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Disney: A Global Media Organization Essay

The inception of media makes the acquisition of pertinent information a lot easier. The trend in mass media is following the swift technological advancements that paved way in the invention of various tools and gadgets that we used for mass communication. We define mass communication as the transmission of message to a large, diverse audience using a medium (Lane). This definition, describes that a message is transmitted to reach a wide, variety of audience utilizing a medium or channel of communication. Media, specifically mass media, took various forms.

These include books, radio, television, newspaper, magazine, internet and even the movies. Through these channels, the sender could transmit certain information and massage to his or her intended audience. Today, mass media is a concept that is difficult to define due to the growing digital communication technology and the unhindered advancement and creation of technologies that help in conveying messages (Lane). Mass media plays various significant roles in the society. Media aims to inform the public of what is going on around them and educate them.

The media should be a tool in handing out necessary knowledge to the members of the society for them to learn. It is also their role to entertain

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the public and provide leisure and entertainment amidst the busy and hectic contemporary human lifestyle. Media also greatly influences the formation of public view and opinion. The formation of consensus is one of the inherent abilities of media. Media continues to shape and reshape the present society based on human wants and needs. Due to the various roles played by media in the society, media has become a lucrative venture.

Today, there is a high demand for news, information, and entertainment all over the world. Consequently, numerous media organizations topped the global market. Media is also a great venture for business. There is a high demand for news and information in the modern information society. The information need to be passed through in a quick manner. Acquiring a global media organization is like acquiring a world dominant power. Due to the increasing demand for information and the high-profit of a media as a business venture, many of the media organizations are raking millions as profits.

Global media organizations are currently dominating the business and economic sector as they are the corporations that are gaining a lot of profits. One of these dominating global media organizations is the popular Walt Disney Company. Global Media Organizations The mass media developed along with other forces that influence and shape the structure of news and information. The forces include the increase in the number of nations, the rise of multinational corporations, the advancement in technology, and population growth which all influence the ecological and economic systems.

The development of these factors coincided with the growth of mass media. The mass media also reinforced some of the factors and gathered attention from policy makers in devising a governing policy for such factors (O’Heffernan 89). Subsequently, the global commercial system was recently developed, and media systems are naturally in scope. There have been imports of books, films, TV shows, and music. The broadcasting and newspaper firms are mostly domestically owned and regulated. In the beginning of 1980s, due to the pressure of International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and the U. S.

Government, the media organizations became deregulated and privatized. These changes took place together with the invention of new satellite and digital technologies and the rise of the transnational media giants (McChesney). Today, there is a prevailing fact that there are commercial media systems that are slowly dominating the global society and economy. Most of these global media systems are U. S. -based transnational media corporations (McChesney). Global media organizations are the media institutions that are operating internationally. Global media organizations took various forms.

Organizations like Reuters and Associated Press are international news organizations that render various news services like news clips, articles, images, and wired news service. Another prominent global media organization is the TIME Magazine which is an international publication that is read worldwide. There are also global media organizations the purpose of which is mostly to entertain. These organizations include Disney and Time Warner which are film companies which are considered as the two top global media giants that are generating huge profits today (McChesney).

Walt Disney Company, more popularly known as Disney, is one of the global media giants and top-earning companies at present. Over the years, the Walt Disney Company has become a staple organization in the field of family entertainment. The cartoons and most child-friendly shows produced by Walt Disney Company are considered as one of its strength. These shows have an effect on the behavior and attitude of its children audience. The influence of Disney is reinforced because of its international success. The media products of Disney are distributed worldwide.

As a global media organization, the media products reach audiences across cultures and nations. Moreover, the extent of Disney’s influence to its audience, especially to the children, and how the firm affects society make Disney a good topic for this critical analysis. This paper aims to analyze and criticize the struggle of a company in being one of the global media giants and to evaluate the effects of the global media organization on the society, culture and media policies. History of Disney The history of Walt Disney presents how the company became global media giant.

The Walt Disney Company was founded by Walter Elias Disney. Walt Disney arrived in California filled with determination and dreams in 1923. He had a short film in hand that was shot in Kansas City, a short film about a little girl who lived in a cartoon world. The film is entitled “Alice’s Wonderland. ” The film was the pilot film for the series “Alice Comedies. ” The film was finally distributed by a New York distributor M. J. Winkler. This film paved the way for the formal establishment of Walt Disney Company which was originally known as Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio (Disney).

Disney finished his Alice Comedies in four years. He kept pushing the limits of visual effects and came up with all other effects constituted in the series. In the year 1927, he decided to make an all-cartoon series and created his own character “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. ” In one year, he made 26 cartoons of Oswald, and on the second year, when he tried to get additional resources to Winkler for the second year of the cartoon series, he found out that Winkler signed up most of Disney’s animators to lessen the cost of the animation. Disney learned a lesson and patented all other cartoons he made under his name (Disney).

Disney had to think of another character. Along with his chief animator, Ub Iwerks, he thought of a mouse that should be first named as Mortimer, but his wife disagreed and baptized it as Mickey. That was only the beginning of the undying charisma and success of the famous cartoon character. His chief animator made two “Mickey Mouse” cartoons, and Disney developed the first film with synchronized sound. Disney invented the first sound cartoon. It was followed by the worldwide sensation and a series of successful Mickey Mouse cartoons (Disney). Disney gathered awards as the fruit of its success.

Its training and innovations were commended with various awards and recognitions. “The Flowers and Trees of the Silly Symphonies” is the first full-color cartoon; it won an Academy Award for Best Cartoon in 1932, and it was also the first time that the award-giving body gave such award. For the succeeding years, Disney won the Oscars every year. One of the sensational films awarded was “The Three Little Pigs” which is accompanied by an anthem, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? ” which became popular during the fight to the Great Depression (Disney). The studio cartoon is still gaining popularity in the cinemas.

The creators also ventured in other related businesses. Many businessmen offered to put the popular icon on various things like toothbrush, paper plates, dolls, and figurines. All imaginable things seem to have a Mickey Mouse version of it (Disney). In 1934, Disney deliberated with his animators as they embarked on a radical concept of creating a feature film of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. ” The conventional films are only eight minutes long. It took them three years and mountains of tax. It was released in Christmas of 1937 and was a phenomenal hit during that time.

It was also one of the highest grossing films of all time. However, the start of the World War II cut the company’s access to foreign clients and affiliations. The films released could not compensate the financial damage caused by production. The company has to limit their art and animation ambitions due to its financial struggles. Nevertheless, the ways in which it has taken art and animation into a whole new level is undeniably remarkable (Disney). In 1950, various landmarks were achieved by the studio. The studio completed a live action film. They also returned to making classic animated feature films.

It also began producing a Disney television show that was showed during Christmas time. Disney saw the potential success of television after an animated cinema hit. Hence, in 1954, Disney showed the first television mini-series, “Davy Crockett. ” It was considered as the longest running mini-series in primetime television, for it was aired for 29 years. The “Mickey Mouse Club” is also considered as one of the most popular children television series and many stars started from this series, such as Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears (Disney). Disney was very anxious in venturing to other fields.

His motion pictures and television shows achieved a steady success. An idea came to his mind and opened a possibility. As he has always been fascinated with amusement parks, the world known as Disneyland was conceptualized. Moreover, he felt that there should be a place for the family to bond and get together. Disneyland took years of planning and construction; the theme park opened on July 17, 1955 (Disney). Disneyland became a sensation, attracting millions of people around the globe. The Disneyland offers living in one’s fantasy. Disneyland continues to grow as long as new attractions are added regularly.

Today, Disneyland still attracts spectators from all over the world (Disney). The success achieved by Disney was unparalleled that time. Unfortunately, Walt Disney died in December 15, 1966 as he was beginning to be known in the field of animation (Disney). After Walt’s death, his brother Roy Disney took over the company. Walt Disney Company is still the leading animation firm that produces high-quality and entertaining films. Disney also established an image of being an educational media. In 1969, Disney started its educational subsidiary which produced educational films and materials (Disney). Disney’s leadership in animation is undeniable.

It continued until the 1990s after the release of various animated films like Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame and many more. A preparation with Pixar Animation is another exciting venture for the animation company. The films produced also made a big hit in the market (Disney). Disney also found possibility in Broadway in 1994. They eventually become successful after numerous stage productions. The stage production of The Lion King won a Tony Award for best musical (Disney). Today, Disney still continues to produce high-quality films and television series that render entertainment for everyone.

The success of Disney is a real story of turning dreams into a reality as its creativity, ideas for innovation, and motivation for excellence remain as the foundation of the company. Walt Disney Company: A Global Media Organization Today, Disney is one of the largest media firms. In the early 1990s, the company fruitfully shifted its focus and gross sales from its theme parks and resorts to its movies and television programs. By 1999, Disney was already a superior media giant as it grew bigger upon acquiring Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion.

It is considered as one of the biggest purchases in the business history (McChesney). For most of the time, the scope of Disney’s operation is limited only to English-speaking countries in North America, Britain, and Australia. This limitation allowed other global media giants like Time Warner to dominate the global market of media. Hence, Disney developed a Disney Channel in Chinese language based in Taiwan in 1995. Further plans were conceptualized in putting up and launching various Disney Channels in different countries, specifically France, Italy, Germany, and the Middle East.

Furthermore, upon its acquisition of the ABC’s ESPN, or a television network, Disney has become truly a global media leader. Aside from the family-oriented and child-friendly Disney Channel that it operates, it also acquired a media network that caters to another kind of home-viewing entertainment. “ESPN has three U. S. cable channels, a radio network with 420 affiliates, and the ESPN Sports-Zone website, one of the most heavily used locales on the Internet” (McChesney). ESPN dominates the sport television. It broadcasts 24 hours under 21 languages and over 165 countries.

