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Political Economy of Mass Media

Political Economy of Mass Media

The media promotes the dominant ideas of the ruling class. This is seen according to the political economy approach of the mass media. Despite the autonomous nature of the media, modern mass communication has contributed to the division of the society into various levels based on socio-economic status or power. This new classes create new ways of domination. This is an obstacle to liberation.

According to the “National Post”, there are Journalists who finished their last working day in an Independent news website in Moscow on 14th of March. This is after the owner of the Lenta.ru website fired its chief editor after the complaints on the newspaper’s coverage on Ukraine. This can be explained according to political economy in the media.

The reason the journalists were fired was because of the negative response to their article. Negative response in political economy of the mass media comes in several ways. This includes petitions, letters, telegrams, law suits, phone calls, Bills and Speeches before modes of complaints such as congress. Business organizations sometimes come together and go against an article. Complaints about the article published by the journalists and the chief editor are is the reason they were fired.

The news article is written from the Russian point of view. The story accuses the opposition of shooting people in the protests says the western countries are behind it. According to political economy of journalism, this is anti-communism (Pedro, 2011). Anti-communism is the identification of the evil dictator or the enemy. According to the Russian point of view, the enemy is Ukraine and the Western countries since they are accused of killing the pro-Russian protestors.

Demonisation of the enemy is important because it justifies strategic geopolitical maneuvering. It also protects corporate interests all over the world. Pointing out an enemy is important as it also justifies military adventurism abroad. This is a source of profit for big businesses as it terrifies population allowing them to support the production of military arms.

NTV which is owned by the media arm of gas giant Gazprom’s aired a report of an email correspondence between Ukrainian officials and the United States on plans of planning attacks on military jets. This story claims that this was an excuse for the United States to act against Russia. Also, news shows which are widely watched claim that the protesters who were shot dead would have been hired by the opposition.

The ownership of NTV shows that corporate ownership of a media house shapes the editorial context. The owners of a media house are the people who agree on what information should be passed to the public (Fenton, 2007). Media production is controlled by large corporations and moulds information according to their strategies and interests. Therefore, the gas giants were acting on their companies interests when they made a choice on the Country they would choose to support on the ownership of Crimes.

According to the newspaper article on the “National Post” sources of information in are federal Television Stations. The article further says that the stations have been conducting a brainwashing exercise on its viewers. For instance, one of the two federal stations which is allowed to broadcast repeats a clip which blears the national anthem of Russia and the slogan “Together with Russia” The authorities in Ukraine have reacted to the negative publicity from Russia by blocking Russian television channels.

In political economy, sourcing is an important part of mass media news (Fenton, 2007). Before showing news or sharing information, having a valid source is important for the news (Pedro, 2011). In the case of Crimea news, the best source for the news story was the Federal television Stations. This is because they were the source with good first information which was also firsthand. The problem with news from the federal television stations is that the news is bias as the state would paint a good picture for itself.

Another television station which broadcast in Crimea is ATR. This television station is managed by representatives Crimean Tata community peninsula that supports the Kiev government. Because the television station supports the Kiev governments, the station would be biased because of the corporate ownership and would show biased news instead of showing all the sides of the story so that the residents can choose their own side (McChesney, 2008).

There is also a channel which has a logo of “United Country”. This channel shows interviews done on the streets. The interviews are of people saying that Crimea should remain part of Ukraine. Journalists who have been on the field covering the events in Crimea have been assaulted and intimidated by militia forces that are pro-Russian making it hard for the journalists to give a full picture of the story. This shows anti-communism as the Russians are portrayed as the enemy (Phillips, Hutchins &Stewart, 2005).

In conclusion, political economy in the media is seen in many ways. This is seen in the negative response to media which results to the media house making changes to keep their viewers and ensuring news stories have powerful sources and that media resources are concentrated in areas prone to large news stories. Other aspects of political economy seen from the on pro-Russian Crimea propaganda are anti-communism and corporate ownership of media which affects the politics in the media.


Fenton, N. (2007). Bridging the Mythical Divide: Political Economy and Cultural Studies Approaches to the Analysis of the Media. France: Devereux-3566

McChesney, R. (2008). The Political Economy of Media: Endurig Issues, Emerging Dilemmas. United States: Monthly review Press.

Pedro, J. (2011) “The Propaganda Model in the Early 21st Century. Part I.” International Journal of Communication, 5, 1865–1905.

, Chippenham: Palgrave. The Political Economy of SportPhillips, M., Hutchins, B. & Stewart, B. (2005). “The Media Sport Cultural Complex: Football and Fan Resistance in Australia” in J. Nauright & K.S. Schimmel, eds.

ww2.nationalpost.com/2014/03/15/russias-propaganda-war-on-ukraine-reaches-soviet-levels- ahead-of-crimea-vote