The danger of corporate mergers arises when the power to influence service prices falls into the hands of the select few. As Napoli writes, economics plays a significant role in how media industries make decisions (Napoli, 2009, p. 162). This merger is motivated by economic factors and the desires of Comcast and Time Warner Cable to dominate the industry.
The merger, as framed by the Free Press organization, is threatening a monopolistic takeover of the cable provider industry. In doing so, the united group will dominate the market, drive out competitors, and exist in the market as the only viable option for consumers. As the only viable option available, Comcast-TWC could manipulate prices as they see fit. This is the goal behind such enormous takeovers.
More interestingly, Napoli also discusses how media economics have been, in the past, disregarded by economics scholars for various reasons (Napoli, 2009, p. 162). In the midst of this apathy, media industries have made strategic power-plays for economic gains that are worthy of analysis (i.e. the formation and disbanding of movie studios as an oligopoly).
Ultimately, Napoli proposes that media consumers educate themselves on the economics of media industries in order to understand the motives behind industry behavior (Napoli, 2000, p. 168). Such an education is necessary to prevent monopolistic and oligopolistic takeovers of media providers (i.e. preventing other media companies from following in the footsteps of the film studios). The Free Press’ infographic is designed with this educational purpose in mind.
II. Formalist Elements
The primary component of the infographic is the map of the continental United States. This map is color coded to represe...
... middle of paper ...
...iders, but none of that information is present in the graphic. Even the providers’ prices and those of their competitors are not on display.
The infographic relies primarily on visual elements to communicate with readers, and effectively uses color in such a way that clearly illustrates a persuasive argument. The use of data and rhetoric—logos and pathos—creates a logical message. However, the successful communication of argument does depend on the audience 's understanding that the formation of a monopoly leads to negative consequences such as price manipulation. Neither the logic nor the emotional appeal are effective if this understanding of economics is not already embodied in the reader, along with an ingrained fear of big business that would lead one to conclude that overly powerful corporations are inclined to take advantage of their position.
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