This nal chapter returns to some of the ‘big’ issues that motivate both individual media researchers and the commercial and public organizations housing and funding them. Why study the media? (Silverstone, 1999). Media are sources of both meaning and power. Like their objects of analysis, media studies originate from particular historical, cultural, and institutional circumstances; they contribute to shaping the conditions under which communication will take place in the future. If media are institutionsto-think-with, university departments and other research units constitute second-order institutions-to-think-with, describing, criticizing, and reecting on the role of media in society – past, present, and future.