It also attracts the elusive audience of Disney: the young, single, middle-class men. Disney also has a plan in expanding the ESPN International. It also plans to make merchandise products of ESPN, sports bars, and entertainment centers based on the “Club ESPN” in the “Walt Disney World” (McChesney). Disney is a story of success resulting from hard work, imagination, and creativity. Disney is a global media giant that gradually dominated the global media. As Disney continues to expand its company ownership and the type of businesses it ventures into.

Disney rise as the contemporary world power influencing most of the members of the global society. Disney’s Effect on Global Media Culture and Policies The emergence of globalization has truly affected the media. Media globalization is a broad term and encompasses various media like television, print and radio. Media globalization became the instrument in the production and distribution of information worldwide (Lyons). Naturally, the inevitable growth of media globalization renders various effects. Due to the rise of media globalization, Disney has become a part of every American household.

In almost every home, a Disney item can be found. Almost every child also owns something with a Disney character on it. The scope of Disney includes audiences across cultures and nationalities. The influence of Disney is so pervasive and that it affects the different aspects of society (“Disney’s Effect on Society and Culture”). It is believed that due to the orientation of Disney, it easily influences its viewers which are mostly children. However, the influence of Disney or any other media organization can be either in positive or negative way.

The Disney Company produces mostly cartoon movies that are based from traditional fairy tales. In the contemporary society, new themes of cartoons were produced but still the essence of giving out moral lessons embedded in the storyline is still present. In a negative light, Carl Hiassen, a journalist from the Miami Herald, speculated that the successful company is manifesting evil. He criticized the company to be too perfect that evil is lurking behind it. For Hiassen, the main objective of the company is to generate money and profits as much as possible (“Disney’s Effect on Society and Culture”).

This theory about the corporation is quite disturbing since the company’s main audience is the children. Disney does not sweep the culture of the society. The animated movies Disney Company produced could have been a sensation, but people still have a choice if they will be swept by the influence of Disney. Disney gives life to traditional bedtime stories that make adults relive their childhood days. Some countries have power over their media and influence it greatly. Moreover, some of the business tycoons and corporations also have an influence on the course of media. In some countries, multinational corporations also own some media outlets.

Media businesses owned by private companies have several advantages. For instance, they can foster healthy competition in the world of capitalism and monitor the government on its checks and balances. However, when the corporation abuses the use of media, it can render negative implications. The contents of the information that these companies distribute may be manipulated to some extent. Thus, the message can be distorted and altered, affecting the people who will view media products in the process (Shah). In the case of the Walt Disney Company, it affected the global media culture through its firsts.

It is the first animation film company that developed various techniques and opened new grounds for film animation. It also won the game of success and achieved greater heights. Today, Disney continues to venture into other fields to maximize its potential as a global media organization. Disney greatly influences the media culture, especially in terms of reinforcing moral values as conveyed by media. Disney shows that the media can serve its purpose of entertaining and educating through the establishment of the educational subsidiary and producing educational films and materials (Disney).

Disney is also known for its animated films that have moral lessons on it that somehow teaches the children of the values and traditions that they needed to know. Disney transformed the trend of the media culture through focusing on the educational aspect of their animated movies. Although it is a global media giant, Walt Disney Company does not greatly affect the governing media policies. It adheres to the policies and exhaust resources to taxation whenever it makes a breakthrough project. Based on its history, it does not go much conflict with the law nor does it not sway much of the media policies.

According to their history, Walt Disney, at first, is unknowledgeable with media policies and the existence of the patent or copyright for securing the rights for the intellectual property, he learned his lesson when M. J. Winkler acquired the rights for his “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” (Disney). Works Cited Alexandre, Laurien. “Women: Using Female Bodies for Sales and Profit. ” Center for Media Literacy. 2007. 26 June 2008 <http://www. medialit. org/reading_room/article223. html>. Disney. “Comapany History. ” The Walt Disney Company. 18 September 2008 <http://corporate. disney. go.

com/corporate/complete_history_1. html>. “Disney’s Effect On Society And Culture”. Free Essays, Cliff Notes and Term Paper Database. 2004. Essays. cc. 18 September 2008 <http://www. essays. cc/free_essays/c5/ena63. shtml>. Lane, Beth. “What is Mass Media? : The Changing Role of Mass Communications and the Media Industries. ” 29 June 2007. Suite101. com. 17 September 2008 <http://medialiteracy. suite101. com/article. cfm/what_is_mass_media. Lyons, Jeffrey K. “Media Globalization and its Effect upon International Communities: Seeking a Communication Theory Perspective. ” Global Media Journal 5.

7 (Fall 2005). 18 September 2008 <http://lass. calumet. purdue. edu/cca/gmj/fa05/gmj-fa05-lyons. htm>. McChesney, Robert. “The Global Media Giants. ” Extra!. November/December 1997. 17 September 2008 <http://www. fair. org/index. php? page=1406>. O’Heffernan, Patrick. Mass Media and American Foreign Policy. Westport, CT: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1991. Shah, Anup. “Media Conglomerates, Mergers, Concentration of Ownership. ” Global Issues. 29 April 2007. 18 September 2008 <http://www. globalissues. org/article/159/media-conglomerates-mergers-concentration-of-ownership>.

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