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Critics point to two problems with this perspective.First, they claim that limited‐effects theory ignores the media's role in framing and limiting the discussion and debate of issues.While most people argue that a corporate elite controls media, a variation on this approach argues that a politically “liberal” elite controls media.
Only in recent times have actors, singers, and other social elites become celebrities or “stars.” The current level of media saturation has not always existed.
As recently as the 1960s and 1970s, television, for example, consisted of primarily three networks, public broadcasting, and a few local independent stations.
They contend that those less powerful and not in control of media have often received full media coverage and subsequent support.
As examples they name numerous environmental causes, the anti‐nuclear movement, the anti‐Vietnam movement, and the pro‐Gulf War movement.
Mass media is a significant force in modern culture, particularly in America.
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Sociologists refer to this as a mediated culture where media reflects and creates the culture.This widespread availability and exposure makes television the primary focus of most mass‐media discussions.More recently, the Internet has increased its role exponentially as more businesses and households “sign on.” Although TV and the Internet have dominated the mass media, movies and magazines—particularly those lining the aisles at grocery checkout stands—also play a powerful role in culture, as do other forms of media. Legislatures, media executives, local school officials, and sociologists have all debated this controversial question.Communities and individuals are bombarded constantly with messages from a multitude of sources including TV, billboards, and magazines, to name a few.These messages promote not only products, but moods, attitudes, and a sense of what is and is not important.The class‐dominant theory argues that the media reflects and projects the view of a minority elite, which controls it.Those people who own and control the corporations that produce media comprise this elite.Mass media makes possible the concept of celebrity: without the ability of movies, magazines, and news media to reach across thousands of miles, people could not become famous.In fact, only political and business leaders, as well as the few notorious outlaws, were famous in the past.For example, owners can easily avoid or silence stories that expose unethical corporate behavior or hold corporations responsible for their actions. Thus, news organizations may shy away from negative stories about corporations (especially parent corporations) that finance large advertising campaigns in their newspaper or on their stations.Television networks receiving millions of dollars in advertising from companies like Nike and other textile manufacturers were slow to run stories on their news shows about possible human‐rights violations by these companies in foreign countries.