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A Brief History Of The Media In The Usa

A Brief History Of The Media In The Usa






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    A Brief History Of The Media In The Usa A Brief History Of The Media In The Usa Presentation Transcript

    • A Brief History Of The Media In The United States With Pictures
    • The New Nation :1776 - 1865
      • Early American political discourse stressed civil virtue and public, rather than private good. Those who argued for liberty of the press (free speech) did so not for individual expression, rather…
    • so that the community might hear and judge the merit of the views of others
    • Thomas Jefferson saw freedom of the press as a foundation of popular democracy
      • For example, Congress permitted newspapers to be mailed at a price below cost (subsidized). Because they were cheap, diversity flourished. The press was filled with partisan opinions on various topics.
    • The Gilded Age: 1866 - 1900
      • Private control of the media grows with the invention of the telegraph
      • Western Union forms a monopoly with this new communication technology
    • Western Union Creates…The Associated Press (AP)
      • Originally the AP was a monopoly news service run in cooperation by the largest (and wealthiest) newspaper publishers in the country
      • Their competitors could not use their wires. This put smaller publishers at a huge disadvantage
    • Now that News is Big Business…
      • In order to not offend business clients, the AP favored the appearance of “objectivity” in the newspapers
      • The idea of a “professional media” is born
      • News begins to have a big business bias
    • As Newspaper Companies grow…
      • They gobble up the competition
      • Wealthy white guys (below) owned the papers, and their political views were most often reflected by their newspapers
    • Mr. Schooley Is An Axe Murderer!!!!
      • In order to make even more profit, newspapers turned to sensationalism (see above)
      • Many small newspapers could no longer compete. Some refused to use advertising to sustain themselves on moral grounds and went out of business
    • As the labor movement grew…
      • Many newspapers became increasingly anti-labor
      • Yellow journalism led to massive national criticism from muckrakers, labor organizations and politicians
    • The Rise of Broadcasting: 1920s to 1930s
      • In its infancy, radio was a very new technology and it was not originally thought of as a profit making entity
    • How long did you think THAT would last?
      • NBC & CBS emerged in the 20s
      • They realized radio’s profit making potential and created chains of stations all over the USA, supported by the sale of advertising: The “Commercial” is born
      • This new media became very profitable.
    • Congress Passes The Communications Act of 1934
      • Good News for Rich Guys: Act helped further deregulate and privatize broadcasting
      • Good News for the Public: Act made clear that communication licenses were to be granted with the condition that the company receiving the license would serve the public interest
    • So what can we conclude from this?
      • Public interest over pure profit was still the theory
    • Fairness Doctrine
      • In the late 40s The FCC required that commercial broadcasters give ample time to matters of public importance and provide a range of viewpoints on controversial issues
      • It also restricted the actual number of radio and TV stations that a single broadcasting company could own in order to prevent one company from gaining too much influence
      • However, this doctrine was not always enforced… and with the deregulation agenda of the Reagan Administration during the 1980s, the FCC dissolved the fairness doctrine. So we enter…
    • Neo-Liberal Means:
      • Virtually a total free market
      • Very few restrictions
      • In other words, Big Media companies could gorge themselves on their weaker competitors
    • 1996 Telecommunications Act:
      • This Act lifted regulations and ownership restrictions from commercial media and communications companies
      • Media Moguls rejoiced!
    • The aftermath of the signing of this bill:
      • Cable rates rose 50% between 1996 & 2003
      • Media no longer regulated in a manner that served the public good
      • Seven major corporations now control about 90% of the market
    • What does it all mean? What are the dangers? Why should I care?
    • These questions will be explored in this unit