Since the early 1980s there has been a dramatic restructuring of national media industries, along with the emergence of a genuinely global commercial media market. The newly developing global media system is dominated by three or four dozen large transitional corporations (TNCs), with fewer than ten mostly U.S.-based media conglomerates towering over the global market. In addition to the centralization of media power, the major feature of the global media order is its thoroughgoing commercialism, and an associated marked declined in the relative importance of public broadcasting and the applicability of public service standards. Such a concentration of media power in organizations dependent on advertiser support and responsible primarily to shareholders is a clear and present danger to citizens’ participation in public affairs, understanding of public issues, and thus to the effective working of democracy.
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