The Clout of Media Giants. Describe the power of "The Big Five" in controlling the teen-pop culture.

Essay by due_04High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2005

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In 1856 an article in the Richmond Enquirer read, "Freedom is not possible without slavery." This quote still has some truth to it today. American youths have become essentially slaves of the media giants under the guise of new freedoms and choices. Only five companies control the entire fate of a "teen pop-culture." There is no individuality anymore, one must and will conform to become a slave of the "big five." They control culture by consolidating ownership of different medias, selling what sells quick through hyper-commercialism, and essentially colonizing American youth.

Twenty to thirty years ago huge corporations that controlled all forms of media didn't exist. There were separate corporations, controlling separate aspects of the media business. However, since the late 80s and early 90s massive conglomerate corporations have formed that entirely control not only one, but several aspects of the business. According to Mark Miller, these corporations control "all of our culture industries, from movies and TV and radio to music and book publishing and the web."

As Robert McChesney, a media critic, states in his PBS frontline interview, "The entertainment companies--which are a handful of massive conglomerates that own four of the five music companies that sell 90 percent of the music in the United States--those same companies also own all the film studios, all the major TV networks, all the TV stations pretty much in the ten largest markets. They own all or part of every single commercial cable channel, these handful of huge companies." These five media giants are Viacom, Disney, News Corporation, Vivendi Universal and AOL Time Warner.

Through dominating the business, these corporations are able to push whatever they want into youth culture. Typically this is whatever sells the fastest. As Miller puts it, "The MTV machine doesn't listen to the young so...