McLuhan’s “global village”; “the medium is the message”. Youtube clip-Woody Alen “Annie Hall”.

McLuhan wrote before the birth of media conglomeration, which occurred in the early 1990s. Media empire grew through the consolidation e.g. merger of Time and Warner Brothers.

The problem with media empires is that they relay increasingly with mega corporations which provide big products, such as film blockbusters. The first film blockbuster was made in 1975. Blockbuster like “Titanic” started designing people’s tastes and attitudes.

Democracy depends mostly upon rich and informed dialogue, but the emergence of blockbusters turned it into propaganda (standard values, standard dialogues).


Media do:

– Select topics;

– Distribute concerns;

– Emphasize;

– Frame issues;

– Filter informations;

– Bound debate.

Thus, media determine news’ worthiness and select material that sells the news.

That’s a usable model. There are certain things that determine the conflict and are those which are mostly reported.

Ignorance of audience determines the power of media effects.

OWNERSHIP: mainstream sites which are the most visited by audience. There is just one voice. Mainstream media speak the same voice, indeed.

Since 1990s the overwhelmingly tendency of global media was the consolidation of media empires, thwarting the rise of independent media.

The emergence of media concentration excludes some issues, like media diversity itself, for example. Global corporations want an audience made of “abstract citizenship” indeed. That is a citizenship stripped off real meanings and purposes.



007: Eliot Claver (head of Carver Media Group, new James Bond’s enemy after the collapse of the Soviet Union).

Rupert Murdoch – News Corporations. Krugman’s fears about the nature and effect of corporate media power. He compares Murdoch to a Sun King.

Power and ambitions: Silvio Berlusconi, ex italian Prime Minister.
Media conglomerates are not simply machines either for reporting events or for making profits; they are also bureaucracies with their own internal political orders. How they are organized, how power is distributed within the organization, will have profound repercussions on for the kind of product they made.

The concentration of media has consequences not only on the market of media but also on the circulation of ideas and tendencies. Regulation of media and the provision of public service, are both designed to counter the anti-democratic logic of unregulated, commercialized media.

Government vs Media Mogul: regulation vs media concentrations.

Two sided market: the media enterprise commonly sells media products to audience and sells audience to advertisers (Edwin Bakers, 2002).

Commercial and political interests can become entwined within a multimedia conglomerate.

Power as a systemic character: allocative control vs operational control.

‘Context shaping power’ (Colin Hay): attributing too much power to Rupert Murdoch risks missing out the larger context, which shapes and makes possible his actions.

Government restrictions on cross-media ownership.



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