to enjoy and if they do not think it is worth it they will pull it out of their community

  5. Summer Wigley says:

    I believe that the audience has most of the control when it comes to media. Businesses, television channels, etc, are constantly looking for new things that will appeal to the audience. For example, there is a new campaign going on for a Doritos commercial for the Super Bowl. The audience has the option to vote for which one they like better and that one will appear as one of the famous commercials that appear throughout the Super Bowl game. The audience is so important when it comes to media because without the approval/disapproval of the audience, what’s the point of media?

  6. Katie Krouse says:

    The owners of the media have the ultimate control over the content. However, that being said, the owners feed off of the consumer’s wants and interests to decide what makes up the content being they choose to publish giving the audience a portion of control as well. For example, word gets out that Kim Kardashian is pregnant. A good portion of the public takes great interest in that. The owners of different media platforms take this interest into account and the next thing you know, it’s all over the television, magazines, and social media networks. Due to the audience’s interest, the content will sell, so the owners respond accordingly.

  7. Chloie Johnson says:

    I think the audience has the majority of control and choice when it comes to the media. We as the audience decide what we want and the media and corporations supply it to us. If the audience reacts well to a specific option in the media, like apple, then the demand will be high and therefore it will flourish and create complimentary products as well. On the other hand, if the audience doesn’t choose a specific product then the demand will be low and they will not survive in the media world. While the audience does not have all the control, we do have the choice.

  8. Kelly Litzelfelner says:

    I think the audience has the upper hand in the media. Everything the owners and advertisers in the media do is done to appeal to the audience. The better they appeal to the audience, the more money they make. The audience contains the power to change the television channel, turn of the radio, and skip through articles in a newspaper and magazine. This is the ultimate upper hand because advertisers and owners of the media spend their time trying to please the audience and keep them from changing the channel. This is where the idea of a target audience comes from. Every television commercial and magazine advertisement is made for and to impress the audience.

  9. Tessa Romack says:

    I believe that the control of the media is in the owners hands. But the real question is what is controlling the owners choices when it comes to choosing what is presented to the public. I believe the answer to that question is the audience. If the audience does not like what the owners choose to present to them they will not watch which results in advertisers not wanting to advertise with the media source. Now a days, the audience can pick and choose what news they want to see or hear so the owners of the media have to make sure they are sharing news that is relevant and something the public is interested in or they will not make any money because they will lose viewers and advertisers.

  10. jbbarnet says:

    The audience has control. They are the source of income for the advertisers, which fund the owners. Owners must produce content the audience wants, and advertisers must offer relevant ads. Owners have the power of limiting choices or offering more to advertisers and audiences. A gun magazine that doesn’t offer reviews of firearms won’t sell, because the audience wants reviews. An owner publishing multiple publications catering to specific audiences offers choice of what to read and a choice of where to advertise. A gun company won’t advertise in a cooking magazine, but one about firearms or a similar outdoor magazine.

  11. Jennifer Thurman says:

    I would defiantly say in today’s society, the audience of the media has the upper hand. The owners of the media have to adjust according to the audience’s wants. They have to keep the audience coming back for more. The advertisers have to pursued the customers and give them something they will want. They have to be clever enough to convince the audience to want their product. Both the owner and advertiser have to give the audience what they want. They have to be able to grab the audience’s attention and hold onto it. Think about all the cheesy infomercials. Most of their products they try to sell look ridiculous and don’t appeal to the audience.

  12. Jordan Mckeever says:

    Though the owners of the media control what media is shown to the audience, the audience determines if that media is a success or a failure. For example, in August 2011, MTV aired a new series called the “Inbetweeners.” They were giving the audience their choice of a show to watch. The advertisers were in control of making the show appealing to the audience. In the end, the show was cancelled after one season because there were not enough viewers. The owners and advertisers were in control of the show, but the audience was in control of the series’ fate.

  13. Taylor Walters says:

    I believe that the major media owners have the majority of control and choice in today’s world. News reporters have a slew of stories that they must just choose a select few of to run on television for the audience to see. Also, newspaper editors have the control of which of their stories are deemed “relevant enough” to go to print. That being said, the media owners provide these stories by polling what will be more popular among viewers, in which case you could argue that the audience also holds some of the control and choice of the media today.

  14. Katie Whann says:

    I think that the advertisers definitely have the upper hand in the media. They control what we see, what we want to buy, and what is in style. Advertisers have proven that they can easily control our lives whether it seems like it or not. By releasing one ad, they can alter our attitudes and opinions. For example, when a new makeup product comes out, it entices women and makes them want to buy it to make them look more beautiful. Another example is when advertisers use celebrities to endorse products so that people will buy them. Having a celebrity on the cover for a perfume, clothing, or any other product causes us to want to own it because they’re face is on it. Advertisers in the media are so powerful in our everyday lives, and it is more prevalent everyday.

  15. Bridge Leigh says:

    The media owners decide on what material airs and what does not, so they are the ones to whom the ultimate decision is left. Even though audiences guide media as to what sort of stories they’d like to see, high-positioned employees have precedent. Vanity Fair, which began centered on high fashion, was overhauled into what is today a collection of pop culture and current events; it is now more heavily focused on the popular aspect than fashion trends. Although its audience had been guided for decades by the newest looks, it now appeals to more general audiences.

  16. The ones in which that have the control and choice of media, I firmly believe is the audience. This is because with the owners and the advertisers catering to the relevant thing that the audience wants, the owners and advertizers would not have anyone to glance at their products if they didn’t. firmly believe in this meaning of a relevant message via a relevant media to the relevant audience in order to ever be successful within this business. So therefore without any relevant media to receive that relvalent message through that releveant media it would not sale. That’s why it feel as the audience have both the full choice and control of today’s media content in which they will receive.
    For example I only look up information that I want to see on the media that I want to look at and is the most convent for me. And school for instance, in a class an instructor will use the relevant media that he/she chooses inorder to convey what ever message that they are trying to get across.

  17. Graham Wyman says:

    I think the audience has the most influence on what material is going to be aired. The audience are the one’s who are deciding what the channels are playing because if they do not like the show then the channels lose money. So without the audience the companies are unsuccessful if they are not pleasing their audience members. You often are able to tell when shows are failing during the season being aired because the channel starts changing things to it. For example, some shows that are failing on their initial season either have their time changed, their day change, back to back episodes, or they’re immediately cancelled before their season was supposed to end.

  18. Ali Corbin says:

    The audience ultimately has the upper hand in terms of control and the choice of the media. The owners and advertisers would be nothing if they didn’t have an audience to show off to. And the owners and advertisers feel a very large burden to make the audience happy and give them what they want. If the owners and advertisers of media are unable to please the audience then it will be incredibly hard for any form of media to last. The audience will simply stop reading, watching, or subscribing if they are not interested. For instance, we can see this in all new television shows, if they are decreasingly watched as time goes on they will be taken off the air, showing how vital an audience is to the media.

  19. Parker Bergsagel says:

    In today’s society, I believe that the audience has the reigns in choice of content. Technically, the owners have total control of what is released in the media. However if it is not targeting an audience of people who desire that content, they are forced to remove it and publish other content. Providers have to provide their audience with the content they want, or they will lose popularity and money. For a provider to be successful, they have to provide content that consumers want. For example, as the demand for Apple products increased, the company flourished and continues to create products that met these demands. While the audience does not have full control, we do, and will continue to have, a strong pull in the media world.

  20. Meaghan Snell says:

    Today’s society has created a world of the audience being in control. For example the Super Bowl is coming up, which is a huge time for advertising. There will be commercials with food, animals, cars, etc. in order to grab the attention of each individual in hope the advertisement affects them. Another look is advertising of the game itself. Companies like Bud Light advertise the game on their beer and also each city’s team. I know we consistently buy Falcons Bud Light beer over others just to feel supportive of the team. So yes, the owners and advertisers make the final decisions, but their choices are controlled by the audience’s reactions.

  21. Sydney Leaphart says:

    I believe the owners of the media have the ultimate control, but the audience has choice in the media. For example, there are multiple shows which play every night at the same time on different television networks. The owners of the media have control over what plays where and when on the television networks, but the audience has choice in which program he or she would like to watch and when. Also the owners of media manipulate the audiences into feeling or believing a certain thing. For example, the advertisements on tv make the audience feel negative about themselves and advertise a product to change or fix, and the audience in the end buys into the product hoping for results presented on the advertisement.

  22. Will Jenkins says:

    I believe that the owners of the media who have the most control and choice over the media. The owners are ones who choose what is to be released to the public and what is not. For example showing just one side of the story represents how the owners choose to only show that one side of the story and not both. Perhaps to hope to away you into thinking one certain way. The owners control the media more than anybody else because they control what is released. There could be certain events that should be considered media that the owners know about but have chosen not to release so the public has no opinion on the matter because they don’t even know about it. For these reasons I believe the owners have the most control and choice over all the media.

  23. I think the audience of the media is given the upper hand in control and choice of media. The owners and advertisers simply cater to the audiences demands. This is evident in the world of advertising on websites like youtube. Advertisers want to place ads on the videos with high amounts of views so the public will be exposed to it more. Owners ultimately hold the ability of what content is shown but what is shown will be based on their audience and shows that receive negative ratings will be pulled.

  24. McKenzie Griffin says:

    It is true that the customer knows best especially in today’s world. The audience is the driving factor for every decision of the owners and advertisers of the media. The consumers have the choice as to what media they choose to view but the owners and advertisers have the control to make that media relevant to that consumer. For instance, I am politically conservative but I do not like to watch Fox news because I do not like the high-strung argumentative reporting style. I, being the audience, have the choice to view another source. Fox has control of which audience (or cluster) they choose to target to which happens to be a larger audience cluster who enjoys their style of reporting.

  25. Lindsay Langston says:

    The audience is responsible for what is made popular throughout the media and therefore media is controlled by the audiences at hand. Media cannot thrive without a following or people that are interested in the topic. If an article or news broadcast is published or shown and no one buys the newspaper or watches the news channel, then that form of media would no longer exist. The audience has the power for news outlets to be canceled or to thrive due to the reaction that they give off. If a television show is not watched by many and does not gain a large fan base then that show will eventually be off the air. Products have especially validated that audiences control the media. Apple products have grown in popularity and therefore Apple creates new technology on a constant basis to satisfy their audience.

  26. Daisy Strudwick says:

    I believe that the audience has the upper hand in the media today because without an audience, there would be no reason to promote content. If people do not like what you produce then you will not be successful. The owner and the advertisers have to make their product appealing to the audience and their choices are completely controlled by the opinions of the audience. While the owners and advertisers have the ultimate control over what they put out, it is the audience that drives what they choose and why. For example, television shows often create characters in order to fulfill what they audience thinks that the show is lacking.

  27. Laura Reed says:

    I believe that the owners of the media have the majority of the control. The audience is the target and influence, though, so the owners of the media ultimately have to cater to the audience. Advertisers simply deliver ads to the audience they want for their product/service. The owners must be careful, though. For example, if the audience becomes uninterested, a show will fail and be taken off the air. It is all about making money in the media and the owners and audience are the drivers.

  28. Elliott Guffin says:

    The audience has the complete control over the media. The audience can allow a show to pass ,or fail. Advertisers need shows to advertise. The owners of the media also need the audience to watch their shows, so they can make money from advertisers. The audience chooses what shows they want to watch, and the owners keep making the shows.The advertisers advertises for specific people who watch certain shows. If not for the audience, the owners of the media ,and the advertisers make no money. So the audience has control of the media.

  29. Laura Lindsay Viergever says:

    The audience has a large influence over the media. People have to play into what the audience wants to watch. Although there are more news outlets to chose from, coverage is similar. In order to stay ahead of the curve, media channels need to know what the viewer is going to want to see. Today, people seem to be obsessed with celebrities. Even Fox News and CNN covers celebrity gossip. This is proof that they are covering what the audience wants.

  30. Shea Gabrielleschi says:

    It is very hard to say who has control over the media. While the media’s audience provides money to the media, the advertisers provide even more money to the media. For instance, magazines get most of their money from the ads that are placed in them—not from the actual customers who buy the magazine. In terms of choice, I feel that the audience of the media has the upper hand. Owners of the media obviously have a lot of control, but the decisions they make are based on the opinions of the audience, where the control lies.

  31. Christina Figg says:

    When it comes to controlling the media, I believe that customers definitely have the upper hand in dictating what sells and becomes popular. The customers, being the audience and advertisers, determine the content that the media produces because there will be no sales unless the product appeals to the general public or a certain cluster of people. For example, Cosmopolitan magazine is the #1 selling magazine on the stands today, and that is because it appeals to the average woman looking to get a little excitement in their life. If Cosmo was to change the head story from one of their regular pieces to a story on gun control, customers would not be interested and come back for another issue. The content in the media is determined by the clusters, or groups of people the company is aiming towards, and without a target audience a company will fail miserably.

