Home > Uncategorized > Blog #4: Media Economics

Blog #4: Media Economics

Throughout this class, the theory that I have found the most compelling and interesting is Media Economics. The reason that I find Media Economics the most compelling theory is because it explains to me how everything we see and hear is influenced by only a hand full of media companies. For example, there are only five global firms that dominate the mass media in the United States and those firms are, Time Warner, The Walt Disney Company, News Corporation, Viacom and Bertelsmann AG (32). I am also interested in some of the consequences that Media Economics has on our society. Media Economics shows me that the main focus of the media in our society is to make a profit. I find it absolutely terrifying that everything I see, hear and listen to is controlled by only a few corporations.

The number one goal of major media corporations is making a profit. This concept has damaged many media industries including the music industry. It has also affected the quality of the music we see and hear. For example in the chapter discussing the Economics of the Media Industry, it talks about how MTV started up as a way to promote its music to younger audiences. Media companies loved the idea of MTV because; “MTV was economically viable because it had virtually no programming costs…” (68). Also they loved it because the idea of music videos was a new way for their record companies to advertise an artists and see how successful they will become. Another example that demonstrates how media corporations are more interested in profit than content can be seen in contemporary news media. According to Croteau, “Advertisers are the dominant source of revenue for print, broadcast, and online news…” (66). Since news media primarily gets its money from advertisers, they have come up with many elaborate techniques to put advertising in their news broadcasts to please their contributors. For example, in news broadcasts, they will cover topics such as music, computers, health, food and fashion because it will attract advertisers or put current advertisers products in a favorable light. Another example would be how news broadcasts always end with a happier story because it will make it so that audiences are in a buying mood and will be more attentive to advertisements that follow the news broadcast (67). This interest in profit over content can be seen in many other media outlets such as television shows and movies.

I believe that Media Economics affects other theories. One theory that I saw that was truly affected by Media Economics was the theory of Media Effects. Since our media is concentrated in the hands of so few corporations, very few people really have a say in what we see in the media. There is one weakness I found within the theory of Media Effects that strengthens the idea that Media Economics is the dominant ideology. In the “Hypodermic Model,” it states that the media is injecting its message into the “bloodstream” of its audience (231). This sub theory clearly demonstrates how very few media owners are allowed to manipulate and influence the views of the public. They coerce the public into believing that the messages they see and hear are correct and that there is no room to disagree with these messages. This also demonstrates that the effects media have on the public are really in control of these corporations because the only messages the media portrays is that of these media giants.

For all of the reasons that I have demonstrated, this is why I believe that Media Economics is the most compelling and interesting theory about how the media is portrayed and interpreted in our society.

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  1. Kathleen
    October 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Good post Matt! I agree, a lot of the thoughts behind media economics can be terrifying.

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