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Ⓜ️ Mainstream Media vs. Alternative Media: What's the difference?


You've got questions. We got answers.

You've probably heard the term "mainstream media" or "mainstream" and often hear the words "overrated", "underrated" or "under-the-radar". Mainstream is a style (person, product, or idea) that caters to every demographic and has a wide appeal. Mainstream media (MSM) is mass media that influences a large number of people and is reflective of prevailing currents of thought, influence, or activity. Anything mainstream like movies, people or products are often criticized for being overrated, too much influence and cliche.

The advent of the internet has allowed for a more diverse or alternative viewpoint which may contrast to mainstream media. Lamestream media, a pun based on replacing the word "main" with "lame" in the word "mainstream," is a pejorative alternative term. Sarah Palin has referred to "lamestream media," notably during her participation in the Tea Party Express, in the context of what she perceives as media misrepresentation of the Tea Party movement.

In this article, we'll talk about what is mainstream media, then independent/alternative media and finally who owns the mainstream media? Types of media are, films, TV, Music, games, news, and tech.

From RT in 2014,

"The explanation is surprisingly simple: There aren't numerous US mass media news sources at all; there are just five. Five giant corporations control 90 percent of US mass media. And direct links connect all five of these media conglomerates to the political establishment and the economic and political power-elites of the United States.

These five conglomerates are Time Warner, Disney, Murdochs' News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS). Their control spans most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, movie studios, and much of the web news content of the United States. These conglomerates are in large measure responsible for inculcating the social, political, economic, and moral values of both adults and children in the United States.

It was not always like this. Immediately after World War II three out of four US newspapers were independently owned. But the media-control numbers have been shrinking ever since then due to mergers, acquisitions, and other processes. By 1983, 50 corporations controlled 90 percent of US media. But today just five giant conglomerates control 90 percent of what most Americans read, watch, and listen to.

It should also be noted that the conglomerates themselves are giant corporations. They are among the largest companies in the world. They contribute to both of America’s big parties, the Republicans and Democrats, while supporting their policies. US media companies have also received from the Reagan, Clinton, and Bush administrations progressively greater media deregulation, which permitted ever greater media ownership concentration, culminating for the first time in allowing all the media in a community or city to be owned by one company."


This graph is a "little" dated (FOX/Disney and Viacom/CBS merger) but it's still relevant. 

These are the most biggest and overrated mainstream media outlets (mostly American)

  • The Big networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX, BBC, CBC, The CW
  • The Big media: Disney (Biggest market share, almost monopolistic) Comcast, Sony, Warner Media, Canal, ViacomCBS, MGM Holdings, Discovery Inc. AMC Networks, 
  • Big tech: Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tock (China), IBM.
  • Big print: The New York Times Company, Nash Holdings (Jeff Bezos), News Corp, Bloomberg L.P., Advance Publications, Hearst Communications, Meredith Corporation, Gannett,Tribune Publishing.
  • Big Music (triopoly): Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, Warner Music Group
  • Big Radio (mostly controls local radio): Sirius XM Radio, iHeartMedia, Audacy, Cumulus Media, Townsquare Media
  • Big TV (mostly control local news/programs): Nexstar Media Group, Gray Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, E. W. Scripps Company, Tegna Inc.
  • Big phone: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Century link, Frontier Communications.

This is NOT enough competition and all of these companies have influential ties with each-other, culturally, politically, and ideologically. Back in the 1980's there was over 50 media companies competing each-other but now it's less than that.

 This is in contrast to various independent media, such as alternative media newspapers, specialized magazines in various organizations and corporations, and various electronic sources such as podcasts and blogs (Though certain blogs are more mainstream than others given their association with a mainstream source. And alternative media, which may contain content discordant with prevailing views.

There are 3 types of non-mainstream media, they're often underrated or never heard of, but sometimes they can reach popular or overrated status (PewDiePie, Blumhouse, TMNT). Metaphorically the mainstream is the big river, the alternative is the creek, the niche is the small creek and the independent has its own pond not connecting to anyone. Because the term "alternative" has connotations of self-marginalization, some media outlets now prefer the term "independent" over "alternative", so this can get confusing.

- Alternative Media: media that differ from established or dominant types of media in terms of their content, how they are produced or how they are distributed. tend to be non-commercial projects that advocate the interests of those excluded from the mainstream, for example, the Holodomor, Boer genocide, Linux gaming, AltTech, AltComics, AltRight, AltLeft, Controversial topics etc. Though certain AltContent are more mainstream than others given their association with a mainstream source.

