Capitalism may be defined as an economic and political system in which trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. There are fundamental tensions underlying the relationship between capitalism and the media. Inasmuch as capitalism is mostly associated with the very notion of the market, ideas of openness, competition, and rationality tend to be emboldened and positively correlated with the promotion and diffusion of information and knowledge. Capitalist societies are also often assumed to have enlightened citizens who can discern their real interests and proceed accordingly. However, various details of these assumptions are problematic. This entry further describes capitalism; discusses the notions of print capitalism, imagined communities, and the public sphere; and looks at the influence of capitalism ...

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