The media sector

The media sector


Any one can create media but it’s the idea, creation, marketing and distribution which makes a message a medium. The media sector is a collection of businesses that produces media on a wide spectrum from games to newspapers. Each corporation produces their own media for their audiences to consume.

In this essay I intend to explore certain aspects of the media sector, particularly looking at news. How news has developed from broadsheet and tabloids to the television and online. This specific part of the media sector plays a leading role, everybody knows what news is, news has become iconographic through the way it is presented to us as the conventions of a newspaper, websites and television are repeated throughout all news organisations.

News has significantly developed since the 1700’s. In 1702 the first regular daily newspaper arrived, ‘The Daily Courant’. Towards the end of the 1700’s other newspapers came onto the scene that we still recognise today. In 1785 ‘The Daily Universal Register’ was published which is now ‘The Times’ which spawned ‘The Sunday Times’, in 1791 ‘The observer’ began publishing and in 1855 their was ‘The Daily telegraph’. These news organisations gradually developed but started out traditionally printing their papers in the style of a broadsheet. It wasn’t until 1868 that the ‘Press association’ was set up as a national news agency. Every news paper was then essentially owned and regulated by them.

But now digitalisation is taking its course and newspapers such as The Scunthorpe news has been drastically changes. ‘The Scunthorpe Telegraph’ was once a daily newspaper. But, on Friday the 12th august 2011 the production of the newspaper will only be distributed on a weekly basis. As did ‘The Torquay Herald Express’, both owned by ‘Northcliffe’.

As a result of ‘The Scunthorpe Telegraph’ newspaper moving to a weekly from a daily newspaper many jobs have been cut. ‘Mark Price’ the managing director said ‘we have pledged to do everything we can to limit the number of compulsory redundancies.’

However, the local newspaper moving weekly expresses peoples lack of time to read newspapers. Many now use the web as their source of news. Its free and convenient, Especially with many owning new phones with news applications such as the ‘Android’ and Iphone market. Scunthorpe Telegraph, (Friday July 15th 2011) – ‘Your Telegraph is going weekly from next month.’

Major news corporations for instance, Sky news, has become an international hit and frequently used as a result of the digitalisation of news. It is a 24 hour British and international media organisation and broadcaster that is only available via the television or internet. Sky News primarily focuses on breaking news and encourages ‘back-pack’ journalism. Backpack journalism being a journalist who carries all of their equipment with them and uploads straight to the web, essentially freelance. for example when colonel Gadaffi was captured and killed Sky News had uploaded content as soon as they could, such as an article and pictures, four hours before the BBC. The difference being that the BBC wait until they have definite facts and a well edited piece of journalism before publishing, were as Sky News upload a story, edit and then replace it so it consistently updates therefore they the news organisation with the latest news.

Sky News began broadcasting in 1989, it began with only four channels.

But now Sky News provides television, internet and radio content in the UK and Ireland. Sky News is owned by the ‘British Sky Broadcasting’ and partly owned by world renowned ‘Rupert Murdoch and his news corporation.

Rupert Murdoch also owns CNN, which is an American news service, he has over three thousand journalists over every continent and country. Sky employees 50 on-screen staff for reporting such as news presenters, weather forecasters and general reporters. 600 members of staff work off the scene such as, make-up artists, journalists and photographers.

Sky also employees editors and journalists for online content, Sky News online. The idea behind having Sky News online is to enhance their audiences experience of choosing Sky. Not only can they view the content that was on the television but they can access breaking news straight away they can select what they want to choose via categories such as sport, fashion, breaking news stories, current affairs and many more. Therefore online news almost becomes like a playground for consumers of online news.

Other key players of the media sector such as the BBC, also use the web as a point of distribution for their media products.

The BBC was founded in 1922 and still remains an innovative and creative organisation. According to the BBC’s website their mission is to ‘ To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain. ‘and their vision is ‘To be the most creative organisation in the world. Currently the BBC are a major media corporation and well known by a Vast majority of audiences.

Audiences recognise the BBC because they produce, distribute and broadcast many media forms, particularly news.

