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The power over and of the media

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  1. Introduction
  2. The emergence of the internet and the development of media technologies
  3. A brief study on the economy of Burma and the impact of media
  4. Government influence in the media
  5. Bush administration and Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq
  6. Dominance of the government in American media
  7. Transnational media corporations and their role
  8. Conclusion
  9. Bibliography

Today we live in an ?Age of Information?. The emergence of the internet and the development of media technologies has not only increased the availability of information, but also the speed at which it is distributed. The combination of high-speed and widespread access to information has allowed the world to become more knowledgeable about more things. Information is the foundation of our knowledge: it shapes the way we think and how perceive the world. Consequently, as much as information can enlighten, it also has the dangerous power to deceive. In this Age of Information, it is essential to consider who is behind the projection of information into the world. Who controls the flow and access to information and what are the agendas of these authorities? The authorities that significantly influence the media are those who have the power and the money.

Authoritarian regimes of developing countries, such as Burma, have complete control over the media and can, thereby, control what people know and don't know about the aggressiveness of the regime and about the rest of the world.

[...] Most of the media in the world?TV networks, publishing companies, radio, magazines, the internet and more?are owned by 5 major media corporations: AOL/Time Warner, Bertelsmann, Viacom, News Corp and Disney. The consolidation of media at such a large scale has countless implications. The power of these corporations leads to the marginalization of smaller independent media companies that represent alternative perspectives. Often times, the viewpoints of these independent companies are more reliable because they are not as pressured by wealthy media corporations that fund them, to spin certain stories in a particular way. [...]

[...] Most media companies, that are part of the five large media conglomerates, are very well known companies and are the source of daily news for most people. This is problematic because the average citizen is not going to make an extra effort to try and look for alternative news sources that would present more perspectives. Most people are not aware of media concentration and if they were, would not see anything problematic. It is easier to remain a passive viewer of biased news that does the interpreting for you. [...]

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