A political economic issue that is concerning me in today’s world is the control of ideologies and media. This issue is becoming very serious because media corporations are trying to spread ideas and take control of the flow of information. Controlling the media will lead to more power, money and how they influence society. For example, There use to be 45 media companies in the last 30 years but the number has dwindled to only 5 (Berberick). Comcast is the leading company of the “Big 5” media companies that is trying to take over the industry followed by Disney, Time Warner, Viacom and News Corp. However, Comcast is planning to monopolize the media industry by buying out all of its competition. This could affect consumers drastically because prices can go up as they will have on other option but to get everything from Comcast. At this very moment, Comcast proposed a deal to merge with Time Warner for 45 Billion dollars. If this goes through, Comcast is one-step closer to controlling the entire media industry. This will give them the power to control what we see on television, read in newspapers and hear on radios. Comcast will not only expand through the media industry but also do exactly what they did with Batman in “Holy Commodity Fetish, Batman!” by Ellen R. Meehan reading.
In the reading, it shows that many of these companies are trying to gain power and more money by vertical integration. From what I learned in my Comm 405: Political Economics of Communication class, vertical integration is the ability to produce, distribute and exhibit a product (Berberick). An example of vertical integration found in the reading was Batman. Batman became so popular in the United States that it became a gold mine to make money. They started using Batman to make money off it by producing movies of Batman, making t-shirts, videogames, toys etc… Anything that had to do with Batman, they used to make profit (Meehan). The similarities between Batman in the reading and Comcast are virtually identical because Comcast will decrease cost and increase profit by supplying cable, producing movies, televising shows, advertising, making toys from movies, and owning amusement parks handled by unpaid interns. This will give Comcast the power to control every form of media. In other words, all of our information we see, hear, and think is important will be controlled by Comcast.
In conclusion, corporations such as Comcast are trying to control ideologies such as what society norms and values should be, and take complete control of the media to gain power, profit and influence society. Companies only care about capitalism and are using vertical integration to maximize profit as seen in the reading with Batman.
Berberick, Stevie . “Political Econ Of Comm.” Class lecture. Penn State, State College. 20 Jan. 2015. Lecture.
“Introduction to Sociology.” Introduction to Sociology. 12 Apr. 2012. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.
Meehan, Ellen R. Holy Commodity Fetish, Batman!”:The Political Economy of a Commercial Intertext. 48-62. PDF.
Noguchi, Yuki. “Comcast-Time Warner Deal Tops A Year Of Corporate Mergers.” Comcast-Time Warner Deal Tops A Year Of Corporate Mergers. 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.