The BBC produce content for the television for numerous channels. Such as BBC one, BBC two, BBC three, BBC four, CBBC, CBEEBIES, BBC news, BBC parliament, BBC HD and BBC ALBA. Each channel produces different content on a wide scale of genres covering all age groups. Along with 15 radio channels –

  • Radio 1 -Radio 1xtra

  • Radio 2 – Radio 3

  • Radio 4 – Radio 4 extra

  • Radio 5 live -Radio 5 live sports extra

  • Radio 6 music -Asian network

  • World service -Radio Scotland

  • Radio Ulster -Radio Wales

  • Local Radio

Due to the Digital revoloution, the BBC now produce content for the web, anything that you consume via the television or radio is now available to watch from the BBC online, via the BBC Iplayer. The Iplayer is a service brought to its audience by the BBC which specialises in programmes that have already been, so that their audiences can catch up with programmes that they have missed. It is a very efficient and clever piece of technology that enhances the viewers consumption of media products. You can also use BBC Iplayer on Android phones, Iphones, PS3s, Wiis and XBOXS. In february 2011, the BBC changed their Iplayer slightly so that programmes from other channels could be found via the search tool bar which then navigates their audiences to other channels online content. For example 4OD (channel four on demand) this works the same as the Iplayer but is specifically designed to show programmes from Channel four and E4.

The BBC is funded by the Tv licensing scheme which interrelates with the media sector. At the cost of £145.50 The Tv license is required by every household that owns a televsion. It pays for all productions on the televsion, radio and online services. Online costs £0.66, television costs £7.96, radio costs £2.11 and other services cost £1.40 (investing in new technologies, such as upgrading the Iplayer so that it enhances audiences experience and creating endless possibilities for the web.) per month and household.

Other news sources like regional news corporations create their news targeting a minor audience. Such as The Hull Daily Mail, which is a 126 year old newspaper that focuses on the features, education and the current affairs of Hull and the sorrounding areas.

Recently i have visited The Hull Daily Mail, i found it interesting to see how a news room particularly works and how the people they employee play their roles to create online, radio and television news content.

The Hull Daily Mail makes 44,000 sales per day, 36,000 of these sales are in Hull and the other 8,000 sales come from the East Riding.

The Hull Daily Mail work on their content during the daytime from 9am untill 10.15pm. Their team consist of photographers, journalists and editors of al different categories who all work together to create a newspaper and online content.

The newspaper pages are all templated which makes the job or creating the paper quicker and more efficient as the editors know exactley where everything should be placed such as pictures, articles and adverts. This is a good idea considering that the alteration deadline is 10:15 pm and the actual deadline for the newspaper to be completed is 11pm.

The newspaper has 18 reporters in total which is a large amount for a regional newspaper, international newspapers will have triple this maybe more. Together they work as a team, they produce headlines together, monitor other media and even work with the emergency services. The emergency services have special rights to view their newspaper library and the emergency services sometimes give information to the newspaper to help their background research and stories. The newspaper is sometimes overwhelmed with stories and somedays its hard to find a story worthy of the front page. However, an on call reporter and newspaper are on standby so that they can change the paper, this rarely happens.

The Hull Daily Mail have a dedicated Hull sports page and a weekly sports paper that is inside of The Hull Daily Mail. Mark is the deputy sports editor, his job role is to make sure that the articles are ready for publishing and he also works along side the sports reporters and journalists to give them any neccessary information or to distribute work to them. He also works with youth sports clubs. Along side this Phil is the Hull City football clubs personal reporter for this newspaper. Phil reports all game details and also gets alot of information and work from contacts he has made through working with the football club. And finally James, who is a rugby reporter for the Hull Daily Mail, he reports all news from Rugby teams in Hull and surrounding areas. Including game details, upcoming games and interviews.

The Hull Daily Mail also have a photography department. The department consists of a team of six and Jim who is the photographer editor. Three members of staff work per day primarily because Hull is a small town. The photgraphic kit that is supplied by The Hull Daily Mail and owned by all photographers is – a laptop, tripod and charging equiptment.Three photographers is more than enough to cover news stories that have been specifically allocated to them, a daily job sheet is produced daily to tackle who gets what job. Apparently the photogrpahy team afre never actually in the news station. They take photos of the jobs that they have been given and then take photos of anything that they find interesting and good enough for the newspaper or online. Jim who edits the photos uses a programme called ‘Fotostation’ to edit their photos ready for submission and print. He also uses a programme called ‘Tenon’ which is a piece of software used to produce designs, all newspapers use this software.

