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Department
Media, Information and Technoculture
Course
Media, Information and Technoculture 2100F/G
Professor
Jonathan Burston
Semester
Winter

Description
MIT 2100 The Political Economy of Media Professor: Jonathan Burston Week 1 • Executor of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch • New corporation’s media empire reaches 3/4 of the world’s population and lead in many markets • Newspapers hacking into living/dead celebrity voicemails (Milly Dowler) • Blurred boundaries between government and press • We have Rupert Murdoff to thank for people like the Kardashians • Celebrity culture masking as entertainment- there is so much global power on celebrities and this type of entertainment which is what is all that is on the air • Murdoch was friends with politicians and people who led center/left politicians • Politicians feel they need to make nice with Murdoch because he holds so much power, some politicians could not have won without Murdoch’s endorsements • Dirty deals happen just south of us • General David Petraeus- in 2011 less than 10 weeks before scandal in Britain happened, Murdoch told Roger Ailes (head of Fox News) to send an ambassador to Afghanistan to represent Petraeus (dirty dealing) • In democracy the press is meant to observe the workings of government and corporations, report these observations and sometimes provide informed commentary—they are not supposed to become government • So much of our media world is run on profit model which is a big problem • We want to be able to rely on the media as we live as responsible citizens • Its not just how Murdoch forgot how democracy works but that most of his media outlets have been working hard to gather a certain world view which is usually disseminated with a great deal of enthusiasm but not a great deal of nuance—this worldview is neo-liberalism o Neo liberalism does not care for rising levels of income inequality in the world o Income inequality leads to social unrest and tearing of social fabric o The top CEO’s are making 189 times the average wage while middle class citizens struggle the most • Thus rise of Occupy Movement: it was grassroots led via social media- we need to think whether or not the exciting new modes of mobilization that the social media provide have really amounted to anything? Have we overinvested our enthusiasm in the new social media as agents for social change? o Social media is helpful but when you are up against the state, the police and corporate power (Occupy) it may not be enough o Media power is not just about holding a phone in your hand, it is about who owns the copyrights to the phone in your hand, who controls/manages the means of communication o Lots of people have progressed social change without Smartphone o Social media is just one tool in your toolbox, it isn’t enough- other kinds of work including careful political/economic analysis needs to be done Lecture Tuesday January 15, 2013 • Aaron Schwartz • Committed suicide before trial for illegal downloading What is political economy? What is political economy of the media? • Creative commons: new way of thinking about copyright- people have legal right to use someone’s work • Commons: before people owned things, people shared things like pastor lands. Internet was first imagined as a place for everyone • Digital Enclosure: emulates enclosure of commons (pastor lands) Study of Media= Study of Power • Most media corporations contribute to income inequality • Gini index: if everyone in Canada had the same stuff the number on the index would be zero and if we had nothing it would be 1 • IN the past with welfare state Gini index was lower but it a lot higher now • Top 1% of earners in the US have taken most of the wealth, power is concentrated: ones on top have disproportionate influence • High income inequality o Impact on economic wellbeing? It can diminish economic growth o Undermines social cohesion and leads to social tension • Study of media is study of politics because media companies hold so much power of audiences • WE live in a sound bite economy • IT does not matter if an idea is good but just that It can be communicated quickly • Politicians are concerned how they are portrayed on TV • Not just about News but Entertainment programming understands who we are and want to be- utopian impulse in popular culture= major influence o Escape into world of adventure (favorite TV show) o Help us understand who we are in society and who we might want to become- it’s not just entertainment Ted Magder • Through cultural practices we get a sense of ourselves and how we relate to others as a member of class, as men/women, as white/black, social group, ethnicity- in representing every day life, cultural practices are importance for the maintenance of power and politics Political Economy • Political economy is the best way to analyze how media representations exert power in our lives • Adam Smith in the 18 century called himself a political economist but thing have changed • Now, economists do not associate with politics- they have worked hard to be scientifically and mathematical- it has become asciological to finance and money (without sociology • Political economy in contrast have a more holistic and sociological approach to money and power which is important to media studies • They have deployed their thinking from Marx • People in democracy are supposed to criticize capitalism • Liberal pluralism= democracy is a big tent, room fro everyone and democracy is working fine, not much is fixing▯ this weeks theroists argue against liberal pluralism who accept workings of capitalism o Liberal pluralists say if everyone communicates properly we will get along, no reconfiguration of our media is necessary, we need to tinker it and not chance it • Political economists believe that we need fixing and use Marx to explain why the system needs fixing • Marx- economic roles and social perspective to sociological perspective • Economic circumstances help shape our social and cultural attitudes (Ex. Cattle rancher) • When it comes to media it makes sense to look at social and economy 2 Models of How Media Works 1. Market Model • Questions of money and allocating resources • Does not think of wider social conditions where the money is allocated and if it is being allocated in a just manner • Market is disembedde from rest of society • Mathematical approach • They assume consumers are rational individual sand narrowly self interested individuals- we are able to do this because we have all the information we need to make decisions • “Perfect information” without interference (like government regulation for example) creates “perfect competition” with no interference and rational people 2. Public Sphere Model • Focus on why money and resources get allocated the way they do in a world where poverty is one of the major issues • Attends to money and resources and basic moral questions that come along with them Faults in Market Model • No such thing of “perfect competition” and “perfect information” • Political Economists look at the economy as an embedded wider set of social/political relations- what about individuals who are not narrowly self interested but interested in their community? • Identity Politics: how people live their lives not in their own making, we live our lives affected by different attributed of our identities (gay, Muslim, disabled) so we make choices in market that are not rational (like if were starving we will make an irrational purchase choice) o We work from our passion, emotion, anxieties about class/age, etc to make a consumer choice o Motivation of actor consumer choices are ignored in conventional economists • Enlightenment: time to abandon religious thoughts and liberating rationale thoughts o Sovereign individual – not held to authority like God or state- arguments for new scientific findings and knowledge o Stressed reason, human oriented law, scientific discovery and stressed this over hierarchy and laws from god o Despite legacy of enlightenment ideas about how markets work do not let us understand the economy Identity Politics • Identity politics helps us understand the media • Gay children who go through school successfully- what can we thank policy makers or Glee? • Media commodities are never mere commodities- they contain powerful messages that can change the work • So looking at media as consumer products is not an effective way of looking at it Media Commodities are Dual Purpose 1. Satisfy consumer demands 2. Define, allocate and display social reality Media Markets are also Dual Purpose Markets 1. Media products sold to consumers (newspapers) 2. Consumers sold to advertisers like products (we too are products) • So despite social progress that media promotes, the public good is not always served by the free market model Jean Durham Peters: (put the above dilemma in words) “Mass media in