The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship


Publication Title

Critical Studies in Mass Communication

Document Type

Peer Reviewed Article

Publication Date



This paper presents evidence of the demise of Libertarianism in the U.S. mass media system and proposes an “elite power group” model as an alternative explanation of the workings of the mass media in the United States. In sharp contrast to the structural characteristics implied by the Libertarian model, the U.S. media industry is organized as an elite power group characterized by

  • growing concentration and conglomeration,
  • integration with other power elites, and
  • ability to exercise self-serving control on the government even as it is controlled by it.


NOTICE: this is the author’s final version of a work that was accepted for publication in Critical Studies in Mass Media. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published as:

Akhavan-Majid, Roya, (1991). "American Mass Media and the Myth of Libertarianism: Toward an "Elite Power Group" Theory." Critical Studies in Mass Communication, Vol. 8, 1991, pp. 139-151.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.