The media plays a pivotal role in America’s political system. Since the creation of the constitution, the media has exercised freedoms of speech and rights of association extensively. This practice lured domestic and foreign interests because of the immense influence it held on the people. Industrialists and corporate heads made use of early modes of communication to advertise their products and services. This trend continued for two centuries as technologies used by the media spread and became easier for the people to own and equally easy for media heads to control. The democratic aspect of the media began changing radically during the twentieth century as the role of the media during both World Wars and the Cold War revealed its almost omnipotent characteristic. Today, political figures can openly alter the content a media house broadcasts in their own favor. Likewise for corporations that own the same media houses. This trend has led scholars and investigative researchers to question the democratic nature of the media in United States’ political system. The following paper explores and critically analyzes these academics’ works to provide a deeper insight into the democratic deficit or anti-democratic nature of the media in modern American politics.
Since 2000, transnational media groups have surfaced and developed together with other global corporations. While there have been media houses essentially prior to the 1990s, a worldwide commercial media market surfaced during the early 2000s (Engesser 274).