Before I entered this class I never understood the current state of our media system. I never knew that almost all aspects of our media are concentrated in just a few companies. I can count the number of companies that control the U.S. mass media industry on one hand: Time Warner, The Walt Disney Company, Viacom, News Corporation, and Bertelsmann AG. In my mind, that’s pretty terrifying. This concentration of our media has become a great interest to me, and that is why I believe that media economics is the most compelling theory.
To me, media economics affects every other theory. Because of media economics and concentration, so few people control what we actually learn about in the media. This drastically changes media effects on individuals and on politics, because not all messages make it to the mass media. A liberal channel like MSNBC and a conservative channel like Fox may not allow certain messages based off the people they are trying to appeal to. Media economics also has an affect on active audience because media economics affects what content is available. Using the example of television, there are a huge variety of channels that appeal to a wide variety of people, but these channels only were created to make more money for the media conglomerates. Overall, a media company doesn’t care about what the public wants unless it makes them money. Finally, media economics greatly affects media ecology and cultural studies. Media outlets, especially with television, will do what appeals to the largest audience with the intent of making the most money. This could mean that a television show would be geared toward to a certain culture to get the most advertising; people may think that this show reflects culture in the U.S. but it really is just the culture that advertisers want to appeal to. For all these reasons, I believe media economics to be the most compelling theory about the media.