Relationships and Media- Various colours that unfold in media institutions
When talking of relationships that concern media, we are faced with two aspects – those between media and other social establishments, and those within the media industry. Talking of the former, we cannot effectively understand the media industry without bearing in mind the social, economic, and political setting in which it exists. Institutions outside the control of media personnel set certain legal and economic confines within which the media must function. In turn, media have agency in the sense of acting on their own and perchance affecting other social institutions.
In the real world, there is constantly a blend of structural limitation and autonomous agency. Media researchers consequently examine questions like the following: Does advertising revenue impact the content of popular magazines? Should music lyrics be rated as movies are? How have media influenced the administration of political campaigns? Etc.
Next, to appreciate decisions taken by journalists, writers, producers, filmmakers, media executives, and other media personnel, we must comprehend the context in which they labour. The sociological stress here is on social positions, roles, and practices, and not on specific individuals. Within the media industry, the tension between structure and agency is related principally to how much independence media personnel have in doing their work, which will differ depending on the position an individual occupies. The questions so raised include the following: To what extent do standard journalistic practices form the process of news reporting or the content of the news? How much do economic concerns enter into the decision-making procedure of movie-making in general? How much at liberty are musicians to produce their music? In the terms of sociology, structural considerations might considerably influence the individual agency of media personnel. At the same time, the collective agency of those who work in the media has the prospective to modify the structures that restrain individual media professionals.