Reading Response #5- Danielle Brown

This past week we read a piece from Caldwell. I’d like to start off this reading response by analyzing a quote from him: “the television and media industries are defined by a Darwinian imperative to survive by gaining advantage and market share over rivals and competitors in a given market sector” (167). Darwin discusses natural selection and that’s what’s present in the media. Industries fight each other with handfuls of money in each fist, lobbying for viewers so that advertisers will buy time to place their ads.

Another quote I wanted to bring up was also from Caldwell, “the film, television and digital media industries are characterized by an extreme stratification and division of labor, a pyramidal, top-down management structure, and winner-takes all business plans” (170). This relates to the first quote because it discusses the way media interacts with each other. The hierarchy in the media pyramid varies in TV and movies. In Hollywood the most important person on set is the director, but the person who gets the Oscar is the producer. In TV it is the other way around. The producers and directors are the top of the food chain whereas coffee girl/boy is the bottom of the food chain. Film internships are crucial for building key connections. They definitely do not always lead to the top but they are where everyone starts.

A final quote I wanted to acknowledge involves advertisements and regular TV; “the blatant promotional and marketing motifs that spike the network’s flow of convention news, further places the façade of a level playing field, of agreeable affinity, and of common cause in question” (179). All three of these quotes have attributed “playing fields” or “stratification” to media in the sense that medias have the “Darwinian imperative to survive”.