Media Ownership and Concentration in America

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The concentration of private power over media has been the subject of intense public debate around the world. Critics have long feared waves of mergers creating a handful of large media firms that would hold sway over public opinion and endanger democracy and innovation. But others believe with equal fervor that the Internet and deregulation have opened the media landscape significantly. How concentrated has the American information sector really become? What are the facts about American media ownership?

In this contentious environment, Eli Noam provides a comprehensive and balanced survey of media concentration with a methodical, scientific approach. He assembles a wealth of data from the last 25 years about mass media such as radio, television, film, music, and print publishing, as well as the Internet, telecommunications, and media-related information technology. After examining 100 separate media and network industries in detail, Noam provides a powerful summary and analysis of concentration trends across industries and major media sectors. He also looks at local media power, vertical concentration, and the changing nature of media ownership through financial institutions and private equity. The results reveal a reality much more complex than the one painted by advocates on either side of the debate. They show a dynamic system that fluctuates around long-term concentration trends driven by changing economics and technology.

Media Ownership and Concentration in America will be essential reading and a trove of information for scholars and students in media, telecommunications, IT, economics, and the history of business, as well as media industry professionals, business researchers, and policy makers around the world. Critics and defenders of media trends alike will find much that confirms and refutes their world view. But the next round of their debate will be shaped by the facts presented in this book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Media Ownership and Concentration in Americas gestation period was roughly 10 years. It was worth the wait.... [Noam] is data driven and he has amassed far more data, over a far greater landscape, than any single work has before.... I highly recommend this book to anyone with a smidgeon of interest in where we've been, why we're where we are, and where we might be going in the media competition environment."—Journal of Media Economics

"Media and Concentration in America is a remarkable volume. Noam sweeps away theories, claims, and innuendo, replacing it with a cross-cutting model and evidence and insight about the evolution of the information economy in America during a critical two-decade period. It is the best and most comprehensive volume on the state of media concentration as of 2005 and nothing of this scope is likely to emerge again anytime soon. Researchers will find it extremely valuable to refer to it and build on it going forward."—International Journal of Communication

"Sophisticated and meaningful...[a] thorough, empirical investigation of market structure and ownership within the information sector. This incisive work is an important contribution to the public policy debate concerning the issue of private power over the media.... This important book includes a wealth of data...that should guide the public policy debate regarding media trends. Highly recommended."—CHOICE

"Media Ownership and Concentration in America is a very important book on a topic of continuing controversy. A long-time professor of economics and finance at Columbia University, and a prolific author, Noam has worked on this study and its data for more than a dozen years, the result being a vitally useful book on the ongoing debates about potential government control over media ownership... Unlike many previous authors writing about these topics, Noam brings the tools of both economics and finance to bear in his analyses and definitions. The result is a book filled with data and insight that may help to change some of the ongoing debate in Washington and elsewhere." —Chris Sterling, George Washington University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195188523
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/19/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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