What is The Mainstream Media

The Mainstream media is the collective grouping of news, entertainment, and information services in the world.  They both reflect the general understanding of the US cultural worldview, and also serve to shape it, in a balancing act that typically pits the corporate drive for profits against the goal of informing people about the world around them.

In the world of the mainstream media, there are six primary outlets:

  • Comcast
  • News Corporation
  • Time Warner
  • Walt Disney
  • Viacom
  • CBS Corporation

Between these six companies, 90% of the news, television, films, and related mainstream media is controlled or dominated. In 1983, there were 50 companies that controlled that much, thus signifcantly restructuring the amount of information we see.

Print Media is dominated by the following publications, to join the above:

  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post
  • The Los Angeles Times
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • USA Today

These are the most widely read and most influential newspapers in the US. However, they are not the only newspapers, and while the influence of print media has waned dramatically, it is local newspapers that have a dramatic impact. Gannet, Hearst, Knight Ridder, McClatchy, and an assortment of other fairly large companies dominate this area.

It is also important to note that since the late 1960’s, an often overlooked and extremely powerful of mainstream media is the entirety of advertising  This overlooking of them is intentional, as for them to be recognized as such undermines some of their influence.

The largest of these in the US are

  • Omnicom Group, New York City
  • Interpublic Group, New York City
  • Accenture Interactive (Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN)
  • Deloitte Digital (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu)
  • DJE Holdings
  • Epsilon (Alliance Data Systems Corporation (NYSE:ADS)
  • Experian Marketing Services (Experian plc (LON:EXPN)
  • IBM Interactive Experience (International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)
  • Interpublic Group of Companies Inc (NYSE:IPG)
  • MDC Partners Inc (NASDAQ:MDCA)
  • Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC)
  • PwC Digital Services (PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Finally, to all of the above are the major Internet News efforts and the largest News aggregates.

Reuters and The Associated Press comprise the largest Aggregation sources, with Reuters standing out as a news gathering organization in its own right, unlike the AP. The AP draws from the members of the Association for news, which is then picked up and added to by local reporters.

That said, internet sites such as AOL News and Yahoo News are significant aggregate sites that still receive very high visit and share of traffic.

Internet News is still extraordinarily new, and so much of it is dominated by organizations linked to those previously noted above.  The most potent of those are as follows, in no particular order:

  • MSNBC
  • FOX News
  • CNN
  • New York Times
  • The Guardian (UK based)
  • ABC News
  • The Huffington Post
  • Washington Post
  • USA Today
  • LA Times
  • BBC
  • CBS News
  • NBC News
  • Breitbart

These sites heavily influence the patterns of news sharing on social media (which is also affected by smaller, more niche media that is not, functionally, mainstream, such as Politico or The Hill).

So, by looking at this page, we now have a very good idea of who the mainstream media is, and, therefore, when people talk about the mainstream media, we can see that it encompasses, magazines, comic books, movies, television shows, advertising, internet news and entertainment, books (fiction and non fiction), and even the companies that provide telecommunications.

This is posted here so that people can see what is meant by mainstream media, and in so doing, recognize that “mainstream media” is nothing one can dismiss easily, readily, or without damaging your ability to understand the world (as well as to prevent damage, in some notable cases).