industrialized democracies has a Janus face (so he can look in 2 directions) of enlightenment and control of information and advertising, of pedagogy (education) and manipulation, provide information . Entertainment is bait and we are the fish. As carriers of news and diversions and as agents of political enlightenment and economic incitement, mass media are profoundly ambiguous.” • This ambiguity comes from the free market model • Media industry formulated under free market model • Back in the day more ere public broadcasting and no commercials • Elitism in programming did leave to bad programming but at least the social outcomes were addressed • Jean looks at both the social and economic factors we deal with in identity politics on a daily basis. Readings Introduction Business media is unique • Media deals in ideas, information and culture • Play significant political and cultural role so the media holds a unique position in democratic societies that value free and creative expression, independent thought and diverse perspectives • Only business specifically protected by the US Constitution is “free press” Business media is like other businesses • Nearly all media companies are commercial corporations whose primary function is creating profits for owners and stockholders • Measurements gauge sales, advertising revenues and profits 21 Century Media • AOL Time Warner was leading example of media conglomerate built to leverage synergy of holdings across full range of media sectors • Biggest corporate merger in history became absolute disaster Emerging media have trends • With technological changes, media outlets/products growing at rapid rate • People spending more time/$$ consuming media products • Media corporations getting bigger by merging with competitors • Media companies now part of bigger conglomerates that are involved in wide range of non-media businesses • With new technologies, media corporations are diversifying range of media products they produce= decline in distinct media industries and emergence of integrated multimedia industry • New media ventures are joint efforts between 2+ media conglomerates • Number of media corporations that own and control bulk of all media products shrinking Media in Democratic Society • Business of media in totalitarian state o Power is concentrated in hands of few- namely government o Government sue media to promote culture and info consistent with its goals and exclude other views • Business of media in democratic state o Free press and independent media are more complicated o Rather serving as propaganda machines for those in power, media are expected to reflect range of creative vision and ideas consistent with society’s culture o Provide independent information to citizens- watchdogs of our freedoms, informing citizens about current events and debates and alerting us of potential abuses in power Market Model • News as entertainment and spectacle, dramatic images of bloody victims and somber faced politicians, high energy commercials selling everything • More people watch program, higher price network can charge for ad time • Program measured in rating points and desirable demographics Public Sphere Model • News to e informed about current events • Hints of public sphere model show in “in depth” stories of series on recurring social problem • Principle is that to act as responsible citizens, people need information about issues/events occurring in their world • News as education and public service DILEMMAS: 1. What is in the public interest may not be in corporate interest • Major corporations that own media do not want certain embarrassing stories to be publicized, they may not want to encourage critical examination of their business practices • Their ownership of the media gives them potential to influence how a story is or not covered 2. How do we weigh the profitability of programs against their negative social impacts? For ex. What is the effect for society of airing countless hours of bloody violence as “entertainment?” 3. Biggest dilemma is that in the media world, entertainment is more profitable than information so pressure steer media content away from serious substance that challenges people to light entertainment that is familiar/comforting • Recurring theme: tensions between profits and public interest • Media conglomerates o today are unprecedented in human history- how these companies operate has been changing with rise of internet technology, conglomeration, integration and globalization Chapter 1: Market Model: dominant framework within media industry, widely familiar economic perspective that assess media using currency of business success: profits Public Sphere: media defined as central elements of healthy public sphere- media defined as central elements of healthy public sphere, the “space” within which ideas, opinions and views freely circular Market Model • Society’s needs can be met through unregulated process of exchange through supply and demand • As long as competitive conditions exist, business pursuing profits will meet people’s needs • Model calls for private, unregulated ownership of media Advantages of Markets • Promotes Efficiency: o Constantly trying to increase profits so companies must come up with new ways to deliver goods/services at lowest cost o Efficiency is lost when standardized models are in place and lost if competition is inadequate- no incentive to reduce cost • Promotes Responsiveness o Markets operate on supply and demand o When demand goes up, price goes up- when demand goes down, price drops to allow sale of surplus supply o Producers responding to consumer demand as result of market dynamics • Promotes Flexibility o Companies respond to what consumers want/do not want and there is no centralized planning allows them to quickly adapt new supply demand balance o Competition is essential- flexible response is needed only if competitors lure customers away from unresponsive producers • Promotes Innovation o Incentive of big profits promotes innovation as companies try to develop new products that will capture larger market share • Delivers Media like Any Other Product o If media industry is left unregulated, it will respond to consumer demand, develop innovative new products and remain flexible o If media products are treated like other products, consumers are able to enjoy benefits of market dynamics Market Structures and Types of Competition • Benefits of markets happen when there is competition • Market Structure: economic characteristic of particular markets • 2 key factors in assessing market structure are number of firms supplying product and level of differentiation between products • Low Product Diversity: o One firms: homogenized monopoly o Many firms: homogenized competition • High Product Diversity o One Firms: diverse monopoly o Many Firms: Diverse competition • Homogenized monopolies: least desirable from market perspective because they are not competitive and give consumers limited/no choice in products • Homogenized competition: problems- products may be plentiful and affordable but party because they are aimed at broad mainstream audience and do not come close to representing diversity of movie taste (For ex) among public • Diverse monopolies: offer advantage because they give consumers wide variety of choices even though only one/few companies owning options • Diverse competition: market ideal- numerous sellers offer wide range of products form which consumers can chose- each offers something distinctive but enough overlap with competitors so consumers have alternatives • Pure competition does not exist unless many different companies offer same thing so at best they achieve monopolistic competition: many firms offer similar but not identical products • Federal communications regulatory policy has focused on amount of competition that exists in industry and on ability of potential competitors to enter market Public Sphere Model • Society’s needs cannot be met just through market system • Public interest criteria such as diversity and substance are used in the public sphere model to assess performance of media • Government plays useful and necessary role to ensure media meets needs of citizens not just consumers Concept of the Public Sphere • Media is primary information sources and storytellers • Building on Habermas: way mass media contributes to democratic process is by helping create space for ongoing public dialogue • Information should flow freely, without government intervention to restrict flow of ideas • Ownership and control of media outlets should be broad/diversified • People as citizens not consumers • Media should serve the citizens rather target potential consumers • Murdock says 3 ways communication systems are central for citizenship 1. To participate they must have access to information that allows them to know their personal rights and pursue them 2. They must have access to broadest possible range of information that involve public political choices and communication facilities to foster criticism and propose alternatives 3. Must recognize themselves in range of representations and contribute to developing these representations Limits of Markets • Markets are undemocratic o Profits are measure of success and success can be translated into more influence on that market- rich get richer and poor get poorer o This contradicts democratic ideal that individuals have equal worth • Markets Reproduce Inequality o Markets are based on money and players enter market with unequal resources o Playing field is tilted in favor of those who already have advantaged o Media then reflects views/interests of those with wealth and power and neglect views of others • Markets are Amoral o Markets make no judgment about what is bought and sold, they do not distinguish between products that might be good for society vs. products that might be harmful • Markets Do Not Necessarily Meet Social Needs o Early fire protection for ex. Used to be market based service available for those who could pay o IN US range of services that are state supported is low o Society depends on non profit, nonmarket institutions to meet social needs and aid those whose needs cannot be met in marketplace o Rational for public media is that it is a resource that should be available to citizens regardless of their ability to pay and market does not meet this need • Markets Do Not Necessarily Meet Democratic Needs o Crude market oriented media systems do not allow for any distinction between people’s roles as consumers which are private and individual, and their roles as citizens which are public and collective o Public sphere model highlights civic importance of media and argues that media cannot be treated as just another consumer product Why Media are Different from Other Industries • 3 main reasons media industry is different from other industries making market model analysis inappropriate 1. Role of advertising in some forms of media creates unique market relationships- in some respects media market is not responsive to audiences 2. Media cannot be considered as product to be used by consumers- the pubic sphere model says it is resources for citizens with important informational, educational and integrative functions 3. Unique role media plays in democracy is reflected in legal protections the media enjoy in US 1. Advertising and the Media • Market model is based on buyer seller relationship • Media operates in dual product market: they simultaneously sell 2 completely types of “products” to two completely sets of buyers” o They produce media products (newspaper, TV programs) that are marketed and sold to consumers and then they provide access to consumers (readers, viewers) that is sold to advertisers • Balance between consumer revenue + advertiser revenue varies by media • Individual consumers are aware of first of these two markets (paying for newspapers and cable TV) but less obvious that we are the products being sold, advertisers are buying our attention • The consumers that media companies are responding to are advertisers not the people who read, watch or listen to the media o Ex. Some TV shows with low ratings are renewed and more popular shows are canceled—if TV networks responded to what viewers watched this would not happen, they are responding to advertisers though o Higher income viewers are more appealing than low income viewers and they prefer young audiences • These “buyers” are advertisers not the public which challenges the belief that unregulated marketplace responds to public’s needs 2. Media as Citizen Resources • Media are primary suppliers of information to citizens about current events and longstanding issues • Media do more than inform citizens, they are informal educators • They also have the potential to promote social integration y bringing people together across geographic/social barriers • By focusing on ways media are linked to question of citizenship, we can see market model is too narrow because it ignores cultural/political significance of media 3. Unique Legal Status of Media • As part of larger commitment of free speech/expression- Americans consider “free press” as essential in democratic society • Media industry is different from other industries because it enjoys special legal protection • First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech or press • They cannot violate the law though, if news organizations engage in unlawful activities in their reporting they can be prosecuted • Even though politicians criticize TV executives for broadcasting excessive sex/violence, they do not introduce legislation that regulated the content because that would violate First Amendment Tradition of Civic Responsibility • Civic responsibility is recognized firmly in print media • Newspapers and magazines have long touted special responsibilities of press to inform/educate citizens • Broadcasters too recognize their role in serving public • Other media forms have been associated with American ideals of free speech- Films and Music recognized in expression of stories, concerns, emotions • Profit seeking and public service are not either-or proposal • Instead the civic responsibilities of media have been met with framework of commercial business • BUT as media industry grew and consolidated in 80s and 90s, the balance shifted further in favor of profits over concern for public service Public Interest • The media industry is different from other industries and main reason is because media outlets have distinct relationship to public • Rather supplying consumer goods in free market context, media in a democratic society are expected to serve the interest • But it is hard to define what public interest really means • Because the public is interested in such things can we say they are in public interest? Promoting Diversity, Avoiding Homogeneity • Only through exposure to wide range of perspectives can citizens begin to understand their society and make informed decision • Media is place where old ideas can be scrutinized and new ideas can be debated with focus on diversity- media can make big contribution to democratic life • Diversity refers to not only differences in race, class and gender but also big political or ideological differences • Until recently advocates for public interest focused on importance of news media for public life and other media play roles like websites, talk radio program s and TV dialogue shows • Media does not have to be “informational” to engage with public issues • Market forces promotes homogeneous media products to reach broad mainstream audiences (ex. Formula system in Hollywood Substance and Innovation Without Elitism • Media serves public interest to extent that they provide citizens with information and innovative entertainment • Public sphere acknowledges that what people want may not be want they need • Media has to be willing to devote space, time and resources to informing public about issues and wide range of perspectives- and find new/engaging ways to communicate this info o Most media stick to well worn horse race style election coverage tracking daily assessments of whose winning and media who actually served public interest would use events to examine challenges facing our democracy—whoa re the nonvoters? Why have they stayed away from poles? • In entertainment media innovation and risk taking are part of what it means to serve public interest but its financially risky so they stay away from this • Danger in market model is that only what is widely popular is considered valuable and other important contributions are left out • Danger in public sphere model is that only what is approved by elite may be considered valuable leaving broadly popular contributions out • Public sphere approach to media is only elitist if we assume popular desire is born and made but we know popular tastes are shaped o Before public gets to chose, record companies pick which bands will/will not receive support with major promotional campaigns • Citizens need both information and entertainment but on both accounts they need to have the opportunity to see their own experiences reflected and challenged • When we talk about public interest- we are identifying media system as one of the key places citizens are constituted, informed and can be deliberate Conflicting Logics • Most telling differences between approaches is ways of envisioning audiences o Market model views audience as market of consumers both of media products and goods and services presented in accompanying advertising. Diversity is strategy for targeting particular demographic market segments o Public Sphere model- audience is not a market of consumers, they are public who should be reformed and educated as well as entertained- to enable them to better perform their democratic rights and duties • It’s difficult to escape the