United States Culture

United States Culture and Mass Media

In many ways, according to ENINGBO.INFO, the United States is a pioneer in mass media, both journalistic and technical. Also, no other country has the same worldwide dominance in terms of entertainment and news reporting, an influence that has steadily increased as globalization and the spread of the Internet.

At the same time, the American media landscape has undergone major changes from 2000 onwards. Foremost is the new technology in the IT sector that has changed consumption patterns and prevailing business models.

TV has long been the most popular medium, but in 2014, Americans spend more time on the Internet than in front of the TV. But the boundaries between the media are dissolved as both TV and radio channels are available via computer, tablet or smart phone.

Internet and mobile telephony

According to NATUREGNOSIS.COM, United States is a country located in North America. Over 80% of US households have access to the Internet via fixed or mobile broadband. Mobile surfing is increasing rapidly as the 3G network and later the 4G network are expanded.

Four mobile operators dominate the market: the US companies Verizon, AT&T and Sprint and German T-Mobile. 4G coverage is very good in densely populated areas (80%, 2016) and over 60% of the population owns a smart mobile (2014).

The top list of the 20 most visited sites is completely dominated by companies that started after the breakthrough of the Internet, such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo. The only traditional media company on the list is the TV company CNN. Here, the United States differs from most other developed countries, where at least any newspaper or TV channel has a dominant position. It also shows how difficult the older media companies have to change to new business models. In their eagerness to protect their old sources of revenue – for example, advertising-financed TVs, CDs, daily newspaper advertisements, subscribed newspapers – they have not changed in time and instead got to see new players take all or part of the cake.


According to CALCULATORINC, the global popular culture is associated with the United States. In Hollywood, film art developed after the First World War into a major industry, which today, together with extensive TV production, is one of the country’s leading export industries. The US has also been at the forefront of popular music.

Walt Disney personifies the mass culture that has spread from the United States to the world over the past 100 years. The legacy of the creator of Musse Pigg, Kalle Anka and a number of other popular cartoon characters lives on in the Disney Group, today one of the world’s largest and most influential entertainment and media companies.

A number of other media conglomerates are also contributing to the United States remaining the leader in film and television, despite increasing competition. Since 1929, the American Film Academy awards Oscar, the world’s most prestigious film award, and the United States exports more television programs than any other country.

In music there are many world artists who have been favorites of different generations, such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Eminem and Taylor Swift.

Based on religious spirituals created black musicians and singers in the early 1900s jazz and blues, music forms considered genuinely American. Jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday are among the top representatives of the US cultural heritage today. In the 1960s, black artists broke out on a wider front with the music forms rhythm & blues and soul, and during the 1990s, black hip hop music had a major impact. Another typical American music genre is the country music that white artists created based on old ballads and songs. Also the musical, with New York’s theater district Broadway as the premier arena, is an American cultural expression that has become known around the world thanks to composers such as George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, Richard Rogers and Cole Porter.

According to NEOVIDEOGAMES.COM, the United States has several world-leading symphony orchestras and operas, of which the Metropolitan in New York is considered the foremost.

The publicist and statesman Benjamin Franklin is sometimes called the first major American author. He was one of the men behind the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. The

romance took root in the mid-1800s with writers such as James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe and Henry Thoreau. Other significant 19th century authors were Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain and Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the wake of the pioneers, American realism broke through in the early 1900s with writers such as Upton Sinclair and Jack London.

Perhaps the most well-known author of the interwar period, Ernest Hemingway, together with F Scott Fitzgerald represented the “lost generation”. Hemingway received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Other US writers who received the Nobel Prize are Sinclair Lewis (1930), Eugene O’Neill (1936), Pearl Buck (1938), William Faulkner (1949), John Steinbeck (1962), Saul Bellow (1976), Isaac Bashevis Singer (1978), Joseph Brodsky (1987), Toni Morrison (1993) and Bob Dylan (2016).

Among the other postwar writers most noted are Jack Kerouac, Truman Capote, James Baldwin, Kurt Vonnegut, Flannery O’Connor, Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller. Some contemporary writers who are often mentioned as potential Nobel laureates are Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas Pynchon and Philip Roth (the latter, however, died in 2018).

Lyricists from different generations include Robert Frost, Robert Lowell, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Famous playwrights include Arthur Miller, William Saroyan, Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, William Age, Edward Albee and Sam Shepard.

