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Sample Paper for Students Who Need to Write Media Essays

Essay, MLA, College
4 pages, 2 sources

Media is one of the most dynamic markets in the modern economy. That's why coming up with an actual topic for a media essay shouldn't be a big problem as the industry offers lots of them due to rapid changes in technology, communication channels, and the Internet, as well as approaches to journalism and business models. The sample below brings the overall overview of the latest developments in the area, prompting a broad selection of interesting ideas for various essays on media. Read it, get inspired, and get down to crafting a paper of your own! In case you need more practical writing assistance, ping PaperHelp customer managers, and they'll figure things out for you!

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Media Markets: Use of Rhetoric Tools in Broader Discussion of Media Conglomerates

In her memoirs "Warriors Don't Cry," Melba Beals uses different tools related to the discussion related to media conglomerates. Beals's book chronicles the events of 1957 during the Little Rock crisis, based in part on the diaries she kept during the period. Especially her use of sources such as Arkansas Democrat, The Associated Press Wire, and the New York Post was remarkable (Beals). She frequently comments on the problem of the concentration in mediatic space that increases in the case of highly concentrated oligopolistic markets, which is the basic form of most media markets. The higher the degree of concentration, the more power in the market passes from the consumer to the producer. This is a basic microeconomic theory. And this is also the main reason why the media policies of democracies have had a strong tendency to strengthen competitiveness. Where technology, capital needs, or other factors do not allow competition to be strengthened, democratic media policy often uses regulation to ensure that dominant media companies do not abuse their market forces to the detriment of the public.

As commented by WebFX Team, the market is divided into two kinds of dailies:

  • with pan-American coverage, which also has the highest total costs in the order of up to 2.5 million prints per day, including digital subscriptions entailing such prints as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, or the USA Today;
  • those published in large national cities. Of these conglomerates, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times have a pan-American reach.

All these periodicals offer a comprehensive mix of news - domestic, foreign, local, economic, while for most periodicals, the trend of reducing the number of foreign correspondents and simply taking over agency news continues.

Thanks to the merger and acquisition of smaller media companies, the media industry controls an ever-smaller number of increasingly larger and influential conglomerates. The concentration thus becomes a venue for a limited number of ideas and opinions in general.

The biggest advantage of these large conglomerates is synergy or cooperation in different parts of society, which would not be possible based on the functioning of individual parts separately. Thanks to such media, the company generates multiple profits from many concepts/projects in many areas. Growth and development are necessarily also related to the changing technologies that are for the media area in a sense key and decisive as well as one of the most distinctive features. The changes taking place are digitization and the growing role of the Internet, which is becoming dominant territory for media giants. Technology has transformed the media market, offering much more products. The vivid example here is an inexhaustible number of channels, which again, does not necessarily provide greater diversity in broadcast content but serves only to repeat the original creation.

The news often uses a realistic way of displaying events. However, this realism is just another type of stable way of representation and is used primarily to increase credibility. It is necessary to point out that no method of media processing is in its essence realistic, it is always something artificial, a construction. In some genres, this construction is perceived more and in others less, while some genres try to suppress art and divert the attention of viewers in a different direction. Reports are created according to certain rules, including the selection, reporting values, and massive simplification. According to the theory of agenda-setting, the media have the power to influence what will be talked about in society, what events will get into the media, and at the same time, the media can give these events varying degrees of importance based on their hierarchical arrangement. The media, therefore, determine which report is important, depending on where it ranks it in the news, while the most important is always the first report, the so-called opener. The media tend to look for and prioritize certain topics, giving the impression that this is an important event by getting into the media. Whether the topic will eventually appear in the media is influenced in media organizations by so-called gatekeepers, who decide what and how it will be processed. They are also affected by a large number of factors that influence their choice. Selecting and sorting messages is a fixed activity that follows many rules. One of the most important selection rules is intelligence values. These indicate the criteria according to which the media assess the value of the event and the possibility of its processing. The media select and measure events within a given culture and the respective ethnocentrism. How they present the topics is called framing. Framing includes not only aspects that are emphasized but also those that are lagged or eliminated. Again, the socio-cultural context plays an important role in how the topic is addressed.

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A significant factor that affects media production is the economic factor. The whole cultural sector tends to be so-called commercialized and commodified, leading us to consider information as goods in terms of its saleability. The media industry is following this trend and creates products that adapt to the market. This is also reflected in the news, where there is a tendency to present information entertainingly. This trend is referred to as infotainment - the combination of two English words 'information' and 'entertainment'. Infotainment manifests itself in various ways - from the use of graphics, musical background to informal and "fun" performances, so-called stand-ups of editors at the venue.

The tendency towards commercialization and commodification is also related to the issue of mainstream vs. alternative cultural products. Mainstream is the main media production, which should correspond to the majority taste and thus reach as many audiences as possible. Conventional content is considered to be produced mainly by large media organizations, while alternative texts are difficult to promote in this competition. Mainstream products most often correspond to the prevailing ideology, while independent media organizations can offer content with an alternative ideological meaning. The mainstream is not entirely resistant to innovation from independent producers. The problem is that when alternative texts get into the mainstream, they tend to adapt. A series of innovations are involved in the system and are gradually becoming mainstream, albeit partially transformed, with the growing role of commodification playing the most important role in this process.

Works Cited

  1. "The 6 Companies That Own (Almost) All Media". Webfx Blog, 2017, Accessed 24 Mar 2021.
  2. "Warriors Don't Cry". Simonandschuster.Com, 2021, Accessed 24 Mar 2021.
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