market mentality • Media’s role in facilitating democracy and encouraging citizenship has always been in tension with status as profit making industry Summary of Media Models on page 39 (Chart) Culture, Communications and Political Economy Graham Murdock and Peter Golding • Public communications systems are part of “cultural industries” • Ways media organizations are similar to other industries 1. Telecommunications/computer networks provide infrastructure that allows businesses to coordinate activities across widely dispersed sites 2. Major arena for advertising the commercial media play main role in matching consumer demands to production 3. Media corporations are significant economic actors who employ lots of people and make major contributions to export flow • Ways media organizations are different from other industries o The goods they manufacture play a role in organizing images and resources through which people make sense of the world o Interplay between symbolic and economic dimensions of public communications o Financing and organizing cultural production have consequences for range of discourses, representations and communicative resources in the public domain and organization of audience access and use Critical Political Economy of Communications- Straw Men and Stereotypes • Cultural studies and critical political economy are both concerned with exercise of power and keep their distance from liberal pluralists who accept the workings of advanced capitalist societies • Cultural studies: focus on the moment of exchange, when meanings carried by media texts meet interpretations that readers bring to them • Critical Political Theory: The other half is detailed investigation of wider structures that shape every day action, looking at how the economic organization of media industries impinges on production of meaning and ways people’s options for consumption and use are structure by their position within the economic formation What is Critical Political Economy? • Critical political economy differs from mainstream economics in 4 ways 1. Holistic 2. Historical 3. Concerned with balance between capitalist enterprise and public intervention 4. Goes beyond technical issues of efficiency to engage with basic moral questions of justice, equity and public good From “The Economy” to Economic Dynamics • Mainstream economics see the economy as separate which media economics has special task of investigation how changing economic forces direct choices of managers and other decision makers across media and focus on sovereign individual and • Critical political economy is interested in the interplay between economic organization and political, social and cultural life. Theystarts with set of social relations and play of power, how the making and taking of meaning is shaped at every level by structures in social relations • Cultural studies concerned with impact of economic dynamics on range and diversity of public cultural expression and availability to different social groups • Liberal political economists focus on exchange in the market as consumers choose between competing commodities based on satisfaction hey offer- the greater play of market forces, the greater “freedom of choice” • Critical political economy is distinctive because it goes beyond situated action to show how particular little contexts are shaped by general economic dynamics and wider formation, interested in ways communicative activity is structure by unequal distribution of material and symbolic resources • They avoid instrumentalists who focus on ways capitalists use their power within commercial market to ensure flow of public information is consonant with interests—“propaganda model” of American news media arguing powerful are able to fix premises of discourse. They avoid it because they overlook contradictions in the system because owners and advertisers cannot always do as they wish • They avoid structuralism which thinks of structures as solid and immovable because we need to see them as dynamic formations which are always reproduced and altered through practical action • Critical political economy makes us think of economic determination in flexible way From Events to Processes • Critical political economy is historical in a sense • 5 historical processes are central to critical political economy of culture 1. Growth of the media 2. Extension of corporate reach 3. Commodification 4. Universalization of citizenship 5. Changing role of state and government intervention • Media production has been commandeered by large corporations and molded to their interests and strategies and dominate cultural landscape in 2 ways:  Large proportion of cultural production is directly accounted for by major conglomerates with interests in range of sectors from newspapers to TV  Corporations that are not directly involved in cultural industries as producers can exercise control over direction of cultural activity through their role as advertisers and sponsors  Third process is commodification of cultural life= before their activities were confined to producing symbolic commodities that could be consume directly but with the rise of technology consumers are required to purchase the appropriate machine to access the technology which makes communicative activity more dependent on the ability to pay • Audience position as a commodity serves to reduce overall diversity of programming and ensure it confirms established mores and assumptions more than it challenges them Policies and Ethics • Political economy is concerned with changing world and analyzing it • Classical Political Economists assume that public intervention must to be minimized and market forces given the widest possible freedom of operation • But Critical Political Economists point to distortion/inequalities of the market system and argue they can only be rectified by public intervention • Political economy argues on the proper balance between public and private which is based on what constitutes the “public good” • They are interested in the centrality to exercise of citizenship which is the right to participate fully in social life and help shape forms it might take in the future • This requires people have access to range of cultural communicative resources that support participation which include:  Access to information, advice/analysis that helps them know rights and pursuer them properly  Access to broadest range of interpretation and debate on areas that involve political choices  Right to have one’s experiences, beliefs and aspirations represented without distortion/stereotyping  Right to participate in public culture by speaking in one’s own voice  Registering dissent and proposing alternatives • To break the logic of commercial provision is -first where commodities are sold as personal possessions public cultural services are offered as public goods available to all and rather targeting audience as individual consumer audiences are members of moral/political communities Critical Political Economy in Practice: 3 Core Tasks 1. Examine manufacture of cultural goods of limiting impact of cultural production on range of cultural consumption 2. Ways that media products are related to material realities to their production and consumption 3. Asses political economy of cultural consumption to show the relation between material and cultural inequality Production of Meaning as Exercise of Power • Examine how changes in the forces which exercise control over production and distribution and limit or liberate public cultural space • Pattern of ownership of media companies and its consequences for exercise of control over their activities Media Concentration and Owner Control • Multi media conglomerates have a significant presence in world’s major markets—potential abuses of power • Cultural production is influenced by the commercial strategies which exploit the overlap between the company’s media interests and effect is reduce diversity of cultural goods • The media moguls have indirect power over smaller concerns operating in their markets or seeking into them- they can use their financial power to drive new entrants out of marketplace by launching expensive promotion campaigns  Power of major communications extended to worldwide romance with “Free ”markets and move towards digital technologies  All forms of communications can now be coded, stored and relayed through digital computing so cultural products flow between and across media in a fluid way • The fact that consumers have access to wider range of cultural goods provided they can pay does not get rid of control of media moguls  Power will lie with those who own the building blocks of new communication systems, rights to key pieces of technology and right to cultural materials (films, books, images) that will be used to put together new services • The geographical reach of these conglomerates is extended as governments around the world are