Artists around the world have been influenced by abstract expressionism since the 1940s, the first American art direction with artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of flowers and nature, Edward Hopper’s realism, Jasper John’s and Andy Warhol’s pop art and contemporary artist Jeff Koon’s sculptures have left their mark in the art world while Irving Penn, Cindy Sherman, Robert Mapplethorpe and Richard Avedon are some famous names in photography..



Russians are expelled

December 29

As punishment for Russian hackers’ involvement in the election, 35 people suspected of being Russian agents at the Washington Embassy and the Los Angeles Consulate are expelled. In addition, the authorities are closing two Russian facilities, one in New York and one in Maryland. The measures are condemned by Donald Trump’s staff. The first angry comments from Moscow promise revenge, but the day after, President Putin says that Russia is not planning any retaliation for the moment without waiting to see what happens after Trump’s entry.

Trump beds for coat armor

December 23

Donald Trump says that the United States must greatly expand its nuclear arsenal until “the world comes to an understanding when it comes to nuclear weapons.” Trump’s take on Twitter is preceded by a similar statement by Russian President Putin.

The United States is passing Israel-critical UN resolution

December 23

The United States is casting its vote in the UN Security Council, and thus a resolution is adopted requiring Israel to immediately cease settling on occupied land. It is very uncommon for the United States to refrain from supporting Israel in the UN. Donald Trump criticizes the government’s decision and announces that US action in the UN will change when he takes over as president.

China captures US underwater drones

December 15

The incident, which occurs on international waters of the South China Sea, is one of the most serious military confrontations in several years. The US Department of Defense requires the drone to be returned immediately. The drone was reportedly used for scientific purposes. The parties subsequently reach an agreement on a surrender.

Russian hackers affected the choice

December 10

The CIA intelligence service tells the media that Russia tried to influence the election in Trump’s favor by ensuring that emails from Hillary Clinton, which hackers came after after the intrusion on Democrats and Clinton’s campaign leaders, were published by Wikileaks. Russian hackers should also have released internal material from a cyber attack against the Democrats to journalists and bloggers in Florida. This material was disseminated through articles and blog posts and was used in the political campaigns in crucial battles over congressional seats.

No to oil pipeline in reserve

December 4th

A federal agency under the Department of Defense is halting plans to lead a controversial oil pipeline under a water reservoir in a reserve for indigenous people sioux in North Dakota. These, together with environmental activists and others, have been protesting since April against the planned draw that would risk contaminating the drinking water for residents in the reserve and in addition go below ground sacred to the Sioux people. The Dakota Access Pipeline, as the oil pipeline is called, is largely completed and runs from North Dakota in a southeastern direction, to Illinois. From there, the oil is transported to Texas and Louisiana.

Controversial conversation between Trump and Taiwan’s president

December 3

US President Donald Trump chooses to answer a phone call from Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, thus violating US diplomatic practice since 1979. That’s when the US established its “China policy”, broke off official relations with Taiwan and severed ties with the People’s Republic of China instead. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi first diminishes the importance of the telephone call by calling it “a little trick” from Taiwan’s president. Shortly thereafter, however, China makes a written complaint to the US government. The White House responds by assuring China that it does not intend to deviate from a China policy.


Trump may pay damages for “cheating”

November 18

A court settlement reached that Trump must pay $ 25 million to avoid a lawsuit over “Trump University,” a school he founded in 2004 but closed in 2010. The courses offered were aimed at making students rich in real estate business, but which resulted in 4,000 of them suing the school for scam. The threat of a lawsuit has hung over Trump during the election campaign, and he has repeatedly condemned the judge, Gonzalo Curiel, with allusions to his Mexican roots. The settlement is reached only ten days before the trial would begin.

The choice of advisers is criticized

Donald Trump’s announcement that controversial right-wing radical Steve Bannon, who was Trump’s campaign leader during the election campaign and who is behind the right-wing extremist site Breitbart, is to become his chief strategist. Bannon is said to have anti-Semitic views and represent a “white” nationalism. The election of incumbent Republican Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff for the White House is more favorably received.

Protests against Trump

November 9

After the election results have been announced, protests are erupting in several US cities. Above all, many young Americans are participating in the protests.