- Independent Media: any form of media, such as radio, television, newspapers or the Internet, that is free of influence by government or corporate interests. etc. Lionsgate, A24 films, Double Fine, Image Comics,, Gab, etc.

- Niche, Niche is a type of media that was designed for a very specific audience. Example, Anime, Foreign films, strange and weird stories, etc. The Lord of the Rings books are for a niche audience who love the fantasy genre, Spinster is a social media app designed for women and Karens, Remember, Niche is not for everyone.

- Underground Media is media such as publications that are produced without official approval, illegally or against the wishes of a dominant (governmental / religious / institutional) group especially repressive regimes. In specific recent (post-World War II) Western European and American context, the term "underground press" has most frequently been employed to refer to the independently published and distributed underground papers associated with the counterculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and other western nations.

Now Alternative media, like AltTech, isn't necessary right wing, for example. Twitter is an overrated, oppressive and centralized social network known for it's bias and censorship. Here's two Alternatives, Mastodon and Gab. Mastodon is popular with Left-wing people and Gab is popular with Right-wing people. Now you must remember anything that's alternative doesn't mean it's good alternative. 

Another example, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, BBC, CBC, and Fox News are overrated mainstream news agencies known for their fake and biased news propaganda. 

Here's the alternatives for the Right-wing.

  • Breibart, 
  • Gab Trends 
  • TheBlaze 
  • Newsmax 
  • One America 
  • News Network
  • Rebel News
  • The Red Elephants
  • CBN
  • Project Veritas

Here's the alternatives for the Left-wing.

  • Democracy Now! 
  • Timcast 
  • The Joe Rogan Show 
  • Independent Media Center 
  • The Real News 
  • Project Censored 
  • Geeks and
  • Truthdig

But Alternative Media can be for both sides too!

          TMNT was an independently made film based on a independently made comic. Amazing.

Independent Media can be very different from Alternative and Mainstream, and there's often a hybrid mix of both Alternative and Independent like Gab and Angel Studios. It is often used synonymously with alternative media to refer to media that specifically distinguish themselves in relation to the mainstream media. Indie games and Indie films are popular with a niche audience but often doesn't do well with a general audience mostly because it's different, original, unorthodox and sometimes controversial. This is why they're mostly underrated or under-the-radar. So, if you want to watch or play indie films and games, there's alot of them that's better than the mainstream ones.

The following studios are considered to be the most prevalent of the modern independent studios (they are used to produce/release independent films and foreign-language films in America):

  • A24 (their movies are mostly meh)
  • Lionsgate
  • New Line Cinema (Defunct, now a label from Warner Bros.)
  • Castle Rock Entertainment (now part of Warner Bros.) 
  • Alchemy
  • Broad Green Pictures
  • Entertainment One
  • Exclusive Media
  • Film4 Productions
  • IFC Films
  • Image Entertainment
  • IM Global
  • Lionsgate Films
  • Magnolia Pictures
  • Open Road Films
  • Phase 4 Films
  • Samuel Goldwyn Films
  • Screen Media Films
  • STX Entertainment
  • Troma Entertainment
  • The Weinstein Company (Defunct, now part of Lantern Entertainment)
  • Dimension (now part of Lantern Entertainment)
  • Miramax (now part of Paramount) 
  • Worldview Entertainment
  • Yari Film Group
With the highly rising trend of indie films in the 90's and 2000's, mainstream Hollywood studios made their own film divisions to acquire, produce and distribute independent films. The acquisitions of the smaller studios by conglomerate Hollywood was a plan in part to take over the independent film industry and at the same time start independent studios of their own.
  • Warner Independent Pictures (Defunct after WB's merge with New Line Cinema)
  • Sony Pictures Classics
  • Focus Features
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures (Acquired by Disney)
  • Paramount Vantage (Defunct)

In addition to these higher profile "independent" studios there are thousands of smaller production companies that produce authentic independent films every year. These smaller companies look to regionally release their films theatrically or for additional financing and resources to distribute, advertise and exhibit their project on a national scale. The direct-to-video market is not often noted as artistically fertile ground but among its many entries are ambitious independent films that either failed to achieve theatrical distribution or did not seek it. Moving forward, particularly as theatrical filming goes digital and distribution eventually follows, the line between "film," direct-to-disc productions, and feature-length videos whose main distribution channel is wholly electronic, should continue to blur.

One third of all American independent films are produced in New York City.

A type of filmmaker who acts as a "artist" when making a film is called an "auteur.", almost all indie films are directed by auteurs. An auteur is someone who applies a highly centralized and subjective control to many aspects of a collaborative creative work; in other words, a person equivalent to an author of a novel or a play. An auteur is the director, producer and writer all in one and sometimes as the photographer and editor. There are a few Auteurs working for a mainstream studio because it's a finical risk because film is a expensive type of media. Most directors (and writers) working for the mainstream are puppets with very limited artistic control because of corporate producers, this is why indie films are mostly different and artistic. It's uncommon for a mainstream studio give a director, especially a young one, to have the privilege to be one because most auteurs make their way on top through merits via indie films. Most films from auteurs are good but not all, depending on  who's the auteur.

One successful franchise both awesome and popular, George Lucas' Star Wars, before Disney owned Lucasfilm in 2012 and with the exception of the original 20th Century Fox 1977 film, the other 5 films of the original saga were independently made without any Hollywood interference while 20th Century Fox, a mainstream studio, was only the distributor and nothing else. Lucasfilm, at the time, was a small company that made huge and amazing hits, they were known for it's resistance to Hollywood, creative freedom, quality over quantity and it's independence. Other franchises they made were Indiana Jones, Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion and others. After Lucasfilm was bought by Disney, the Star Wars franchise, while already successfully popular, became part of the mainstream. With different puppet-writers, it made it's quality low from corporatism as a consequence and more overrated than it already was.

The Walking Dead TV series, based on Robert Kirkman's independent comic published by Image, was niche and independent and it was broadcast on a non-mainstream network, AMC, 'til both the show and the network became very popular then mainstream and made it towards a "general audience" instead of a niche audience. Just like Star Wars, they switched different writers and producers after it became mainstream, quantity was over quality. 

Speaking of indie film, there's many people creating their own movies, shows and other video content using cheaper digital cameras and releasing them on the internet due to it's decentralization and less bias than theaters and traditional TV. Many YouTube creators and other creators from Bitchute and Odysee made their content using the power of the in internet and generating money from ad revenue, crowdfunding or a tip. One example is The Chosen, a completely independent made internet web series from Angel Studios with crowd funding support.

For comics, the Underground comix movement began in the late 1960's and 1970's. Traditional American comic books regard superhero titles as "mainstream" and all other genres as "non-mainstream", a reversal of the perception in other countries. Underground comix are small press or self-published comic books which are often socially relevant or satirical in nature. They differ from mainstream comics in depicting content forbidden to mainstream publications by the Comics Code Authority, including explicit drug use, sexuality and violence. These comics were mostly targeting "mature" adult men and this gave creators more creative freedom (in a liberal way) than mainstream comics at the time. Nothing wrong with that, as long it wasn't aimed at children.

After the movement, it was followed by the Alternative comics movement in the 1980's. Alternative comics present an alternative to mainstream superhero comics which in the past have dominated the American comic book industry. Alternative comic books span a wide range of different genres, artistic styles, and subjects.than the typical tropes and cliches from mainstream comics. Many alternative comics have variously been labelled "post-underground", "independent", "auteur", "small press", "new wave", "creator-owned", or "art comics". Many self-published "mini-comics" also fall under the "alternative" umbrella.

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a series by Mirage Studios, and Jeff Smith's Bone were very influential on a new generation of creators and became a huge success story of self publishing.

Image Comics and Dark Horse Comics published many alternative comics. Notable examples include Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo, Sergio Aragonés's Groo the Wanderer, Mike Mignola's Hellboy,  Sam Kieth's The Maxx and James O'Barr's The Crow.

Here's a few publishers known to publish indie or alternative comics
  • Arkhaven
  • Storyteller Studios
  • Haiku Comics 
  • Dark Horse Comics
  • Image Comics
  • Avatar Press
  • Valiant Comics
  • Conundrum Press
  • Drawn and Quarterly
  • L'Association
  • Top Shelf Productions
  • Malibu Comics (defunct, absorbed to Marvel)
  • Vertigo (imprint of DC)
Since the age of internet, there's been a rise of web comics. With the unlimited power of the internet, more and more Western alternative comics are growing every year and might over shadow DC, Marvel and IDW. They are published exclusively on the web, making it cheaper, quicker to publish and restrictions of the traditional newspapers or magazines can be lifted, allowing artists and writers to take advantage of the web's unique capabilities. One example is Æ Firestone's Norfolk with pro-individualist, anti-establishment, and anti-globalist themes

But Manga (Japanese comics) has now been the most dominant comics in the industry due to it's good story telling, amazing B&W artwork, published in thick paperbacks and more affordable. Mostly men and boys love Manga, because it has multiple genres for many demographics from sci-fi, fantasy, drama, golf, tennis, etc. Most Manga are authored by one person that handles both the story and art called a Mangaka, with alot more creative freedom that handles a logical continuity unlike Western comics that have multiple writers, pencilers, inkers, editors, bla bla bla. and unbelievable continuity issues like multiple timelines and retcons. Manga are highly recommended alternatives, especially the independent ones. Watch a recommended video about Manga dominating Western comics.

