At the individual level we ask who are the creators of media content and how do their characteristics affect that creation? We review research at this level, particularly as individual traits may become relevant to their larger professional roles. We consider the issues raised by this level when the individual comes into contact with larger structures. This dialectic interplay between the individual and social structure is an enduring theme in the social sciences, but one with special relevance in the Hierarchy of Infl uences as we seek to understand the symbolic mediated environment. How can we think about the relative free will, or agency , of the individual media workers, even as they operate within larger constraints that also help determine their actions? The very question of constraints may seem out of place in the world of media, which is based so strongly in the public imagination on the creative work and professional decision-making of individuals. And indeed we must fully understand these media people with respect to their individuality and creativity, but must do so within their larger institutional context. Indeed the power of the individual in media settings, although encompassing a wide range of personal traits and idiosyncrasies, expresses itself mainly through professional and occupational channels. Thus, we give these settings particular attention.