Whatever “media power” means, almost everyone thinks it is important. “It all,” wrote Roger Silverstone, “is about power in the end” (1999, 143). Great historians take the power of the media for granted, even as they worry about it: “as the 20th century ended, it became evident that the media were a more important component of the political process than parties and electoral systems… however… they were in no sense a means of democratic government,” writes Eric Hobsbawm (1995, 581–82). Media—understood to include all technologically based means of communication, means of organizing communication, information, and data—matter.

This essay may be found on page 145 of the printed volume.

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