Media Capitalism

Topics: Mass media, Advertising, Concentration of media ownership Pages: 6 (1694 words) Published: March 31, 2013

Throughout the centuries, media has played a key role in the development of companies and in the incubation of capitalism mutations. The history of media shows that media and its effects have been around since the beginning of humanity and have been conglomerating into different nations developing the methods of communication. According to the French radical theoretician Regis Debray, there are “three historical ages of transmission technologies: the logo-sphere, the grapho-sphere, and the newly born video-sphere” (Griscom, 2009). Indeed, these ages recall the use of different ways of media throughout different periods of time. The logo-sphere the age of writings, technology, and faith; whereas the grapho-sphere is the age of print, political ideologies, and laws; and the video-sphere is the age of multimedia broadcasting, models, and opinions. In the German Ideology, Marx said that “the class which has the means of material production at its disposal has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it” (McChesney, 2009). Therefore, we can say that media now plays a salient role in shaping the information distributed and consumed by the society, but also the powers of perception, the political, social and economic systems, and the building of truth. Throughout the eras, media has been invading different realms and sectors; Since Marx’s time, “the means of mental production in society have expanded into a globalizing capitalist media and cultural industry that encompasses both print and electronic mediums, news and entertainment” (McChesney, 2009). A huge number of companies have launched their businesses to the global market. They consider the global market as a profitable market where they can expend their products. Modern capitalism is not about family businesses but those of big corporations. These companies can raise capital from banks to finance their growth instead of getting debts. To reach their goals, these institutions need a legal structure, a stock market and access to relevant information which is media. Media dispose of a unique privilege which is the monopoly of information flow all around the world. The abundance of new media mean and new social networks have been considered as a way of pluralism and freedom of expression. In fact, large Multinational and banks are the ones controlling the media concentration. Thus, the aim behind this paper is to discuss the use of media in the implementation of capitalism into the society using the case of Media Capitalism in Egypt.

Media Capitalism

If in medieval times the approach to a city was dominated by the spires of its castles, nowadays it is clear that high buildings become the predominant once; which means that spaces reserved to business activities is becoming larger and powerful. All business activities necessitate strategic planning, clear processes, and a good system of information. Thus, having a good system of interchanging information is a very important matter. Media is an essential tool in communicating information; “it is one of the key areas in society where power is exercised, reinforced and contested” (McChesney, 2009). We cannot imagine the elections, the political projects, and high investments without a media platform. Before the 20th century, few mass produced commercial media products were consumed. Later things started changing; Capitalism became the dominant way of distributing and producing information to the society. According to McChesney, it is at this period where “media has become central to politics” (McChesney, 2009). A widely held and reiterated argument for capitalism is that it is a brilliant complement to democracy; that the two systems, economic and political respectively, go together hand in hand. The justification of this...
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