Trump wins the election

November 8

Trump wins presidential election with 304 electoral votes against Clinton’s 227 (seven electors do not vote according to party line, see Political system). However, Clinton is supported by nearly 2.9 million more voters than Trump, or 48 percent of the vote against 46 percent. Trump’s victory surprises political appraisers: polls predicted a steady fight that Clinton was expected to win, albeit by a slight margin. Republicans retain control of both the Senate (with 52 senators against 48) and the House of Representatives (241 against 194 members).

No charges against Clinton

November 6

Following a review of 650,000 new emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, the FBI intelligence agency announces that she will not be prosecuted. Clinton has been criticized for using her own email server in the service, and investigations into the issue have been made by both the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Justice. In the summer of 2016, in an earlier review, the FBI found that there was evidence that errors had been committed in the handling of secretly stamped material but that it was not possible to prove that the conduct was deliberate.


The last election debate

October 19

The third and final debate between the two presidential candidates is held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Opion polls show a clear lead for Hillary Clinton ahead of the election.

Dylan receives the Nobel Prize

October 13

The Swedish Academy announces that this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature goes to the American singer, songwriter and writer Bob Dylan.

Backlash for Trump

October 10

The House of Representatives President, Republican Paul Ryan, is withdrawing from Trump’s campaign and no longer intends to support Trump. He now wants to concentrate on defending the Republicans in the House of Representatives.

Other election debate

October 9

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump meet again in a televised debate, which is hotter than ever before. Hopes, especially from Trump’s side, hail. Trump criticizes Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, for his infidelity business and believes on Hillary Clinton herself that she should sit in jail for how she used her private email as foreign minister. Clinton, in turn, sharply criticizes Trump for his sexist statements about women.

Vice presidential candidates meet

October 5

Donald Trump’s candidate for Republican Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor, meets Hillary Clinton’s candidate Democrat Tim Kaine, Virginia’s senator. The debate is being held at the University of Longwood, Virginia.


First election debate

September 27th

The TV debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is followed by 84 million viewers. That’s the largest number since the 1980 Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter debate.

Charlotte state of emergency

September 22

The governor of North Carolina proclaims state of emergency in the city of Charlotte after violence erupted after a black man was shot dead by a black policeman.

Explosion charge in New York

September 18

A bomb made by a pressure cooker fires in Manhattan, injuring 29 people. Another explosive charge is detected nearby. A few days later, a 28-year-old man born in Afghanistan is arrested on suspicion of being behind the bombs.


Flooding in Lousiana

August 14th

President Obama states that severe flooding in Louisiana represents a major national disaster. They are described as the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The floods have required 13 lives and 30,000 people are forced to leave their homes.

Republicans against Trump

9th of August

50 Republicans with security-related ties, including a former CIA chief and two former Deputy Foreign Ministers, reject Trump in an open letter announcing that they will not vote for him.


Clinton will formally become presidential candidate

July 26

On the second day of the Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton is formally appointed as the party’s candidate in the November presidential election. She is thus historical: no woman has previously been a leading party candidate in a US presidential election. But she remains contentious in the party as well: supporters of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders loudly demonstrated when the convention began. However, Sanders, who was Clinton’s most serious challenger in the primary elections, says in a speech that she must become the country’s next president. just before the convention, Clinton has appointed Tim Kaine, a senator from Virginia, as his vice presidential candidate.

Trump formally becomes presidential candidate

July 19

Donald Trump is formally nominated as a candidate in the presidential election during the Republican Party convention in Cleveland, Ohio, with the support of 70 percent of delegates present. Trump’s election of vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, is unanimously approved. Pence, the governor of Indiana, is known as a social conservative and religious and hopes to strengthen Trump’s support of the Christian right. Particular attention during the three-day convention raises a speech by Trump’s wife Melania, when it turns out that the speech contains plagiarism from Michelle Obama’s corresponding speech in 2008.

Police murder after police shootings against blacks

July 17

A total of eight dead police officers face a second case in a short time where a black perpetrator opened fire on police officers. The days before the first case, two new incidents occurred in which African Americans were shot to death by police: in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 5, and Saint Paul, Minnesota, July 6. The Saint Paul case has a major impact in the media as the man’s girlfriend via his mobile live transmitter when the police open fire on the victim who was stopped for a broken taillight on the car. On July 7, during a Dallas-Texas protest against the two fatalities, a black sniper opens fire and kills five police officers. Ten days later, three police officers were shot dead in Baton Rouge. A total of ten police officers and two civilians are injured in the two shootings. Both offenders have a past in the military and both are killed in connection with the violent incidents.


