Media Ownership and Agenda Control: The hidden limits of the information age, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Media Ownership and Agenda Control

The hidden limits of the information age, 1st Edition

By Justin Schlosberg


180 pages

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Paperback: 9781138775466
pub: 2016-11-28
Hardback: 9781138775459
pub: 2016-11-29
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315766164
pub: 2016-11-10
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Media Ownership and Agenda Control offers a detailed examination of media ownership amidst the complexities of the information age, from the resurgence of press barons to the new influence wielded by internet giants. Much of the discussion pivots around recent revelations and controversies in the media industry, such as the findings published in 2012 from the Leveson Inquiry, the US Federal Communications Commission’s ruling on net neutrality in 2015, Edward Snowden’s decision to leak National Security Agency (NSA) documents in 2013 and the legal battles over ancillary copyrights waged in Germany and elsewhere. Justin Schlosberg traces the obscure and often unnoticed ways in which agendas continue to be shaped by a small number of individual and institutional megaphones, despite the rise of grassroots and participatory platforms, and despite ubiquitous displays of adversarial journalism. Above all, it explores the web of connections and interdependence that binds old and new media gatekeepers, and cements them to the surveillance and warfare state. This ultimately foregrounds the book’s call for a radical rethink of ownership regulation, situating the movement for progressive media reform alongside wider struggles against the iniquities and injustices of global capitalism.

This book’s re-evaluation of the nature of media ownership and control in a postdigital world will prove to be an invaluable resource for students of media studies and journalism, as well as all those with an interest in the changing dynamics of media power.

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Professor Greg Philo, Glasgow Media Group: "a really excellent account of how agenda control in the information age is secured through alliances between political, economic and media elites. It is essential reading for contemporary social science and media studies - and especially for students and teachers interested in how communications relate to political and economic power"

Paul Mason, author and journalist: "In an analytical tour de force, Schlosberg weaves through the complexities of media political economy in the 21st century, illuminating the often unseen ways in which both old and new forms of media power are coalescing and deeply impacting on the mainstream agenda. A must read for anyone with a concern for the media’s enduring potential to distort public debate and subvert democracy, as well as how things could be different."

Professor Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths College: "This is a vitally important book for anyone interested in the relationship between media, power and democracy. With deftness and critical diligence, Schlosberg redefines debates over media ownership and control for the digital age. He reveals that far from power waning in a world of media abundance, the agenda influencing power of major media brands is in fact evolving. And then he tells us what we can do about it. Brilliant."

Ken Loach: 'Justin Schlosberg asks a question central to our democracy: who writes the news? Who do they represent? What are the ideas and interests they defend? This book will be an invaluable contribution to understanding who controls the flow and interpretation of news and, further, how we should establish a press that is genuinely free.’

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Part One: Heard and not Seen

  1. Introduction
  2. Behind Closed Doors
  3. The Art of the Impossible
  4. Part Two: Dispersal

  5. Dismantling the Gates
  6. Proliferation
  7. Endurance and Resurgence
  8. Two-sided Preferences
  9. Part Three: Transferral

  10. Directing the Flow
  11. Getting to Know You
  12. The Tyranny of Automation
  13. Manual Control
  14. Part Four: Co-existence

  15. The Long and the Short of it
  16. Big Headedness
  17. The Media-Technology-Military-Industrial Complex
  18. Part Five: Demanding the Impossible

  19. Sources of Control

XVI. The Politics of Measurement

XVII. Safeguards and Remedies

XVIII. Conclusion



About the Author

Justin Schlosberg is a media lecturer, researcher and activist based at Birkbeck College, University of London, and current Chair of the Media Reform Coalition.

About the Series

Communication and Society

This series encompasses the broad field of media and cultural studies. Its main concerns are the media and the public sphere: on whether the media empower or fail to empower popular forces in society; media organizations and public policy; political communication; and the role of media entertainment, ranging from potboilers and the human interest story to rock music and TV sport.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies