What is the Politico-Media Complex?

By Antonia Čirjak on January 9 2020 in Politics

Tablet with news website on stack of newspapers.
Tablet with news website on stack of newspapers.

The politico-media complex, also known as PMC, is a concept that explains a very tight relationship between politics and mainstream media. In this case, both are seen as nodes that have the power to influence not only each other but as a coherent structure that works together to shape the thoughts and feelings of the people they are addressing.  

Methods of Manipulation

The reason why political and media discourses are so closely linked together is found in the fact that they both have the ability to influence and manipulate the reality as we know it. The two systems work together to promote various policies that are important to any interest groups. A term that is closely linked to these kinds of practices is, of course, the propaganda.


Printed media has always been powerful in serving as a base for political parties to share their agenda. Politicians are most commonly the people that have more influence than your regular Joe, so they will use those abilities in their favor when they try to shape what the newspaper editors and journalists should even write about. 


Microphone in a radio studio.
Microphone in a radio studio.

Radio is also a robust platform in which the politico-media complex can flourish. Although the popularity of radio-based media has declined in the 21st century and we saw its peak in propaganda during World War II, it is still a source that can influence a large number of people every day. 

Film and Television

Film and television, in this context, can also be seen as a very powerful tool for any promotion or propaganda. The power of on-screen media lies in their ability to deliver messages through not only words and sounds, but with images and recordings. Probably the most notorious example is the movie called ‘’Triumph of Will’’ which was used during the period of massive Nazi propaganda in the 1930s, helping Hitler spread his diabolic views on the future of Europe. 

Big broadcasting companies, which have the power and the resources to emit their program throughout the whole day, are a perfect scenario for creating a link between them and political structures. Most of the televisions are still financed by running commercials, which can have a massive influence on what people will buy, what they will think, and how they behave. The power of persuasion of the politico-media complex in these cases is almost limitless, and practically every socially important topic that can be shaped and transformed through media discourse.  

The Internet

The power of the internet in today’s day and age is also incredibly significant. With the emergence and the big spike in the popularity of live-streaming platforms, everyday life can constantly be under some manipulation under the politico-media complex. Today, social media platforms are continuously used as the easiest way to address and try to attempt to influence anyone that has an internet connection. 

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