Take Out Your Notepads: 7 Media Moguls to Learn From

Discovering the next trending media story or topic before exposure to the world isn’t simply about being in the right place at the right time. Social media journalism requires creativity, gusto, and persistence. The top media moguls are relying on more than chance. Here to teach a lesson on entrepreneurship are some of the greatest media moguls of all time. Sharpen your pencil and take a seat. Class is in session.

Walt Disney

1. Benjamin Franklin

Everyone’s favorite patriot, Benjamin Franklin, was more than just an inventor and politician. He was America’s first media mogul. A prolific speaker and journalist, Franklin’s various newspapers, almanacs, and other texts inspired and entertained readers. One of the earliest examples of effective info sharing, Benjamin Franklin’s emphasis on an informed society laid the groundwork for media, which virtually controls the access of information. His Poor Richard’s Almanack contained news, cartoons, comedy, and letters to the editor, establishing itself as a groundbreaking multimedia format. A true believer in the “power of the press,” Benjamin Franklin’s impact on media undoubtedly laid the groundwork for top media moguls.

2. Ted Turner

If there’s one lesson CNN founder Ted Turner can teach us, it’s that innovation in delivering media is just as important as the content itself. The creation of CNN ignited a revolution that many never fathomed would exist. Providing viewers with content that constantly evolved alongside the activities of the world stressed the importance of timeliness in media delivery, while reminding everyone that the creation of media was a never-ending cycle. Turner didn’t stop with CNN. He created WTCG, which aired various programs purposed for entertainment. This dichotomy of news and entertainment truly highlights his ingenuity as a media mogul.

3. Biz Stone

Co-Inventor/Founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, is no stranger to media. Twitter is one the key platforms for the spread of media information and helps promote countless blogs. Without Twitter, many famous bloggers would have never reached the level of notoriety they enjoy today. Stone is the author of three books including Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content and Who Let The Blogs Out? His accomplishments are a strong reminder that staying connected is vital to the creation and distribution of media. Blogging without the aid of social media will render even the most skilled writer obsolete.

4. The Disney Brothers, Roy and Walt

When your name is recognized and adored by countless people across the globe, chances are you have a heavy hand in media. Although the origins of Disney aren’t tied directly into media, there is a lot to learn from the brothers that started one of the most iconic companies of all time. What started as an animation studio quickly blossomed into much more. Mickey Mouse, Walt’s most enduring and timeless creation, transformed from a character to an icon that delighted innumerable children and adults.

Capitalizing on successes such as these, the brothers soon developed a theme park to support their empire. In the midst of all of this expansion, Disney naturally became a presence on the air. The spawning of Disney’s television channel was the icing on top of the cake. It represented a channel catering specifically to children, with quality broadcasts that enticed adults as well. Babble.com, which is hosted by Disney, proves that Disney is cementing itself in the blogosphere for good.

5. Henry Luce

One of the other “founding fathers” of media, Henry Luce is a media mogul because he helped create some of the most classic newsstand magazines to ardently stand the test of time. His influence led to the conception of such iconic magazines as Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. By covering news, society, the economy, and sports respectively, he taught the world the lesson that media must be modeled after, and tailored to, our world.

Social media bloggers can learn a lot from Luce. For instance, never settle for a single audience. Readers have specific interests but that doesn’t mean their interests are cemented in time. Another lesson is to capitalize on a concept. If one blog has seen significantly more success than another, perhaps there’s something about this blog that can be applied to the other to strike gold twice.

6. Shane Smith

Becoming a media mogul takes time, which is why most of the media moguls on this list are no longer living. Early principles and practices have largely stayed the same while advances in technology make delivery of media easier. That’s what sets CEO of Vice Magazine, Shane Smith, from the other moguls – he’s changing the way we perceive and experience media. Media no longer comes from the authority of suits like Bill O’Reilly and Ron Burgundy, it’s in anyone’s hands.

Shane Smith transformed Vice from a Canadian magazine to an international media outlet stressing the importance of unique journalism and captivating stories. The company now has a website, a film production company, a record label, a publishing imprint and even an app for iPad. Shane’s lesson to the average social media blogger – be unexpected. Sending Dennis Rodman to North Korea as a reporter doesn’t seem as silly now, does it?

7. Rupert Murdoch

With great power comes great responsibility, a famous lesson Rupert Murdoch probably never learned as a child. If there’s one thing Murdoch can teach us, it is that absolute power in any medium can produce this interesting effect – instead of catering to the viewer, the viewer caters to the media. Murdoch’s control of media is more than substantial, it’s nearly brainwashing. Fox News has a heavy hand in guiding the political ideology of Americans, whether based on fact or simply delivered as fact.

Despite constant criticism for bias, Fox News still controls an enormous share of the news. Although Fox News claims to be “fair and balanced,” common sense alerts viewers that the opposite is true. Luckily, Murdoch has discovered a powerful and exploitable flaw in his American audience – a lack of common sense. Don’t overestimate readers. If a blog is failing to take off because the content isn’t enticing readers, it’s time to make a change.

Photo credit: Abby Lanes


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