Two things intricately and inextricably interwind. We are all children of the media from the day we are born. It shapes our lives in recreation, advertising, business and academia, though radio, video, print, billboard, the net and the Braindance. Only in death are our minds free from the institutionalized attempts of others to shape our thinking and affect our consciousness.
The efforts of armies and governments pale before the effects of mass media on modern populations. Could a force so potent possibly be ignored by the corporations whose powers drive the modern world around the sun? No chance. As early as the beginning of the 20th century, technology has allowed media to come into its own, concentrating its power in the hands of a few large broadcasting corporations, controlling radio stations, movie and recording production studios, newspapers, periodicals and publishing houses. The emergence of new technologies such as the television allowed the power of corporations controlling media to expand until no industrialized household was untouched. Historically, it has been the development of technologies which allowed a wider and more appealing dissemination of information that has allowed the mediacorps to achieve such staggering levels of success.
Through most of the 20th Century, large blocks of media control were wielded by corporations as diverse as Coca-Cola and General Electric, but by the mid 90s, sales, shakeups and changes in technology and corporate structure due to the Crash of the 94, media-dedicated corporations started to emerge.
These corporations could concentrate all of their resources on the development of new media-related technologies. Such was the fertile breeding ground that gave rise to what is arguably the most powerful mediacorp in the world today: Network News 54.
As the dominant force in the field, what better corporation to illustrate modern corporate media technology. Network News 54 was born in 1991 as a cable news service similar to the venerable CNN. Known then as Cable News 54, it gave CNN and C-SPAN rough competition, developing a reputation for tough, accurate, hard-hitting journalism. CableNews 54’s quality earned it spectacular success, from which it was able to diversify and expand. As a corporation without experience but full of potential, CableNews 54 gained control of several smaller cable networks and pioneered the small-scale development of several new broadcasting and production technologies.
The real big break, however, came in 1998, when CableNews 54 bought the failing NBC from General Electric, thereby expanding its influence from cable to the broadcast airwarves. With this action, Cable News 54 became Network News 54. Under the guidance of a young programming genious named Howard Wong, Network News 54 diversified its programming into all varieties of entertainment, becoming the first media corp to exert a major control over both the cable and broadcasting domains. Although the reputation for outstanding video journalism continued, “News” became an anachronistic words in the title, kept for style only.
This expansion is what really gave Network News 54 the resources to compete with dedicated technology corporations in the development of new media tech. Until de NBC buyout, Net 54’s tech research and development had been small-scale and largely theoretically. The corporation’s broadcast and production facilities had never relied on cutting edge tech as cable and broadcast video had been established long before the corporation’s birth. This changed with 54’s financial maturity: using profits from the broadcasting, advertising and recording divisions, as well as several other departments, Network News 54 financed the creation of a new subsidiary: International Media Technologies. This was the move that catapulted New 54 into the ranks of major world corporations and earned the throne of king of the mediacorps.
In another expansion from its television roots, 54 established a foothold in the music industry in 2005 by introducing the Soundchips, very popular amongst those who have the neuralware equipment needed to reproduce them. Commercial ones usually contrain from one to three sons and an obligatory advertisement.
Despite the emphasis on traditional broadcast technology such as radio and television, Net 54 has not ignored the possibilities opened up by the development of Cybernetics. In addition to soundchips, there are several other media services which involve interfacing, like Braindance.
This is how far the influence of a modern mediacorp reaches. Technology has made it possible for companies like Network News 54 and DMS to reach us at home, in the office, in the car, in public, just about everywhere you can think of. The development of technologies is paralleled with the mediacorp’s ability to reach us at all times. When a company has the power to touch us all the time it is frightening, and we live under the umbrella of several. Modern society is fueled by the media, we thrive on what it offers us. But remember: although the media was once a tool of freedom and independence, now has the power to enslave and fascinate. Make sure the media enriches your mind and doesn’t control it. Use it as the tool it is, and enjoy it for the pleasure it offers, but take a little time out every day and ask yourself: could you escape if you wanted to?