Media have often been depicted as part of the fourth estate in a democracy, the other three wings being the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. Role of the media, their representations of “social reality”, as well as biases in their reflections have often held center stage of public concern.
But, on counts of content and the context, the bouquet and the brickbats, and the cultural as well as political-economic approaches, it is often the mainstream media, which get the attention. Either some television programs are portrayed as too violent, or few mainstream newspapers are cited as truly neutral. In either cases of extremes, the debate surrounds the media that are akin to big corporate organizations. They are the media that represent the focus and are widely circulated. Plausibly, the assumptions being that those media organizations are worth studying which have the reach. No wonder, most critical media theories actually surround the impacts of big business conglomerates in the political-economic tradition or negotiations within dominant messages in the cultural studies tradition. Most administrative researches too, focus on role of mainstream media because they are well documented and appear more convenient for the purpose, at times because of being supportive of the researches themselves.