            4 reasons why Manga is successful: The Story, The Art, The Price and Boobs, yes, boobs.

In the pre-1900's to ancient times, we had stories written not by corporations but by individual people. This is why books and manga are highly successful than Western comics, because they mostly don't have to put up with @$$#oles who interfere their work. 

Independent video games (commonly referred to as indie games) are video games created by individuals or small teams generally without video game publisher financial support. Indie gaming has seen a rise in the latter half of the 2000s decade, often focus on innovation, primarily due to new online distribution methods and development tools. Some games originated as indie have become very successful financially, such as Braid, World of Goo, Flow, and Minecraft.

They generally share certain characteristics. Indie games are developed by individuals, small teams, or small independent companies; such companies are often specifically formed for the development of one specific game. Typically, indie games are smaller than mainstream titles. Indie game developers are generally not financially backed by video game publishers (as these are risk averse and prefer big budget games) and usually have little to no budget available.

 Being independent, indie developers do not have controlling interests or creative limitations and do not require publisher approval as mainstream game developers usually do. Design decisions are thus also not limited by the allocated budget. Furthermore, smaller team sizes increase individual involvement. Small teams, scope, and no creative restrictions have made indie games known for innovation, creativity, and artistic experimentation.

Further, indie games do not need to be completely isolated from large publishers to be considered indie. For example, Bastion, developed by Supergiant Games, was published by Warner Bros. Interactive, a mainstream game publisher. Though Warner Bros. paid for the distribution and marketing of the title, Supergiant Games refused any funding for development costs, building the game on their own, and the resulting title is considered an indie game by the industry. The good use with the industry in general, that it's more decentralized and it does not involve unions and guilds unlike the TV and film industry.

Here's a few indie developers known to publish indie games
  • Playdead
  • Mojang (now part of Microsoft)
  • Rovio Entertainment
  • Telltale Games (1st company defunct, 2nd company reopened with new staff and location)
  • WayForward Technologies
  • The Behemoth
  • 2D Boy
  • Trickster Arts
  • Double Fine Productions (now part of Microsoft)
Not considered "indie" with the game community, but they were interdependent companies in their own right before their downfall.
  • LucasArts (defunct, owned by Disney through Lucasfilm)
  • ID Software (now part of Zenimax/Micirosoft)
  • Bungie Studios (not as great of what it used to be, began being involved too much mainstream)
  • Blizzard (became mainstream after it merge with corporate Activision and kissed CCP's @$$.)
  • CD Project Red (Got financially too big and investors pressuring the developers)
A number of growing "analog" tabletop RPG games and supplements have been easily growing too. 

As the mainstream video game industry is comparable to the mainstream film industry, so is the indie gaming industry comparable to the independent film industry. Just like indie films and comics, most games are not widely known or successful and mainstream media attention remains with mainstream titles. This can be attributed to lack of marketing for indie games. Indie games can be targeted at niche market.

With the tech industry, their has been a growing distrust over privacy and censorship with BIG tech, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and a few others. Leading alternatives like Gab, Minds, Bitchute and Odysee/LBRY have been the leaders of AltTech. Here's a list of Alternative Technologies. 

Anywho, those are the differences on Mainstream and non-mainstream media. And the U.S. and the Western world in general needs more decentralization and competition of media (Japan has waaay more decentralized competition). 

I can see why these corporate Pharisee media moguls are being criticized for using their mainstream monopolistic platforms for their abuse of power and unethical racist/sexist behavior mostly towards Western Caucasians, males and Christians for their own bias. They are also known to censor people for certain political view points and criticism of a certain group of (((people))). 

As a warning to all individuals with a strong (or weak) mind, this is why you, the individual, should be careful when using or watching something from the mainstream, because it can badly influence you. At this day and age, alternative and independent media is highly recommended, but remember, not every alternative is always a good one.   

Article by Jane Doe

Yuri Bezmenov is right, this was not a war of guns and tanks, but of ideological subversion.

So, qui owns la media?



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