[8/27/2018] – Economics of Media

The “economics of media” as a topic could span an academic form as short as a few weeks of a course or as dense and involved as an entire field of study. In this week’s Spark Post, a wide swath of topic is cut, ranging from dating apps, to the European Central Bank, to Spike Lee’s recent film “BlacKkKlansman.” The economics of media is a many-faceted topic, and this week covers some of the most recent and significant exemplifiers, themes, and news stories.

Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Economics of Media


RSA ANIMATE: Economics is for Everyone!

  • ‘Economics is for everyone’, argues legendary economist Ha-Joon Chang in our latest mind-blowing RSA Animate. This is the video economists don’t want you to see! Chang explains why every single person can and SHOULD get their head around basic economics. He pulls back the curtain on the often mystifying language of derivatives and quantitative easing, and explains how easily economic myths and assumptions become gospel. Arm yourself with some facts, and get involved in discussions about the fundamentals that underpin our day-to-day lives.

Noam Chomsky – The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine

  • According to American linguist and political activist, Noam Chomsky, media operate through 5 filters: ownership, advertising, the media elite, flak and the common enemy.





  • Writing:  “Within five years…non-democratic nations such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia will be richer as a group than the Western liberal democracies.” What do you think this means for media and the world in general? Go beyond arguing whether this is “good” or “bad” and discuss what you believe could occur (or not). Use the Axios article for other facts as needed.
  • Debate: Now again consider the changing economic/political nature of the world. As non-democratic nations have more people, become more powerful, and become more wealthy— now debate: is this good or bad, and why?
  • Poll: Where do you most get your economics news?
    • Word of mouth
    • Local news TV
    • Larger TV news stations
    • Radio
    • Newspapers
    • Social Media
    • Online news networks
  • Short Answer: Consider both the Axios and the Economist article’s use of the term “tribe.” Who is your day-to-day tribe, and who is your social media tribe? Is there overlap?


Current Events Quiz

1. In five years time, research suggests, which of these will hold more wealth?

  • Democratic nations such as the United States, Germany, and Australia
  • Yemen
  • Non-democratic nations such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia
  • South American nations, such as Bolivia and Peru

2. By 2022… more than 1.5 billion people will be living in economically mature ____.

  • Democracies.
  • Monarchies.
  • Autocracies.
  • Anarchies.

3. Complete the sentence. BlacKkKlansman tries to address ____ in ways that most mainstream films today do not.

  • 1970s muscle cars
  • Global warming
  • The Cuban trade embargo
  • Social change

4. According to the play about the dating app, Grindr is more concerned with making money than____:

  • Shareholders
  • Social change
  • Users’ wellbeing
  • Competition from Bumble

5. Using quotes from the Axios article, China is best “understood as”:

  • The next Brazil
  • A free-for-all
  • A democracy with autocratic characteristics
  • An autocracy with democratic characteristics

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