Sunday, October 18, 2009

Media and Power

I found Castell's article extremely interesting, as it simplified the power structure of media and politics, while emphasizing the strong correlation. Castells notes that TV is the largest vehicle of communication that connects politics and citizens, but that it is largely controlled by politicians and news feeds. This interesting relationship seems one-sided and categorizes the viewer as a passive recipient of the media. I also agree with Castell's assertion that a nation states' nationalism disappears with the increase in global governance, and "its legitimacy has dwindled."

This article encouraged me to rethink the media's role, especially as a medium controlled by politics. Castell's correlation between media output and citizen information is intresting, as it suggests that we only know that which we can consume. He writes, "What does not exist in the media does not exist in the public mind”(241). This quote gives me a negative impression of the media, as it seems to increasingly exploit the viewer for political gain.


  1. Hi Zoe, I was wondering how Castells determined that TV is the largest vehicle of communication that connects politics and citizens. I think that this might be the case in developed countries. However, there are still many places that rely on radio as the primary form of media communication. The article definitely provided the reader with a different take on how media is controlled, in this case by politics.

  2. I thought about Castells' statement regarding TV's prominent role in connecting politics and citizens. While this has historically been the case, what with lots of air time devoted to political talk/debate shows, the internet seems to be quickly catching up.

    Zoe, I agree with your concern regarding the statement that issues must exist in the media to exist in the public mind. I am also encouraged, though, because as "citizen journalism", blogging, etc. increases, so too does our exposure to stories we may have been missing. Perhaps this complicated issue can help spur greater diversity in the media's telling of stories.

  3. I agree with Zoe and Liz's concerns/comments about what does not exist in the media not existing in the public mind. However, as the quantity of media increases, viewers become overwhelmed with the choices - or simply do not know about all of the choices outside of mainstream media. How do we ensure that they gain access to all points of view so that media can't deliberately hide or censor certain information. I think that is the challenge for media moving forward - how to move from quantity to quality to ensure transparency.