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What’s the Impact of Political Memes?

This political season has been fraught with them: political memes.  Pictures and videos combined with political messages to comment on and/or parody some aspect of the various campaigns engulfing various parts of the nation.  From “binders full of women” to “the 47%”, people have been using social media and the phenomenon of Internet memes to express their political ideas, and perhaps indirectly their political allegiances. … Continue reading What’s the Impact of Political Memes?

On Transgressing Audiencehood: Web 2.0, Interactivity, and Becoming What We’ve Always Been

I think I have now determined what my main research trajectory will be, and I wanted to take the opportunity to organize these thoughts to provide the beginning of a structure for how to organize my research, past, present and future. For awhile now, I’ve been convinced that how the new media has affected our understanding of “audience” is by highlighting certain behaviors that have … Continue reading On Transgressing Audiencehood: Web 2.0, Interactivity, and Becoming What We’ve Always Been

Whose Voices?: The elite versus the public in the game of merger mania

(I wrote this back in 1999, as part of my consternation about the rise of media mergers after the 1996 Telecommunications Act.  Unfortunately, such consternation has not abated: in fact, they might have gotten worse with the rise of predominance of the Internet.)

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Forget Pokémon.  Merger mania is the real game sweeping the nation.  In fact, if it wasn’t for merger mania, Pokémon wouldn’t be the selling force it is.  Time/Warner Inc. was able to take a simple Japanese game and market it to exhaustion.  How did they do this?  Because they are a synergistic media conglomerate and one of the first players in merger mania.  These days, mergers in various industries are an almost everyday occurrence in an atmosphere of convergence and deregulation.  However, the mergers in the telecommunications and media industries receive the most attention, which is typically focused on how the mergers will impact two issues: competition and diversity.  Will there be enough competition to benefit the customers?  How will centralized ownership affect democratic access?  Competition is on track to remain because the number of corporations across medium and technology do not appear in danger; the voices of the elite will remain numerous.  However, diversity will suffer as access to the mediums is closed to a variety of people who do not mirror the ideology of the controlling corporations.  The voices of the public will be shouted down by those of the elite unless some outside force steps in.

Continue reading “Whose Voices?: The elite versus the public in the game of merger mania”