This database started as a simple query over the ownership of the titles and channels mentioned, mostly by NUJ London Freelance Branch members, for the Rate for the Job database. It took off when that turned into a day's inquisitiveness, and when that surprisingly covered around half the 1700 entries then in the database.
Research is working outward from this starting point. You could describe it as a random walk through the network of media ownership. Mathematically-inclined readers may agree that this is as good a method of inquiry as any.
The most prolific sources for this database are the corporations' own websites, where they promote the huge size of their holdings to attract shareholders and advertisers. These are of course propaganda, and are checked against public lists and directories. The facts of share acquisitions are mostly gleaned from journalistic sources. We provide links to these, choosing where possible sources which will remain available for some time. Apologies for the irritation of broken links: they're not our fault. Once a page goes up on this site, it stays put.
Such a work will never be complete. Information on each media owner on file is therefore presented with a warning of its "status". We use the following categories:
Authors' organisations are focusing campaigning on the activities of this owner. The page is, we believe, current:
We believe that we have a reasonably complete list of titles and channels controlled by this owner. We do not yet have full ownership information on any except those with the simplest shareholding structures. In time, the standard for a record being "current" will rise.
Candidate for being declared "current". Please check and report.
We are actively researching this owner. Any information presented here is largely intended for collborators, as an indication of the state of progress so far.
As we research networks of ownership, we inevitably note too many new owners to set about following them all up immediately. To put it another way, these are up for adoption.
This company doesn't control media outlets directly (as far as we
have discovered so far). It's primarily an investment house, that buys
and sells stakes in publishers and broadcasters, among other things.
We are not actively compiling an historical database, but when an owner is taken over we keep a record of its passing. Enquiries from historians of the media about collaboration are welcome. (Forgive the silly label, but it really helps to have categories in alphabetical order. Translating this feature into German will be fun...)
Assigning titles, imprints, channels and brands to sectors involves some
judgement. The bias here is toward creators' view of the owners: what
management policies are we going to encounter? Roughly speaking: