Bagdikian works to expose the monopolistic practices of the media industry. He specifically focuses on the big five (Time Warner, Disney, Bertelsmann, News Corporation, Viacom) and how they act together like an oligopoly or cartel. One of the main issues is that they work together on joint projects that prevent them from being true competitors.
He also looks at the monopolies in other media areas, specifically newspapers. He examines the ways in which newspapers are run without true competition in local markets and the self-censoring effects of advertising (for a more in-depth analysis, I recommend Professor Baker’s books).
Another problem that becomes apparent is the conglomerate nature of these corporations and the fact that advertisers and interest groups can leverage their power against one facet of the conglomerate to create change in another (boycott ads in one periodical to protest an article in another in which the advertiser does not place its ads).
This book certainly has a liberal tilt and does not necessarily take into account the weakness of his argument or the opposing side’s objections. Compared to Professor Baker’s books, its analysis is a bit superficial, although this book is a rather easy read and good introduction to the issues that other critics examine in greater detail.