Faculty: Communication and Media Studies Department: Journalism & Media Studies
Course Code: CMS 405 Unit(s): 2 Semester: First
Course Title: Media Economics and Sustainability
Lecturer: Programme: B.Sc.
(A). BRIEF OVERVIEW OF COURSE
This is a two-in-one course which deals with two broad but related categories – media economics and media sustainability. The course explores the basic concepts, theories, and approaches of media economics. It is designed to expose students to the basics of how to use theoretical constructs in media economics to analyze media markets, industries, and the practices of media organizations. Students will learn how media economy has been shaped by multiple factors among which are technology, globalization, and regulation. New trends in media economy in the digital era, especially the rapid development of social media industries, will also be discussed extensively in this course. Media sustainability which is primarily concerned with the factors needed for independent media to develop, and make meaningful contributions to the society, will also be discussed. Students will also be exposed to factors in sustainability and examines what those starting and working in media need to be concerned about and what they can do to improve the sustainability of their operations. At the completion of this course, students would have learned how to utilize principles and theories in media economics and other constructs in this specialized field to analyze the media markets and industries. Students would also be conversant with critical issues on sustainability of the media in the face of a rapidly changing economy and media technology. Students will also have a clear understanding of the conditions that need to be pursued to make media in today’s dynamic, digital society.
(B). COURSE OBJECTIVES/GOALS
By the end of this course, students will have learned:
- Basic concepts and theories in media economics
- Economic forces that drive media industries, as well as the economic rationales for media regulations
- Factors that influence media economy (including technology, globalization, regulation and social aspects)
- Approaches to the study of media economics
- How to apply principles, and theories in media economics in analyzing media organizations and issues in media industries
- How to analyze the new trends in media industries and the driving forces underlying these new trends
- Analyze the development of New/social media industries and its influence on media economy
- Special issues in media industries (including finance and labor)
- The future of media economy and social media industry
- Business model of multi-platform media companies
- Meaning of media sustainability
- Importance of Media sustainability in the society
- Factors that influence media sustainability
(C). METHOD OF LECTURE DELIVERY
- Practical Classroom Sessions
(D). COURSE OUTLINE
Defining fundamental concepts of media economics
Principles of media economics
Relevance of media economics
2. Approaches to the Study of media economics
Political economy approach
3. Media Products
What is media product?
Concept of media goods
Two main components of media products
- Non-material components (media contents such as the written stories, broadcast media programmes, movies; media content as information goods, multipurpose goods, talent goods)
- Material components (tangible packages such as DVDs of movies, hard copies of newspapers, magazines)
Audience as product (many media survive through the sale of audience to advertisers; media organizations mostly attract adverts based on the ‘value’ of their audience or audience base)
Audience as consumer
Audience as producer in modern media market (user-generated contents)
4. The media industry
Components of the media industry
Stakeholders in the media industry (media owners, media workers, audience members, government, Advertisers, etc.)
How stakeholders influence media economics
5. Theories in media economics
Defining the basic concepts (theory, media economic theory)
Theories of media economics
Applying theories in media economics in analyzing media organizations and issues in media industries
6. Structure of Media Ownership
Cross media divergence
Share of ownership
Economic forces that drive media industries, as well as the
7. Economic Rationale for Media Regulation
What is media regulation?
Economic rationales for media regulations
Kinds of media regulation
- Media controlled by government (mostly exists in authoritarian societies)
- Regulation by government approved independent statutory regulators
- Voluntary media regulation
- Regulation based on pressure from the audience
8. Sources of Income for Media Organizations
Print media (newspapers, magazines)
Electronic media (radio, television, social media and other online media)
Entertainment Industry (music, movies, cinema)
Advertising as a major source of income for media organizations
9. Factors that influence media economy
Nature of the economy
10. Social Media Economics
Overview of the social media industry
Characteristics of the social media industries
Explore the business models of the social media industries.
Updated patterns of the social media industries
Role of news in the social media industries
How social media influence the economy
Development of New/social media industries and its influence on media economy
11. Issues in Media Economics
Finance and labor in the media economy
Basic concepts in financial management
Patterns of labour in media industries
Factors that influence labour in media i
The future of media economy
New trends in the media industry
12. Media Sustainability
Meaning of media sustainability
Importance of media sustainability in the society
Factors that influence media sustainability
Self-generating revenue streams
Effective governance and management of the media enterprise
Promotion of journalistic and media professionalism
Government and society
Protections of free expression
13. Governmental Factors in Media Sustainability
Regulation/laws and development/sustainability independent media
Why do freedom of expression and government transparency affect sustainability?
How does licensing and registration of media and journalists affect sustainability?
How does the government response to attacks on journalists and media affect sustainability? Why do some libel laws make media unsustainable?
Government direct or indirect subsidy, media independence and sustainability
14. Media professionalism and sustainability
How is quality of content related to credibility, trust and media sustainability?
Why are training programmes for those working in media critical to professionalism?
Why are market research and reliable industry statistics crucial for developing sustainability? How do ethical standards and fairness/balance in journalism affect sustainability?
15. Business Models and Financial Aspects of Media Sustainability
Efficient expenditures and sustainability
Effective uses of capital, caution with debt and liabilities
Cash flow management, strategic uses of accounting, operational self sufficiency,
Continuous renewal of resources and sustainability
Planning for future income and unexpected expenses
What is a business model and why is it more than merely sources of money?
The importance of business models and sources of financial resources
How should journalists and media managers think about their sources of revenue?
16. Roles of management and governance in sustainability
Defining the key concepts (governance, management, sustainability)
Why creating the capability to continue operations must be the primary task of those leading a media enterprise
Sustainability issues that should concern a manager
Role of directors of the company in sustainability
Managing company resources
Dependence on sources of funding and supplies, and debt
How editorial independence reconciles with the interests of managers, boards and owners
Ethical approaches to pursuing the business sustainability of media outlets
17. Class activities and Assignments
(E). RECOMMENDED TEXTS
Lowe, G.F. & Brown, C. (Eds.) (2016). Managing Media Firms and Industries: What’s so special about media management? New York: Springer. (An e-book). file:///C:/Users/ACCESS~1/AppData/Local/Temp/WhatsSoSpecial2016.pdf
Albarran, A. B. (2010). The media economy. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.
Albarran, Alan B., Sylvia M. Chan-Olmsted, and Michael O. Wirth, eds. 2006. Handbook of media management and economics. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Alexander, Alison, James Owers, Rodney A. Carveth, C. Ann Hollifield, and Albert N. Greco, eds. 2003. Media economics: Theory and practice. 3d ed. New York: Routledge.
Picard, Robert G. 2003. The economics and financing of media companies. New York: Fordham Univ. Press.
Albarran, A.B. (2013). The social media industries (Eds). New York: Routledge
(E). IMPORTANT LINKS