‘When we talk about globalization, we all say the internet is global and will become more global; the media became more global – certainly the ownership is more global.’ Kevin Kawamoto (2003: p106)

Journalists are now being trained to use video and cameras along side their articles, the idea being that every story should have visuals to put their stories into context, therefore attracting the audiences attention to that specific story.

‘Organizations are active participants in society. This becomes abundantly clear when we consider the issue of social change. Paradoxically, organizations both foster and impede social change.’ (Richard H Hall 1991: p17)

When the digitalization of news arrived it created double the amount of jobs therefore making the news aspect of the media sector more powerful.

In news room there are essentially 16 main jobs.

Editor – The editor is the last person to edit the paper, they make sure that the content is suitable and correct.

News editor – The news editor distributes jobs to a collection of journalists.

Reporter – Finds stories to write about.

Photographer – Takes pictures asked for under the supervision of a boss, for example The Hull Daily Mail, seven photographers are managed by the chief photographer ‘Jim’ who edits the photos.

Layout sub editor – Designs pages for print and web.

Copy sub editor – Edits content for the correct page layout.

Picture editor – Edits pictures, usually the head of the photographers.

Features editor – The feature editor creates content for events such as the theatre and the cinema.

Designer – creates a look so that the newspaper or website looks aesthetically pleasing to their audience.

Graphic artist – creates images to enhance published stories.

Imaging operative – Digitalizes prints and photographs ready for print.

Advertising manager – last person to view the advertising inside the paper and online, display and classified advertisements.

Marketing manager – Advertises and markets the paper.

Print manager – takes charge of the printing of the newspaper.

Distribution manager – Distributes copies of the paper and advertises online so that the audience receive the paper.

When a newspaper is created online they use the same stories online with various editing so that its suitable for online. Newsroom employees now have to learn skills to be able to write for web and use various digital equipment. The more digital media savvy you are the more employable you become.

In this digitalized revoloution not everyone wants to buy the newspaper or watch the televsion as their source of news. Many people use the internet as their source of news primarily because they can view any news they want at a simple click of a of a button. The online age has created opportunities for news, they can deliver news more efficently to their audience than what a newspaper can, they also have indepth search engines so that people can navigate to what ever catergorie or news article they desire. They can also use other mediums such as video so that the audience can visually see news so that they relate better to the medium presented. Being online is also a strong method to keep news corporations in existance. However, news websites have regulations, for instance, they legally have to give people a platform to comment on stories and other content such as pictures, videos and links. Especially now all major news corporations, even local use ‘Twitter’ and Facebook’ as a source to distribute news to their audience, prior to this companies also use social media platforms as a method of retrieving news and using them as sources or hotspots for news. They also have the same legal obligations as printed news for example, libel, privacy and copyright and therefore comment boxes and links have to be monitered closely.

In light of the digital revolution and the current state of the media sector i believe that digital age will grow and develop vastly blocking out eventually all aspects of print, especially with the recent development that is interactive magazines. There is no real need for print in this age. The majority of people have access to the internet and there for can use the internet as their news source. Infact, nearlly everyone owns a phone capable of connecting to the internet and with news websites and applications on mobile phones anyone can view news straight away. Even network providers such as ‘Orange’ use their homepage for news distribution especially about their company. News is something that everybody comes across daily. Wether its published or decoded from word of mouth it i envitable.



Organizations – Structures, Processes and oucomes. Fifth edition. Richard H.hall.(1991: p17)

Digital journalism – Emerging media and the changing horizons of journalism. Kevin Kawamoto (2003: p106)

Internet Date accessed – 01/01/2012 Date accessed – 24/12/11 Date accessed – 11/01/2012 Date accessed – 15/01/2012 Date accessed – 22/12/2011


Hull Daily Mail – sourced from notes taken on a visit to The Hull Daily Mail.


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