A Dissection of Conglomeration, Journalism Ethics and Childhood Memories
Some of you may know, while some of you may be surprised, that I spent a lot of my undergraduate years thinking, writing and talking about Disney. Yep, that beloved childhood animation company we all remember from years of sitting around watching family-safe movies with our parents, and the company that in more recent years, has struggled to remain relevant amongst younger generations.
In college, my academic focus centered around journalism and communications, leading me to graduate with a double major in Journalism and Mass Communications and Communication Studies bachelor’s degree. During that time, I focused heavily on the impact media conglomeration (the mass ownership of America’s airwaves and news outlets by large corporations) and its inevitable impact on journalism ethics. In some ways, this combined my two areas of focus and interest in a beautiful, yet obviously conflicted, hyperfocused vantage point. I loved both the simplicity of reporting stories in a top-down, easily digestible format and the longer-former rhetorical criticism perspective my journalism and communication majors, lent me respectively. To be honest, if I had had the opportunity to continue my downward spiral into the largely invasive impact Wall Street was already strangling the idealistic responsibility of America’s fourth branch of government, I would likely hold a PhD today.
The Impact Media Conglomeration Has on Journalistic Ethics
This deep-dive research resulted in a multipage, long-form investigative report detailing, with examples from Winnie the Pooh copyright ownership and hushed implications surrounding Disney World’s hiring practices at the national news level.
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Additionally, it resulted in a quick-hits-highlights presentation:
It’s Not All Hating Disney
With the combined long-form report and presentation, you would think I despise the Disney Corporation for all of its malicious, journalism-invasive practices. However, I also appreciate the nostalgic, memory-inducing classics the animation factory produced. In fact my fond memories of animated classics is so profound, in the same year, I also produced a radio interview segment capturing some favorite impressions, assessments and memories of Disney’s 40 years in the business on tape. Recently, I translated that recording from cassette to digital (albeit, badly), which can be heard in the following Soundcloud clip.
The Good and the Bad of Disney
Whether you recall Disney from the deepest crevices of your innocent childhood mind or recall its more recent and questionable business practices, it’s hard to deny Disney has had a long-lasting impact on America’s media. Walt Disney himself truly changed the way classic stories were shared among families, and animation captured in film.
What’s your take on Disney? Do you have a fave film or do you feel strongly about its business practices? Leave your comment below.