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How the media are organised and funded is central to understanding their role in society. Critical Political Economy of the Media provides a clear, comprehensive and insightful introduction to the political economic analysis of contemporary media. Jonathan Hardy undertakes a critical survey of political economy scholarship encompassing worldwide literature, issues and debates, and relationships with other academic approaches. He assesses different ways of making sense of media convergence and digitalisation, media power and influence, and transformations across communication markets. Many of the problems of the media that prompted critical political economy research remain salient, he argues, but the approach must continue to adapt to new conditions and challenges. Hardy advances the case for a revitalised critical media studies for the 21st century. Topics covered include: media ownership and financing news and entertainment convergence and the Internet media globalisation advertising and media alternative media media policy and regulation Introducing key concepts and research, this book explains how political economy can assist students, researchers and citizens to investigate and address vital questions about the media today.