embracing “free” market disciplines Forward March of Marketization • There is concerted effort to reduce public sector and enlarge corporate sector at institutional level • Emphasis has shifted from protection of broadly defined public interests towards opening up markets, ensuring free and fair competition between producers and promoting interest of consumers • Charting these shifts in balance between commercial and public enterprise and tracing impact on cultural diversity is task for critical political economy Free Markets and Strong States • State intervention has been extended in recent years: reorganization of surveillance and expansion of government information management • 9/11 attacks- result is increase integration of different kinds of surveillance and people’s use of communications and cultural facilities are major focus for this new monitoring system • But state is not only regulator of communications institution, it is itself a communicator of huge power and how this power is exercised is major interest to political economy of culture • The state gives subsidies to media organizations by reducing their effort required to discover/produce information for their audiences which is an attempt to produce influence over actions of others by controlling their access to and use of information • British government’s anxiety to control communication reached highest point in 2004 following big fight with BBC over Corporation’s coverage over Iraq’s war Corporatization of Public Culture • Public communication organization find themselves in a crossfire between strong states and free markets • Mid 1990s effort to balance trade in cultural goods the government nominated BBC as national champion and encouraged it to capitalize on its reputation as vigorously as possible in expanding global marketplace for TV programming • More commercial revue it generates, weaker case for continuing to fund its activities out of public purse • 2 problems: o Projects were only funded if they could demonstrate that one of the channels was committed to broadcasting the finished program but channel controllers were reluctant to assign slots if it had controversial subjects since lower ratings meant lost advertising profits so it was safer to schedule familiar program with known audience o Public service programs were often one offs and scattered across available channel there was little possibilities of gaining an audience Reinvention of Public Goods • British government is eager to encourage viewer to move to digital TV and radio so that the spare spectrum capacity released by switching off old bulky systems could be auctioned off to non broadcast users • Success of this prompted commercial competitions to complain Corporation was just duplication services that was readily available on subscription • IN reply they argued children have the right to watch programming tailored to their needs without being bombarded with advertising to incorporate their imagination and play into consumer system • They reasserted this principle that public broadcast programming is public good and available to everyone with receiving set and diversity of experience, not promote consumerism Contextualizing Cultural Work • Media industries are made of men and women working within range of codes and professional ideologies both personal and social • Those who work in media is interest to political economists since they create cultural production • Interplay between proprietarily interests, economic imperatives and cultural production is central to critical economy but it has to go beyond broad structural dynamics and assess concrete impacts on daily practice • This requires study of how cultural workers go about their jobs, way sources of power and authority engage in agenda building and link market situation and work situation Political Economy and Textual Analysis • Critical political economy wants to explain how economic dynamics of production structure public discourse by promoting certain cultural forms over others • For ex. Reliance on international coproduction agreement in TV drama production—this poses constraints on form as partners search for subject matter and narrative styles they can sell in home markets== resulting in Americanized product which is fast moving and based on simple characterizations or result in “TV tourism” which trades familiar forms and sights of national cultural heritage • First effect around dominant forms of story telling with marked boundaries of hierarchies of discourse • Second reproduce “Englishness” which excludes or magazines range or subordinate discourses Consumption, Use, and Everyday Creativity: Soverignty or Struggle • Task of critical political economy is examine organization of barriers and trace impact on choices to audience and barriers are both material and symbolic • When communications goods and facilities are available only at price, access to tem will be limited depending on spending power of individuals and households • Shifts in patterns reflect change in lifestyles across population but vary among different groups • Ownership of and access to communications is differentiated by income within UK population and there is digital divide- limited spending power is a deterrent to initial purchase and full and flexible use • Gap will not go away because income and wealth have shapely widened in recent decades and the goods themselves require updating and replacement so for disadvantaged groups with limited spending power owning a video requires expenditure on software, owning phone means spending money on using it • Limited spending power is deterrent not only to initial purchase but regular use • Critical political economy is not only concerned with monetary barriers to cultural consumption but the ways social locations regulate access • There is a complex intersection of waged work and domestic labor • 4 non-monetary resources are relevant to full understanding of consumption and audience activity: 1. Time, 2. Space 3. Access to social networks and command of the cultural competencies required to interpret 4. Deploy media materials in certain ways • Time- especially leisure time is unevenly distributed and stratified by gender because women’s prime responsibility for “shadow work” of shopping cleaning coking and nurturing has consequences for their relation to mass media • Access to space- experience of watching TV will differ depending on whether it is viewed in a room of one’s own, in living room, kitchen or other communal space or public site like bar • Analysis of production is central as well • But critical economy goes further to access systems of meanings especially those offering frameworks of interpretation that cut across grain of cultural mainstream is linked to involvement of social sites that generate and sustain them and how these sites are being transformed by political economic changes as “production” moves shifts and recomposes Tutorial Thursday January 17, 2013 th Office Hours: Monday 2:00-3:00 446B in NCB on 4 floor Lecture Tuesday January 22, 2013 Poverty in London • Child poverty capital in Canada • Stress attached to not having money • Our poverty rates don’t need to be this high • London is also unemployment acpital which contributes to high poverty rate • What are concerns about super rich? o Student debt? No. Environment? No. o How to stay wealthy, powerful and influential Obama’s Inauguration • America thrives when everyone is treated equal • Obama is worried about decline of middle class- he challenges Rubplican opponents • Medicare is not an entitlement (republicans think it is) • We have to rebuild the welfare state▯ attend to welfare of all citizens so everyone has a chance for success The Great Divide • Analysis of what Obama said and why he said it • Reclaim ideas of founding fathers- everyone can get ahead if the work hard enough • The handful of very wealthy have all the power • Wall Street: world’s financial center and place where economic catastrophes happen- also symbol of inequality • AS economy grew- new wealth was spread equally • But economy has grown so much- go to top 1% in the past 30 years • Hasn’t been this bad since Gilded Age (before Great Depression) oil, cars, • Because of new technology= new kind of financial profits and no regulation- they thought markets would be self regulating The Big Picture: Welfare Capitalism, Neo Liberal Capitalism, Regulation and De-regulation • Janus: ways mass media resemble him • Income inequality is only reported when it is a big issue (Occupy) and even still only spend a couple of minutes on it • Pg. 24 of Croteau—Markets reproduce inequality o When markets work properly they can be good o But because markets are based on money, they produce inequality where players enter the market with advantages and disadvantages o When it comes to media- people with lots of resources have tons of influence on the media o Media reflects the