Critical Political Economy

Media and communication are not just the results of technical inventions, but of two-stage process of forming and “social institutionalizing”. These inventions only improved on the old ones, like films improved older optical media, etc. In the next phase of modification, new media has been introduced, to name a few, the periodical press, motion pictures and broadcasting. Social institutionalizing did a significant change in media. It discerns new opportunities of communication entering into a new phase. There are mainly two forms of media, namely, electronic and print.

These include broadcasting, for both radio and television; different types of discs or tape, which were mainly used for music, followed with video and computer uses, way back in the 20th century; films, mostly used for entertainment purposes, some use it for documentaries; internet, which tackle almost everything (entertainment, general information, videos, news, etc. ); publishing, pertaining to books, magazines and newspapers; computer games, which turned into a mass form of media, this includes PS2, Xbox, and the game cube.

It’s been long since media and communication innovated into a much advanced phase. Are Theoretical approaches cascaded for study sufficient for a better analysis and understanding on the new phase of media and communication? Critical Political Economy Media is both economic and cultural-political institutions and explores the interaction between the two. Critical Political Economy is trying to separate itself from conventional Marxist political economy which involved itself with media in relation to class and the exercise of power.

This approach has been castigated for presuming an unassertive audience. Critical political economy embraces the entire media process, like from the substance and ambience of media production to the process of completion, whereas traditional Marxist political economy focused almost exclusively on the production part. Moreover, critical political economy is concerned in exploring on how changes in the cluster of forces that applies control over cultural production limit or maybe liberate the public sphere.

It is concerned in commercialization, internationalization and conglomeration of media, policy and regulation and also the question of the democratization of access to the media. Political economy tries to consolidate other approaches that appeals for a more active audience and workers, respectively. These approaches include cultural studies and phenomenological approaches Critical Political Economy also assumes a fluent, dialectical and arranged relationship. A political economy of the South African media looks at the following aspects in media:

Transformation and trends in ownership (Press, TV, radio, etc. ) Policy and Regulation Public service broadcasting in South Africa. Representation of arguments and issues in the “new South Africa” Audiences and audience segmentation, commercialization and internationalization Political economy has played a major role in media studies literature in the last quarter of the century. The theory gained prominence in media studies. Liberal Pluralism The liberal pluralist school came out of an analysis of the “mass society” tradition.

It also emerged out of liberal democracy. This approach argues that the key role of the media is to act as a check on the state. The focus is on media consumers rather than citizens. Social market liberals and free market liberals are identified as the two strands of liberal pluralism: Social market liberals support anti-monopoly media measure because such dominance is a threat to diversity while free market liberals oppose any form of content regulation and prefer free market regulation.

“The emphasis of pluralism is seen as an expression of a general post-modern suspicion of universalism and unifying discourses generally, but arguably it also constitutes a form of political rationality that directly concerns media and cultural policy. The emphasis of pluralism, however, will inevitably create its own problems in both theory and practice. As McLennan (1995) notes, it may seem that all things plural, diverse and open-ended are automatically to be regarded as good. “ Against Naive Pluralism in media politics: On the implications of the radical-pluralist approach to the public sphere