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Useful Notes / Mainstream Media

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Media which are said to be reasonably accessible to all people are said to be in the mainstream. The media organizations which are powerful enough to attain this label are ones that nearly everyone has heard of or watched at some point in their lives. This is because ultimately the media are money-making businesses, and their success is largely measured by their ability to appeal to as much of the available audience as possible. While media today are increasingly focused on niche markets, with various cable networks, alternative weekly newspapers and Internet media trying to carve out their own audience, there still remain vestiges of when niche media were not available to the mainstream. The following is a list of media sources which still purport to have something for everyone, and sell their programming as such.


Mainstream Broadcast Television contains most media concerning mundane fiction, occasionally fantastic fiction, news reporting, popular sporting events and children's television:

Mainstream Newspapers contains most information concerning print news, editorial reporting and, in most cases, Newspaper Comics:

  • The New York Times
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • USA Today
  • The Washington Post
  • And your local newspaper. You really should know what your local paper is called, by the way.

Additionally, most non-artsy films are considered to be in the mainstream. Non-artsy being defined as you can find a movie theater within reasonable distance of your house that's showing it.

Because Mainstream Media are the bedrock on which most visual fiction is based, almost all modern tropes can trace their origin back to a media example that comes from one of the above sources.



How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: