News Corporation 10K and the Business of Media

     News Corporation is comprised of six main elements: cable network programming, filmed entertainment, television, direct broadcast satellite television, publishing, other. News Corporations assets are located all over the world: the United States, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Australia, Asia and Latin America.

     The most notable changes to these assets in the August 15, 2011, 10K, filed by News Corporation, occurred on account of the recent scandal involving the News of the World publication, which is under the control of News Corporation. July 2011 was a very important month for News Corporation. The scandal resulted in closure of the News of the World publication. The Company released information stating that they are cooperating with the investigation, they have “admitted liability” (1) in several civil cases related to phone hacking allegations, and they have created a Management and Standards Committee (MSC) to control all issues related to the scandal. The MSC will also return information to the Board of Directors and will oversee “compliance, ethics, and governance procedures” (1) at News International, the publishing branch of News Corporation. On July 13 of the same month, The Company ended negotiations to buy more than their current share of the British company BskyB with a $63 million settlement. Also in July 2011, the Company sold its interest in “its outdoor advertising businesses in Russia and Romania.” (20) In addition, the NDS Group bought back its shares from News Corp. in March 2011. On June 29, 2011, News Corporation released its holdings on Myspace. Overall, News Corporation has been losing assets, intentionally or unintentionally, over the course of the year.

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A Review of Edward Sapir and Neil Postman

     It is inevitable that methods of communication will continue to change over time. These changes include the means by which people communicate as well as the extent communication will travel. Edward Sapir argues that the “far-reaching techniques of communication” result in an increase in “the sheer radius of communication” as well as a decrease in “the importance of mere geographical contiguity.” (77) This argument qualifies the discovery that while cultures in close geographic regions should be similar they do not have to be, because shared techniques of communication with the world may make them more alike to “geographically remote” regions, enlarging the distance communication is able to travel. (77) This adds to the likelihood of one society encompassing the globe. Today, global society is brought together particularly by examples of social media on the internet. The interrelatedness of conversation, writing, and the audio-visual aspect of communication are prominent in social networking websites such as Facebook. It has become unbelievably easy to communicate instantly with all areas of the world. On the internet, news travels faster than in letters and more accurately than over the telephone; video of world events can be shared instantly. The world of today is largely an electronic environment; technology plays a huge role in communication. Neil Postman states, “the printing press, the computer, and television are not therefore simply machines which convey information. They are metaphors through which we conceptualize reality in one way or another.” (39) Technology not only assists human communication but it also affects our understanding of the world; “we see it [the world] as our coding systems are.” (39) Coding systems change the language used to understand reality – whether shorthand or symbols are used the description is incomplete in that it is lacking the immediate human emotion or reaction that would be included in spoken conversation.

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