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We’ve talked about how broad a concept “the media” really is – and given that, it can be hard to keep track of all the different forces that constitute “the media.” It can be tough, but it’s not impossible. Today we’re talking about how all those big players fit together and why all those mergers and acquisitions matter to being a media literate citizen.



AT&T BREAKUP II : Highlights in the History of a Telecommunications Giant


The Federal Communications Commission and the Bell System: Abdication of Regulatory Responsibility

The Knight Foundation: How Youth Navigate the News Landscape

Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks

Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion


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CC Kids:
Different rules for different technologies. This is why some songs have radio edits, and why you have to bleep out the live TV when the Thanksgiving Parade hosts get too tipsy.

But the FCC doesn't currently have the same authority over companies like Facebook or Google, which means there is tons and tons of debate over whether they should.

Media ownership can be problematic enough. When one company dominates the means of production and creation on one product, consumers often get a lesser product. Without competition, innovation stagnates.

And when companies have too much control they can wreak havoc on our communication and culture. 

When tech companies that are also media companies don't act like it, they shirk the accountability that other media organizations have. The accountability that we as consumers, rely on.

Anit-trust regulations have their drawbacks. People who prefer less government intervention don't like them. The monopoly man certainly doesn't like them.

But they're often in the public's best interest to prevent exportation and encourage creativity. To be a media literate citizen is crucial to keep an eye on how these business combine, split up, and interact.

Their relationships with each other, affect our relationships with media.

Today we covered how huge corporations and their regulations impact our media environment. The macro stuff.

Next time on Crash Course: Media Literacy we're going micro. We'll take a look at how government policies impact how you, the consumer, absorb and create media.

Until then, I'm Jay Smooth.  See you next time.

Crash Course: Media Literacy is filmed in the Dr. Cheryl C. Kinney Studio in Missoula, Montana. It's made with the help of all of these nice people, and our animation team is Thought Cafe.

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