Critical political economy is a tool with which we can critically examine the media. It takes a distinctly Marxist approach to the study of communications. Focuses include analyzing how various economic classes are affected, how people have different levels of access to communications technologies, how capitalism affects the media and cultural industries, and how corporate ownership affects what the media produces. Key question for critical political economy approach is whether the economics of production shape public discourse (i.e. the range of debates available) and change the meaning within a text.
Analysis of media and communications through the critical political economy lens reveals various critiques, such as:
Major corporations and competition can be questioned in context of monopolies and oligopolies (Examples: Warner Brothers, AOL , McClatchy Company, Bertelsman, 20th Century Fox)
[This reveals unequal power relations and a lack of freedom and consumer choice.]