A Brief History Of The Media In The Usa


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A Brief History Of The Media In The Usa

  1. 1. A Brief History Of The Media In The United States With Pictures
  2. 2. The New Nation :1776 - 1865 <ul><li>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… </li></ul>
  3. 3. so that the community might hear and judge the merit of the views of others
  4. 4. Thomas Jefferson saw freedom of the press as a foundation of popular democracy <ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Gilded Age: 1866 - 1900 <ul><li>Private control of the media grows with the invention of the telegraph </li></ul><ul><li>Western Union forms a monopoly with this new communication technology </li></ul>
  6. 6. Western Union Creates…The Associated Press (AP) <ul><li>Originally the AP was a monopoly news service run in cooperation by the largest (and wealthiest) newspaper publishers in the country </li></ul><ul><li>Their competitors could not use their wires. This put smaller publishers at a huge disadvantage </li></ul>
  7. 7. Now that News is Big Business… <ul><li>In order to not offend business clients, the AP favored the appearance of “objectivity” in the newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>The idea of a “professional media” is born </li></ul><ul><li>News begins to have a big business bias </li></ul>
  8. 8. As Newspaper Companies grow… <ul><li>They gobble up the competition </li></ul><ul><li>Wealthy white guys (below) owned the papers, and their political views were most often reflected by their newspapers </li></ul>
  9. 9. Mr. Schooley Is An Axe Murderer!!!! <ul><li>In order to make even more profit, newspapers turned to sensationalism (see above) </li></ul><ul><li>Many small newspapers could no longer compete. Some refused to use advertising to sustain themselves on moral grounds and went out of business </li></ul>
  10. 10. As the labor movement grew… <ul><li>Many newspapers became increasingly anti-labor </li></ul><ul><li>Yellow journalism led to massive national criticism from muckrakers, labor organizations and politicians </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Rise of Broadcasting: 1920s to 1930s <ul><li>In its infancy, radio was a very new technology and it was not originally thought of as a profit making entity </li></ul>
  12. 12. How long did you think THAT would last? <ul><li>NBC & CBS emerged in the 20s </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>This new media became very profitable. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Congress Passes The Communications Act of 1934 <ul><li>Good News for Rich Guys: Act helped further deregulate and privatize broadcasting </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  14. 14. So what can we conclude from this? <ul><li>Public interest over pure profit was still the theory </li></ul>
  15. 15. Fairness Doctrine <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
  16. 16. The NEO-LIBERAL PERIOD: <ul><li>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… </li></ul>
  17. 17. Neo-Liberal Means: <ul><li>Virtually a total free market </li></ul><ul><li>Very few restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, Big Media companies could gorge themselves on their weaker competitors </li></ul>
  18. 18. 1996 Telecommunications Act: <ul><li>This Act lifted regulations and ownership restrictions from commercial media and communications companies </li></ul><ul><li>Media Moguls rejoiced! </li></ul>
  19. 19. The aftermath of the signing of this bill: <ul><li>Cable rates rose 50% between 1996 & 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Media no longer regulated in a manner that served the public good </li></ul><ul><li>Seven major corporations now control about 90% of the market </li></ul>
  20. 20. What does it all mean? What are the dangers? Why should I care?
  21. 21. These questions will be explored in this unit