Media power is a crucial, although often taken for granted, concept. We assume, for example, that the media are 'powerful'; if they were not, why would there be so many controversies over the regulation, control and impact of communicative institutions and processes? Further, we assume that this 'power' is somehow problematic; audiences are often treated as highly susceptible to media influence and too much 'power' in the hands of one organization or individual is seen as risky and potentially dangerous. These concerns have been at the heart of recent controversies involving the relationships between media moguls and political elites, the consequences of phone hacking in the UK, and the emerging influence of social media as vital gatekeepers.
Yet it is still not clear what we mean by media power or how effective it is. This book evaluates contrasting definitions of media power and looks at the key sites in which power is negotiated, concentrated and resisted - politically, technologically and economically.
Combining an evaluation of both previous literature and new research, the book seeks to establish an understanding of media power which does justice to the complexities and contradictions of the contemporary social world. It will be important reading for undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and activists alike.
Des Freedman is a Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Politics of Media Policy, co-author (with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) of Misunderstanding the Internet, co-editor (with Michael Bailey) of The Assault on Universities: A Manifesto for Resistance and co-editor (with Daya Thussu) of Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives. He is particularly interested in issues of media power and media reform. He is the chair of the UK Media Reform Coalition and on the national council of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom. He is an editor of the journal Global Media and Communication and a member of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre.
Table of Contents ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CHAPTER 1: APPROACHES TO MEDIA POWER ELEMENTS OF THE PUZZLE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF MEDIA POWER FOUR PARADIGMS OF MEDIA POWER CONCLUSION CHAPTER 2: ELITES, OWNERSHIP AND MEDIA POWER POWER ELITE THEORY AND THE MEDIA MEDIA POWER ELITES AND NEOLIBERALISM OWNERSHIP AND MEDIA POWER CONCLUSION CHAPTER 3: MEDIA POLICY AND POWER POLICY ACTIVISM IN NEOLIBERAL TIMES POWER, DECISION-MAKING AND THE POLICY PROCESS MEDIA POLICY SILENCES Silences in Pluralism Policy Debates Silences in Net Neutrality Debates CONCLUSION CHAPTER 4: POWER SHIFTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA A RADICAL REDISTRIBUTION OF POWER? DECENTRALIZATION: THE RISE OF THE `POWER MOSAIC' DISINTERMEDIATION: POWER TO THE PEOPLE? `IT'S CALLED CAPITALISM' - ERIC SCHMIDT, CHAIRMAN OF GOOGLE CHAPTER 5: CHALLENGING MEDIA POWER MEDIA, CONTRADICTION AND RESISTANCE THE DOMINANCE/RESISTANCE MODEL IN ACTION: THE WAR IN IRAQ THE POLITICS OF MEDIA REFORM CONCLUSION CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION - MEDIA POWER PARADIGMS REVISITED BOOK REFERENCES