views and interests of those with wealth and power • Conventional Economics: perfect competition▯ almost never happens Perfect Competition • Market with large number of buyers and sellers engaged in trading of homogeneous goods, with freedom of entry and exit for firms, no government intervention, no transportation cost, and perfectly elastic supply of factors of production (plus perfect information held by rational consumers) Market Model • Society’s needs can be met through relatively unregulated process of exchange based on dynamics of supply and demand • Assumes that as long as competitive conditions exist, businesses pursuing profits will meet people’s needs • Media consumers with free choice between competitors wills select best products which will force companies to behave in a way that serves public interest (ex. Fox) Public Sphere Model • Society’s needs cannot be met entirely through market system because consumer purchasing power is never evenly distributed nor does everyone wish to “purchase” the same thing • “One person, one vote” rather than “one dollar, one vote” • Ownership and control of media outlets should be diversified with many owners instead of few large ones • Public media should attend to matters of diversity in news and entertainment • Example CBC, PBS, TVO Market Model Problem • Problem: Dual product markets mean private interests and public interests collide (Janus Face) • Media products are dual purpose • Dual Product Markets: they make money off content and advertisers • What about free TV? o Cost of making commercials is buried in the product—chunk of the money paid for the product goes to advertisements • Dual Cultural Commodities: one purpose is to enlighten and entertain but producer of commodity wants money—both commercial and cultural valiance We need to understand media history to understand the present Political Liberalism vs. Economic Liberalism • Liberal: give free status to… but what is freedom? • Political liberalism and economic liberalism have two ways of understanding freedom Political Liberalism • Keynesianism (Interventionism) • In order to succeed- need legal rights to opportunities that democracies should provide • PL acknowledge we need legal and political rights and individuals and communities also need fair access to means to success—sometimes this means they need help from state to make up for inequalities within the democratic state • This is the idea of government intervention • John Keynes enforced these types of government intervention programs: o Unemployment insurance o Canadian Pension Plan o Old Age Pension o OHIP o Public Broadcasting (CBC, TVO) o Student Loan Programs • Towards economic equality • Towards an equality of outcomes • Robert Reich: return to the Basic Bargain (between business, government and labor which worked together to ensure widespread prosperity, opportunities for new comers) o It can also be called Post War Settlement: peace treaty, letter of cooperation between business, labor and government which has now disappeared with rise of economic liberalism as mainstream method of governance by 1980 • PL understand that legal, judicial state based conventions and laws matter a lot to achieve freedom of citizen but they also think about money— harder to be free if you do not have money and if you don’t have money the state needs to help Tutorial Sound Bite Society • Sound Bite society: on TV- quick and instant communication • Sound Bit: snippet, instant information • WE are in a SB society so it puts political liberalists in disadvantage • Political liberalists advocate for public sphere, equal opportunity, left leading- government should intervene to regulate society to make sure there is equality and they do this through policies • 2 chapter: ownership and media • De-regulation is open market (sound bite society) which is bad for political liberalists • Media conglomerates strive when there is a conservative government • TV as format dumb down news and information and simplifies it • Twitter is manifestation of sound bite • Censorship as regulation o Censorship against yellow journalism o Regulation could be ensuring it its Readings Chapter 2 History of media’s growth and interplay between business of media and regulation of media Changing Business of Media and Regulation: Case of ABC and Disney • Example of tendency of federal regulartors since 80s to allow consolidation in media industry to advance unchecked • If money and profits are only scorecards which we measure media industry (market model) then public interests are left out Rise and Assimilation of ABC • History of ABC and Disney show that growth, mergers, joint ventures and debate about ownership are nothing new but that impact of profit seeking on public interests are long tanding Growth of the Media • As new media technologies developed, media products proliferated, adding to growing menu of media options • Portability was introduced= expansion of media into other social spaces • TVs became smaller, entering bedrooms, kitchens and other areas, banks classrooms- with videotape and digital video disks, movies could go anywhere- cell phones how media world is expanding • Thus opportunities for media consumption have expanded a lot • Expansion of growth= growth of circulation • Biggest growth is size of advertising industry Evolution of Media Newspapers and Press Barons th • As news became commercial entity in late 19 century, newspapers began to develop new strategies to attract readers • New commercial press sought to sell papers to broad public and turn large circulation into revenue by selling space in newspapers to advertisers wanting to reach a mass audience • To reach mass audience, newspapers broadened types of stories they covered and moved away from politics to include coverage on sports, entertainment and fashion • As commercial news industry grew in 19 century, newspaper business became competitive • For Hearst, media ownership was avenue into politics • His complex role as journalist, businessman and politician showed business dynamics that push toward entertainment and political questions raised b growth of media conglomerates’ Radio and the Rise of Corporate Media • Early years of 20 century, struggle for control of radio Corporate interests: sought private control of airwaves for profit • US Navy: government control of airways to use for official purpose especially during wartime • Amateur radio enthusiast “radio boys” saw airwaves as form of public property to be used by citizens to communicate with each other • Radio Act of 1927: created Federal Radio Commissions- task fo granting federal licenses allowing stations to broadcast over airwaves= commercial broadcast system Television Era • Until 70s TV was dominated by 3 major networks: ABC, NBC, and CBC- produced programs for mass audience and sold attention of audience to advertisers at a premium • Network TV good for advertisers, entertaining diversion for viewers and profits for networks • Commercial TV did little to contribute to public sphere Coexisting with TV • Challenge for radio, film, newspaper and magazine industries to coexist with TV • TV did not destroy rivals- it supplanted them becoming center of multifaceted media industry • Radio: o Radio changed formats from old staple of network serials and focused programming on music o Radio survived TV by developing new formats that encouraged listeners to turn radio in background which TV couldn’t do o Focus on youth audience- top 40s • Print o Newspapers created middle/upper middle class readership and developed new advertising friendly sections with colorful photos and imitate style of TV o Magazines became specialized to niche markets o Focus attention on TV guide • Movies o Produce fewer movies- expensive blockbusters that had large revenue o Movie industry supplier of programming for TV o DVD sales Beyond Broadcast Approach • 2 marketing strategies emerged to give customers a lot of media content 1. Sell media content in bite sized units (cable TV on demand service) 2. Sale of subscription • Shift from media content supported by advertisers to content accessed by consumers for a fee New Media Industry • Mass audience was fragmenting, media focusing on niche markets • Emphasis on big hit blockbusters, best sellers increased • Focus on benefits of promotional efforts across medias In Whose Interest? • Commercial model of broadcasting emerged from government policies that defined pulbic interest in a certain way • Alterative models like public service approach developed in Britain would have needed set of media policies protecting interests of a different group where government intervention was needed • Commercial system relies on government intervention- copyright law serves interest of all media Antitrust Law • Sherman Act intended to protect public from power and control of major owners in highly concentrated industries • Act- unlawful if it harms