  32. Ellen Whitaker says:

    Earlier on this term, we learned that the consumer, the audience, is always right. Therefore, the audience has the upper hand with the control and choices of the media. Currently, Doritos is hosting an online contest for which commercial to use for the Super Bowl. The audience can vote which commercial is their favorite. On Super Bowl Sunday, the winning commercial will be broadcasted. Owners, advertisers, and audiences of the media all play a major role in media production. The owners learn from the audience as to what they like. Then the owners pass it on to the advertisers for them to create. The practice of keying into what the audience wants creates an entertained consumer.

  33. Isabel Maruri says:

    I think that the control of the media lies with the owners of the media because the owners have ultimate control over what is dispersed through their medium. For example, the owners of Disney Channel do not play commercials that sell products. Their commercials are all purely promotions for their other shows. The audience has the choice of whether or not to view the Disney Channel, however I believe that the owners also have the choice because they select the ads that they want to play.

  34. Matt Mayfield says:

    I think that there has been a shift of control from the owners to the audience of the media. With so many outlets for people to go to now, companies cannot afford to upset their core viewers. The routine is no longer read the paper, watch local news, and maybe check out Fox. With people having control to choose from TV, radio, apps, or Internet, I feel they now control the owners of this media. In the long run, this is good for the viewer as it will drive companies to produce better-quality product.

  35. Benjamin Bryan says:

    Based off of our class discussion, I think the audience has the upper hand of control and choice of the media. Without an audience there will be no product. I do believe the owners have the complete control and final say so of what is produced, it is the audience that makes or breaks the media. Companies are consistently targeting their products, ads, etc. to an appealing audience. I think a good example is MTV. MTV was started to share music and now it does not have any music aired at all. The reason for this is because the audience would rather watch Jersey Shore vs. music videos. (Unfortunately). MTV chooses to air all of these shows because it appeals more to their audience.

  36. Cidney Simmons says:

    Without sounding cliché, the owners of the media have the most control, and they determine what they want the audience to view. Certain media industries have one primary group that owns numerous companies; for example, Time Warner Inc. is one of the largest names in the media industry and their subsidiary companies include HBO, CNN, and Warner Brother Animation. Time Warner uses their influence to control the opinions of the general public. The audience is considered; however, the media most likely casted the basis of their opinions. The media influences human behavior, what is accepted versus what isn’t.

  37. Martin Powell says:

    In the US, news sources find the majority of their profits in advertising. Because of this fact, advertisers subsequently have come to decide what the media covers. While their may not be an explicit agreement between the parties, time and time again we see advertisers pulling money from outlets that negatively reflect said company’s brand. Recently, one of the best examples of this occurred with the infamous Janet Jackson Superbowl “Wardrobe Malfunction”, as advertisers and sponsors pulled their contracts for following years after the incident. Furthermore, looking back at the difference between US news and Al Jazeera, one would be hard pressed to find companies looking to advertise with a news outlet that was considered as raw as the Qatari company. In the end, advertisers want to show off their product in front of the biggest audience possible, and since they control the purse strings, they also control what that audience watches.

  38. Katie Adams says:

    I believe, wholeheartedly, that the advertisers control the media. The media will not publish, print or broadcast something that the advertisers would not like for fear that the advertisers would pull their ads. Without the ads, there is virtually no media because advertisements are all forms of media’s greatest form of revenue. An example of advertisers controlling the media is the Super Bowl half-time performance by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake in which Janet Jackson accidentally exposed her breast on national, live television. Immediately after the incident, the NFL and the television stations were not concerned about the viewers, but more so concerned about the advertisers and their reaction and if they would pull their ads or not. Ads during the Super Bowl cost millions of dollars and it would be extremely hard for the NFL to loose that kind of revenue.

  39. When the media shows violent or so-called inappropriate content, for example on the television news networks or on IPhone news apps, some viewers do not wish to see this content and blame the media for showing this content. When these viewers from the audience of the media complain about the media showing inappropriate content, they have a choice in whether or not they want to view that content. Also, these viewers in the audience of the media do not realize that they have the upper hand in terms of control and choice of the media. Another example is that parents have the choice to block certain shows and channels, on their television, that are considered inappropriate for children. Parents can also block certain websites on the computer, or parents can only allow certain apps on their kids’ phones.

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