“Political Influence on Media” entitles the following chapter, encompassing the effects that independent governing bodies may ascertain when in power. Three recurring themes perpetuated Chapter 3 of “Media/Society 5th Edition” by David Croteau and William Hoynes, discussing politically-inspired media predicaments: the impact of political forces within economic interests, the limits of free speech, and the role of a duty-bound diligent government to appropriate media interests. The political sphere engulfs and intertwines with media activity, and so articulating the role that government – in every nation, not just the US – maintains regarding media is imperative to comprehend, especially when considering the boundaries of involvement and potential manipulations/corruption/persuasions.
Government, as an organizationally-sound structure promoting legality and morality, clearly resides as an authoritative entity with the ability to exercise free activity (agency, as prospected) when at the helm. Totalitarian systems result in state-owned media outlets operating as a form of arms, with structural constraint in any potential agency; authoritarian systems may hire outlets to appraise, support or endorse political agenda, incorporating a “big brother” styled mentality of public control via censorship and surveillance implementations to monitor competition; democratic systems protect freedoms in speech and press, with privatization and public-owned media outlets rife. Whilst constrained lightly, independent behaviour is encouraged; despite this, commercial corporations empower exposed businesses in exchange for money or financial arrangements, polluting the ethical quality of democracy and proving that, alongside government manifesto, corporal bullying is at risk.
In addition, Chapter 3 considers political pressures exerted by outsider groups; religious communities, public interest organizations, media advocacy groups and media critics, in which legislation is challenged or manipulated to corner or suit individual agendas. Interestingly, government regulation is approved by most organizations – liberals, conservatives, industry executives and public interest advocates (p. 77) – ahead of quashed deregulation measures, and so the free market vs government regulation for public interest issue is heavily contested; the problem, therefore, is upon a universally-agreed sovereign government regulation format.
Perhaps this is the fundamental crux of politics within the media. It’s an unanswerable and insolvable question, typically because government retains its power through the assets connected to its existence in office; corporations that have helped place a party/candidate in power demand a return – a manifesto promise – often citing personal gain and alternate business interests that conflict proposed party agenda. Government exists on the funds of its supporters and, whilst this equilibrium system exists, there will never be change. If the road to office remains the same, so shall by-product deals made with agenda-seeking corporations. If you consider Presidential campaigns in the USA, for example, one must consider commonplace action behind the scenes; a candidate must secure swing states for his particular party, and can legitimize his position by incorporating minor parties into his/her manifesto i.e the Green Party, who perhaps can’t compete with Republican or Democratic election runs. If they’re adamant upon singular interests pertaining to their own would-be manifesto, deals are cut – through media outlets, via communication – to insert policies or clauses that can benefit their needs and wants.


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