the public, gives monopoly owners an unfair advantage in other industries or restrains new competition • The antitrust action that broke up what was called Hollywood Studio System had lasting impact on media business Serving Public Interest • “Serving public interest” has been associated with vibrant media system open to various points of view and forms of expression • In highly concentrated industries, competition for mass audience has historically led to imitation instead of innovation • Market perspective: lack of competition with monopolies undermines benefits • Public Sphere perspective: monopolies are not likely to lead to diverse and independent media Deregulation and the Market • Most regulation of media industry was not in public interest • Market Model: media that serve public interest are profitable and survive and media that do not serve public interest fail—this perspective no need for proactive media because market is self regulating • This approach pays no attention to policy goals • Only after educators/media advocacy groups mobilized public campaign that new FCC rules required 3 hours/week of educational programming • Market model= cultural worth with economic success • In deregulated media industry, it is business strategy with focus on attracting audiences an exploiting new markets Jeffery Scheuer: “Shouting Heads: Language of Television” Televisions and Mediation • Television is main link to world beyond immediate milieu • TV mediates in ways that differ from other media, it has its own language • Television does not deliver experience itself, it provides encoded simulacrum that we call information • TV mediates in 2 ways 1. Provides kind of picture of actual experience that camera records 2. Mediates in different sense: providing certain kind of picture of reality as a whole and affecting general texture of human consciousness • In mediating between “reality” and viewer, the TV alters what it purports to convey • Representation is mediation and mediation involves transformation, distortion and decay • Mediated experience can never perfectly reflect direct experience- TV has its own personality, set of habit The Surrogate Eye • TV communication—multiple streams of audio visual information representing supposed realities beyond our immediate experience • In time TV may achieve greater immediacy or teleprescnce: by using virtual reality techniques to digitize actor, reporter, camera, or other surrogate • It produces reciprocal effects as events are structure to fit contours of TV • Like the human eye, it is limited in its range of motion and up to a point it can substitute action for movement • It is not about understanding the world but modifying, not about static states that are still in time but about transforming a situation into another • An omniscient narrator—the camera has huge range and latitude, it can hurdle boundaries of time and space that human eye cannot, can produce representations human experience cant by itself, and can see more and further • TV experience offers alternative to direct experience that is altered and enriched ▯ shows us what is easy for it to see and not what is important for us to know Grammar of TV • Television simplifies the world because: 1. TV’s technological structure as mode of communication 2. Medium’s commercial basis which impels it to be entertaining in the broadest sense of audience attraction and retention • They sell our attention to sponsors. We the audience are products so its goal is not to inform us but keep our attention • Shouting heads and ideological food fights might be bad political discourse, but they make for great TV and without intending to, privilege conservative messages • “Grammar of television” characteristics that govern what gets communicated and how • Defining characteristics • Audiovisual medium (not a lot of text) • Fluid medium (capable of instantly and incessantly changing subject to keep us watching) • Essentially narrative and episodic rather thematic (it can show and tell but is best at showing) • Linear (moving image tells story over time in one direction) • Meaningful and orderly • Concreteness (immediacy in time and space, wedded to specific scenes- more complex question the more its resistant on TV) • It condenses and organized experience different to how we would experience it directly • We see the world in small, isolated fragments with little depth, background or framework but we see it with clarity Use of Symbolism • Symbolism refers to connotative meanings • It simplifies when it comes to commercial symbols (example American flag you associate patriotism)▯ politicians use symbols on TV to their advantage • While symbols carry meaning, they do not analyze • Symbolic communication get us to buy/believe something- easier to take at face value Sound Bite Man • TV is fragmentary, it atomizes information by breaking it down into particles • This atomizing process is necessary for the sound bit • Average political sound bit on evening news of presidential campaigns shrank from 43 seconds to 9 • Modern sound bit doesn’t just shape how news is covered, it alters the character and definition of issues and events • More sound bit predominates on TV the simpler, more artificial and more theatrical and tabloid political discourse becomes • Sound bites and symbolism are principle fuel of modern political campaigns—well suited to young voters who know less and have limited interest in politics • It is no secret public knows less about public affairs than it used to know Summary • “Grammar of television” codetermined by its structure and commercial motives shapes the content—what it is disposed to see and what it ignores • TV likes action and dislikes thought, it favors conflict and spectacle and disfavors ambiguity, analytical or abstract thinking • What enters the camera’s lens is the status quo • Thrives on sudden, simple or contrived change • What is simple, fragmented, short term or localized plays well on TV< what is compound, integrated and long term does not • Symptoms are telegenic: preventive measures and complex solutions involving the long view, the broad context, the underlying pattern or root cause Lecture Tuesday January 29, 2013 Political Liberalism • Not complete equality (that would be communism) but less inequaity than today • When times get tough people need government assistance so they don’t crash • Government rather private actors pay for these programs • Market approach—government doesn’t intervene in the market • In Democracy—we represent government, so we pay for the programs in political liberal perspective • All these interventionist vehicles are to assist not only us but the economy • Keynesianism is a demand led economy philosophy o It allows people to keep buying food, bus pass, etc, to keep functioning as members of society o In this approach, people are never so poor to be unable to purchase goods because if people are buying- economy continues • But, political liberalists are gratified that pension plans and other programs assist everyone not just people who are very poor off o This is why it is political- they seek economic enfranchisement to all o Expanding to all social programs Obama Inauguration • Liberal ideas- economic growth evenly so people are not left out politically, socially and economically • He addresses Seneca Falls (women’s rights), Selma (civil war), Stonewall (gay rights movement) • PL values those freedoms that are achievable in political and even social realm but it uses economic policies to achieve this Political Liberalists in Canada • Not left but center • NDP is left of liberalism • Liberal party occupies center of political realm • Many valences to the term “liberal” PL and Market Regulation • In addition to intervention programs they advocate market regulation Regulation: • Partial or complete intervention in the economic decision making of a fim or other economic institutions by the government or one of its agencies. The justification of this departure from free market principles is market failure. The major firms of intervention include consumer protection, creation of public enterprises to run industries which are natural monopolies, and then fixing prices Market Failure: • Happens in unregulated market • Public goods are underprovided in a pure market economy • Market may give rise to distribution of income that is regarded as socially unacceptable (Grocery stores do not exist in poor places) Public Goods • Goods/services that are open to use by all members of society • Examples o Defense o Law and order o Street lighting o Clean air o Public parks o Radio Spectrum o Public broadcasting • Most public goods are provided by government bodies (us) which alone have the power to raise taxes to pay for it Semi-Public Goods • Media products are “semi-public” because they are rarely destroyed in use • “If I listen to a CD that does not in any way alter yoru experience