Cultural policy and media policy have remained largely distinct fields of research, policy-making, and policy advocacy in the United States. As a result, there has been relatively little cross-pollination of research findings, methodological tools, or advocacy resources and expertise. There are, however, significant areas of overlap between these two fields. Unfortunately, these areas of overlap have not been fully explored, nor have the potential benefits for researchers, policy advocates, policy-makers, of identifying, building upon, and strengthening these points of overlap been considered.

This paper provides an analytical overview of the media policy and cultural policy literatures, in an effort to bridge these persistent disconnects and to explore the potential benefits of strengthening the ties between media policy and cultural policy. Toward these ends, this paper first outlines the substance and boundaries of the fields of media policy and cultural policy. The next section of the paper explores the commonalities shared by the two fields, in terms of both their substantive concerns and their position within the broader policy-making and policy research landscapes. The third section examines changes in the media and cultural landscapes that appear to be driving a tighter integration of media and cultural policy. The fourth section considers the specific benefits to both media and cultural policy of forging stronger bonds between the two fields. The concluding section outlines some specific mechanisms for developing stronger linkages between media policy and cultural policy.

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