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We cannot study the media apart from the context of their economic political historical technological and cultural relationships Grossberg et al 19987 Today the media plays a massive role in our lives Yet we do not often question the ideologies that are put forth In studying the media it is imperative we take into account the political and economic relationships operating As this essay will discuss it is the relationships between these two namely governments and media conglomerates that closely shape the media we receive This inter relation is constantly influencing the media as they struggle for power and control We cannot study the media today without taking into account both economics and politics As governments have privatised the media they have introduced laws and regulations in order for them to maintain some control over the industry In the case of many television and radio stations by ensuring licenses are needed to operate they are exercising power over media companies These laws are a way for the government to regulate the industry and ensure that the messages disseminated through these media support their ideas For example television stations have to adhere to rules regarding offensive language The state is not only a regulator of communication institutions It is itself a communicator of enormous power Golding Murdoch 1988 p23 So far in discussing politics I have been assuming the society was democratic However it is important to note that in some countries the government goes to extreme measures in order to control the media For example this was evident only recently in Zimbabwes political election President Robert Mugabe literally censored the media before the election as he feared he would lose to the opposition He did this by implementing laws that would punish those who spoke out against him In doing this he abused his governmental power over the media This highlights the medias need to keep
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