if I pas it to you. The same could not be said of my eating a pie- when one person eats a pie it is gone. • 2 forms working (competitive industry and public interest of passing it on for free) Media Regulation • Rules put in place by government to ensure media content o Expresses diversity o Is informal and not purely entertainment o Reaches undeserved publics o Treats public interest issues fairly, accurately and objectively • Example: Broadcasting Act Mandates: o Bilingualism= reaches undeserved public o Canadian content= expresses diversity o Fairness Doctrine (US)= gone now but it did make sure equal time was given to both sides of a story which treats public interest issues fairly, accurately, objectively Cycle: policies made by government▯ government elected by us▯ they candidates are presented to us through sound bit society Economic Liberalism • Legal, rather economic equality • Limited government • Toward equal opportunity (not an equality of outcomes) • Legal condition of equality • State has to ensure everyone has the same legal access- state should not do more than basic thing • Doesn’t want state to go further like social welfare that PL advocates • Not government who should organize social good but the market so limited government • Example: access of public education (legal not economic right), legal public goods, legal equality in the media▯ access and regulation Neo-Liberalism/Neo-Capitalism • History o WE entered Keynesian era▯ huge economic growth (Golden Age) until mid 70’s and Economic liberalists advocated for freedom of enterprise over other freedoms and said government intervention does not work▯ rise of economic liberals to kick start failing economy in the 70’s o ▯ Neo-liberalism: Attend to needs of producers and suppliers not consumers Key Goals • Reduce and control inflation; protect value of financial wealth (led to unemployment) • Restore discipline to labor markets • Eliminate “entitlements” (social welfare, political liberalist programs) families to fend for themselves • Restore economic and social dominance of private business and wealth • Weaken or eliminate public broadcasting o Derived from Jim Stanford o Because public broadcasting is paid by us and not owned by corporate shareholders it interferes with free market • Capitalism= no regulation • Neo capitalism= regulation in favor of capitalism and it will trickle down • AKA Laissez- Faire: attend to supply side, leave capitalists alone and as wealth is generated it will trickle down Key Tools • Privatize and deregulate industry • Scale back social security programs • Deregulate labor market (delegitimize unions) • Use free trade agreements to expand markets and constrain government intervention (globalization: agreement between 2 countries without tax) • Change regulatory and discursive climates to discredit public broadcasting and public interest (soundbite society) Philosophy • Theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well being can be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, free trade and absence of government intervention • Example: US—equal opportunity based on individual motivation= profit driven • Values market exchange as an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide to all human action, and substituting for previously held ethical beliefs • Profit becomes ethic- will create a better lifestyle • Holds that market is ultimate arbiter of all social value • If it makes money it is good (movie made $35 million) and if you like an art movie and live in small own you are excluded because it does not make money in small towns • Modern dance for example would not survive without government intervention in this neo-capitalist society • Seeks to bring all human action in domain of market Public Sphere says: • Just because not everyone loves it does not mean it is not valuable and market is not sole arbiter of social value o More things have fallen out of public goods▯ private goods (ex. Highways: tollroads) is it right that there are private roads? o More and more is for sale—income inequality o In a society where everything is for sale, life is harder for those with modest means o If only benefits of affluence is yachts, sports cars it would be fine but as they have power to buy more things like public health, political power, etc, income inequality increases and this is why life for middle class has become so hard by making money matter more Obamas Program—Liberal • He is Political liberalist • How is that he is calling for ways to slow down climate change, income inequality and minvoke power of government to intervene in markets? • Why wasn’t this accomplished in first four years? • Congress usually has republican majority, preventing him to move on interventionist agenda Question: what role might media play in neo-liberal movement/ • Markets reproduce inequality • In sound bit society, political liberalists are disadvantaged by technological form and economic arrangements of TV • IN American sound bite society- you have to get message out fast or get cut out by commercials • This puts liberals at disadvantage cause arguing for change= complex resuscitation of Keynesians which takes long time • Problem with Sauer is he deploys term TV_ hes talking about market model for tv which gets done in US Ne-Liberal/Neoliberal Capitalism Outcomes SLIDE Strategies of New Media Giant • Horizontal Integration • Vertical Integration • Economies of Scale • Cultural commodities are semi=public goods which poses challenge for profit media industries- their commodities do not get destroyed and you cannot maximize products with artificial scarcity- they are leaky (some people not paying o Copyright encourages innovation and works for big corporations by saying you have to pay us more for playing on radio Horizaontal Integration • A horizontally integrated media corporation owns many different types of media products • Viacam owns among other things, properties in broadcast and cable TV< film, radio and Internet • Horizontal integration media firms seek to reduce competition for audiences and audience time by burying up many different kinds of media outlets • You bulk up with these types of integration because media can be Risky Business▯ Why? o At bottom cultural commodities are unpredictable, you don’t know when you invest in new band if people will like it/buy it/make you money o This is why they direct us to few movies/songs that they know will be successful Tutorial Readings Chapter 3: Mergers • Before, antimonopoly concerns resulted in dismantling media conglomerates • Recently, media major companies have been buying/merging with other companies to create larger media conglomerates which are now global in activities • Public Sphere: growth in number of media outlets does not ensure content that serves public interest and only strengthened their power/influence on new media Structural Trends: • Growth • Integration • Globalization • Concentration of ownership Growth • Growth in conglomeration was fueled by belief in benefits from being big • Media conglomerates exploit synergy: components of a company work together to produce benefits that would be impossible for a single company • Packaging single idea across various media allows corporations to generate multiple revenue streams from one concept—to do this they have to expand to large size • Viacom- CBS merger o CBS dominated network broadcasting through 60s o In 1970 FCC introduced new regulations—networks could not own their new programs an could not sell rights of old programs▯ syndication o Viacom was created in 1971 as spin off to CBS to comply with new FCC rules o 1986 National Amusements purchased Viacom and it grew o Technology + politics= deregulation Changing Technology • When CBS was forced to spin off Viacom, TV viewers were limited to few options and by end of century there were 6 national broadcast networks along with countless numbers of channels o More channels does not mean more diversity, many cable options air reruns or a certain type of previously existing programming • Internet was limitless in offerings—because of low cost entry and no cost distribution it was thought to be leveling the playing field between media conglomerates and small independent producers o But it show sign of dominant major media giant—new Internet companies saw value of stock rise and solidify value by buying something tangible with money • Politics of deregulation o Technology was start of deregulation and conservatives pushed it along o Relaxation of key regulations was needed for rapid expansion of media conglomerates o With growth of larger media companies, number of media outlets expanded and these new technologies were main reason court rules that broadcast networks shouldn’t be subject to fin-syn regulations o With deregulation, networks pressured independent producers to give up ownership rig
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