Criticism of Clinton in Benghazi Report

June 28

After two years of investigation, a congressional committee presents a report on the attack in Benghazi (see September 2012). The report does not contain much new substance – several previous investigations have been made – but criticizes then-Secretary of State Clinton. Republicans are blaming the government in general and Clinton in particular for underestimating the extremist threat in Libya and for misleading the public about what happened in the attack. The accusations have been reinforced during the election campaign before the presidential election and used to portray Clinton as a security policy irresponsible.

HD support for abortion law

June 27

The Supreme Court rejects restrictions on abortion law introduced in Texas. The decision made with the votes 5–3 means that, for the first time in 15 years, HD will cut down on a state’s attempt to limit access to abortion. The restrictions in Texas were adopted in 2013 and stipulated, among other things, that abortions must be performed at specially equipped surgical wards, which led to the closure of most abortion clinics in the Delta.

Mass murder at gay club in Orlando

June 12

A man kills 49 people at a nightclub where gays usually gather in Orlando, Florida. Never before have so many people been killed at the same time during a mass shooting in the United States. Many are also injured during the attack and the perpetrator is killed by police during the shooting. He said just before the deed that he would carry it out on behalf of the extremist group Islamic State (IS).

Clinton ready as presidential candidate

7 June

Hillary Clinton is ready as the Democratic presidential candidate for the July convention, after victory in the California primary and three more states. Bernie Sanders has, in the last, offered hard resistance.


Obama visits Hiroshima

May 27th

He is the first American president to visit the Japanese city where the United States dropped an atomic bomb in 1945 that killed about 140,000 people.

Investigation on Clinton’s email

May 27th

A report from the State Department notes that Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, has made mistakes in handling mail. She has used her private e-mail address in her professional practice and has also not followed the reporting rules that exist. However, there have previously been problems with the mail handling at the Ministry according to the report. An investigation by the FBI security police is ongoing as to whether Clinton committed any crime on this issue.

The arms embargo is lifted

24th of May

On a visit to Vietnam, US President Barack Obama announces that the United States will remove the ban on arms sales to Vietnam, which has been in effect since the Vietnam War.

Trump finished as a candidate when Cruz gives up

May 4th

After Donald Trump wins in yet another state, Indiana, Ted Cruz chooses to withdraw from the battle for Republican nomination for president. Trump is thus ready to become the Republican candidate even if he formally secures enough delegates to the party convention only at the end of the month.


Soldiers to Syria

April 24

Another 250 militants will be sent to Syria to support and advise rebels and forces fighting the Islamic State.


Historical visit to Cuba

21 March

As the first US president since 1928, President Obama visits Cuba, where, among other things, he meets Cuban President Raúl Castro. In the past year, both countries have resumed diplomatic relations.

Obama nominates HD candidate

March 16

President Obama nominates Judge Merrick Garland to the seat of the Supreme Court that became empty when HD judge Antonin Scalia passed away in February. It is up to the Senate to vote on the presidential nomination of the president. In this case, the Republican majority refuses to even take up the nomination for discussion, and even less to vote on it, on the grounds that the next president should fill the seat. Thus, HD has only eight judges during the remainder of Obama’s presidential term.

Marco Rubio pulls out

March 16

After losing Republican primary elections in his home state of Florida to Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio chooses to end his attempts to win the party’s nomination for presidential candidate. Of the twelve candidates in the starting field, besides Trump, only Ted Cruz and John Kasich remain. Trump leads a large number of won states and in the number of delegates ahead of the party convention.

Clinton and Trump’s Super Tuesday winners

March 1st

Clinton and Trump strengthen their chances of becoming presidential candidates during Super Tuesday, with eleven states holding primary elections. Both have taken home three states previously and are now winning another seven. Among the Democrats, Bernie Sanders continues to chase Clinton and has now secured victory in five states. Republican Ted Cruz wins in three and has thus taken home four states while Marco Rubio notices his first victory.


American bombing in Libya

For the second time in three months, US fighter aircraft bombs IS bases in Libya. The target is said to be a man suspected of two acts of terrorism in Tunisia last year.

Primary elections begin

February 2

The primary election season begins for the fall presidential election, with the so-called Iowa nomination meeting. Former Secretary of State and Wife Hillary Clinton wins the Democrats’ nomination election by a very small margin ahead of Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old Vermont senator who calls himself a Democrat Socialist and not least attracts younger voters. Among Republicans, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, however, clearly wins 28 percent of the vote, with property magnate Donald Trump in second place and Florida Senator Marco Rubio in third.


Americans kidnapped

An unknown number of Americans have been kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraq, according to the US embassy in the country on January 18.

TV and radio

The TV market has long been dominated by three major networks: American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Cable and satellite TV have drastically reduced their dominance, e.g. they have lost more than half of their viewers since 1980 when it comes to news broadcasts. There, the cable channel dominates Fox News, owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Fox News has often been criticized for being subjective with a clear right profile.

The supply of cable TV is huge, with not only commercial but also a large number of channels with political or religious orientation. Many of the non-commercial TV channels are linked to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which is federally funded and has more than 350 stations in its network. Quantitatively, PBS plays a relatively modest role, but it is of opinion significance because many of its programs hold high quality.

Nearly 90% of US households have access to cable or satellite TV (2012). Experiments with television began in the 1920s, but commercial regular broadcasts came only after the Second World War. There are about 10,000 commercial radio stations and a number of non-commercial stations, many of which are connected to the network NPR (formerly National Public Radio). In terms of content, NPR’s stations differ from most commercial channels. There is serious music and commentary programs, but also entertainment. NPR is financed with fees from the member stations as well as through sponsorship and listener collections.

Satellite radio has become very popular in recent years, mainly by car. The company Sirius XM Radio has a monopoly on the technology, which was launched in 2001. To receive the broadcasts, a special receiver is required, and in many car models one is included in the standard equipment. Almost all channels that are broadcast by satellite are advertising-free and are financed with a monthly fee. In 2014, more than 25 million Americans were subscribers to the service.

Listening to radio via the internet is also steadily increasing and most stations have operations on the web as well. In addition, there is a large selection of channels that are exclusively distributed via the Internet.

Radio in the United States began to develop during the First World War. Regular news broadcasts began in 1920. The radio stations were usually financed with advertising and were locally based. Competition in the ether in 1927 forced legislation (the Radio Act) which, through licensing, prevented the transmitters from disturbing each other.

The radio media also plays an important role for US information operations abroad. State-controlled Voice of America has stations in several countries and was important not least for the news distribution to the former eastern states of Europe.

Magazines and magazines

In addition to the daily press, magazines play a major role in the American media system. There are thousands of magazines tailored to almost every area of ​​interest. The largest is Better Homes and Gardens with just over 7 million items. (2012). Among news-oriented magazines with high circulation and public opinion, mention is Time (3.2 million copies) and Newsweek (1.5 million copies).

In many ways, the industry has the same problems as the daily press – declining circulation and declining advertising revenue. At the same time, optimism is greater in terms of revenue after conversion to tablets and smartphones, and more magazines were launched in 2011 than were closed down. But new forms of distribution require large investments in both new technology and the development of competence.

Book and publishing system

Book industry today

Since the beginning of the 2000s, the industry has undergone a change that has largely been driven by new technology and changed consumption patterns. At the same time, the trend of internationalization, acquisitions and mergers has continued, culminating in 2013 when the British Penguin merged with Random House and formed Penguin Random House, the world’s largest publishing group.

Sales in the industry have been around $ 27 billion in recent years, but sales have increasingly gone from physical stores to the online bookstore, which in 2013 accounted for more than 40% of sales. A consequence of this is that a large number of stores have been knocked out, e.g. the Borders chain went bankrupt in 2011. It was then the world’s second largest bookstore chain with 1,200 stores.

When it comes to e-books, the trend has been much faster than in Europe. In 2013, the e-books had a market share of about 25%, compared with about 2% in Sweden. Market leader is the e-commerce company Amazon, with the Kindle tablet, which is estimated to have more than half of the market (2013). The other two major players are Apple, with the iPad surfboard, and Barnes and Noble, the US’s largest bookstore chain, with the Nook tablet.

Self-publishing, ie The fact that an author publishes a book on his own publisher has increased dramatically in recent years, mainly due to new technology (print on demand) and new business models. One example is the company Createspace, owned by Amazon, which offers everything from book printing in a single copy to proofreading, marketing and distribution. Of the approximately 350,000 titles released in 2012, about half were self-published. Add to this all the titles that are only published as e-books.

United States Culture

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