This new chapter by Maria Michalis, and published in The Routledge Companion to Media Industries is about media policy research. It starts by establishing the fundamental significance of media policy in any society. It explains that media policy matters because the media matter in that they have power. One cannot study the media industries without taking into account media policy. The chapter moves on to define media policy, its main elements, forms, and levels. It notes how in recent years in response to the dominance of neoliberal economic policies, the rise of surveillance capitalism, the concertation of formidable power in a handful of global platforms, and evidence of mis- and dis-information, there is renewed attention to communication rights and a wider conceptualization of media policy as social policy. The concept of power (visible, invisible, and structural) is central to policy analyses. This is relevant to all aspects of the policymaking process, not simply decisions but also agenda setting, policy formulation, and implementation. The chapter then discusses the key elements in policy research: institutions, actors’ preferences and networks, individuals, the wider context of political and socioeconomic conditions, and ideas. It calls for research that tries to capture as many of these elements as possible with the aim to offer an explanatory, not simply descriptive, account of policy by placing it within existing technological, socioeconomic, and institutional power relations with a view to advancing policies that promote the public interest.
The Routledge Companion to Media Industries brings together 49 chapters from leading experts in media industries research, this major collection offers an authoritative overview of the current state of scholarship while setting out proposals for expanding, re-thinking and innovating the field.
Media industries occupy a central place in modern societies, producing, circulating, and presenting the multitude of cultural forms and experiences we encounter in our daily lives. The chapters in this volume begin by outlining key conceptual and critical perspectives while also presenting original interventions to prompt new lines of inquiry. Other chapters then examine the impact of digitalization on the media industries, intersections formed between industries or across geographic territories, and the practices of doing media industries research and teaching. General ideas and arguments are illustrated through specific examples and case studies drawn from a range of media sectors, including advertising, publishing, comics, news, music, film, television, branded entertainment, live cinema experiences, social media, and music video.
Making a vital and significant contribution to media research, this volume is essential reading for students and academics seeking to understand and evaluate the work of the media industries.