Grounded in a study of the Canadian mediascape, this article argues that trends toward media ownership consolidation are having a fundamental impact on broadcasting and the evolution of cyberspace as a whole. I argue that current trends reflect the rise of what we can call 'Machiavellian media' - communication and information systems saddled with three tasks: building the information society; populating cyberspace with workers/ citizens/users; and projecting the brand image of nation-states on a global plane. The article critiques the notion that new media, especially the internet, are disruptive technologies. Among other things, cyberspace is a class-divided space. More than this, though, networks-the basis of many 'new media' - are powerful entities and those who control them influence content providers' access to people and people's access to content. The article also analyzes three other factors that are affecting the evolution of networks and cyberspac: attempts to design 'netscapes of power', the privatization of cyberlaw, and 'walled garden' strategies. Together, these strategies seek to change the Internet into a mainly 'read-only' medium and to cybernetically integrate audiences, content and all organizational resources into a self-referentially enclosed information system governed by multimedia conglomerates' need to defend their investments in a model of media evolution that has, at best, weak cultural foundations.

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Media, Culture and Society
Communication & Media Studies

Winseck, D. (2002). Netscapes of power: Convergence, consolidation and power in the Canadian mediascape. Media, Culture and Society (Vol. 24, pp. 795–819+836).