‘Money makes the world go round’, John Kander sang the truth. Today, if you asked 10 people to think of a word that correlates with money you would be surprised at how many people would automatically and without hesitation respond with the word power. For me it would definitely be the first word that came to mind and this is because today we can see in so many arenas where with money comes power. If we look in almost all sectors that are prevalent in the world today this can be seen. For example, in the media sector, sports sector and even the political sector. It is true that money generally affects the production and distribution in these sectors. This ties in with the political economy in regards to media and how power and money affects the outgoing content and distribution of mass media.
For example, if we look at the media industry in the printing arena to be exact, media mogul Mr. Rupert Murdoch owns a global media conglomerate. With this type of monopoly Mr. Murdoch, I am sure he has his main objectives and this won’t go against itself however, at some point in fact in many instances I gather he would determine and vet what all news or information will be shared by his companies to the masses. With this type of power and wealth it is no doubt that Mr. Murdoch’s influence or agenda is being pushed or that his influence does not affect the outgoing content and distribution through his channels in the media industry.
Another quote that I found very accommodating in explaining political economy and its affects not only in the political or economical sphere but also almost every sphere existing in society is one stated in the book Media and Cultural Studies. Durham and Kellner states,
“Hence political economy does not merely pertain solely to economics, but to the relations between the economic, political, technological, and cultural dimensions of social reality.”
This basically sums up the fact that in almost every sector if not all we can see how the political economy can manipulate even our culture which essentially affects the masses.
In the 1992 documentary Manufacturing Consent, the film presents the political ideas of Noam Chomsky and the media. There were some media theorists who critiqued this documentary. However, Durham and Kellner also stated, “Most notably, Herman and Chomsky remind us that in a nominal democracy with serious inequities of wealth and power, the media can function to ‘manufacture consent’ to policies that rarely represent the voices or interests of the majority of readers and citizens.” This made me think of a new angle now. Not only are persons in ‘high power’ manipulating what content the media is fed it seems that it is possible that they seldom represent the masses whom are the main audience. However, I am aware that this may not be the case in every instance but because of the inequity or one-sidedness that still exist, there are persons ‘in power’ who actually feel that they hold the right themselves to use this power in whatever way the please even if it only benefits them.