This chapter presents an analysis of the multiplatform media environment con­fronted by contemporary political actors, and sets out the institutional and organisational frameworks within which the main mass media in democratic soci­eties are organized. For the first medium - the press - 'freedom' was founded on the principle of independent economic organisation. As private institutions the press have traditionally been relatively free from interference in their activities by either of the other three 'estates'. Since the launch of the first online-only political news media outlets in the 1990s – Slate.com launched in 1995, for example - the media environment has become steadily more crowded with fact-based websites. The chapter describes the relationships which exist between media organisa­tions and politicians, and examines those aspects of the media production process which impact on political communication. The process of media production, then, is one which can be studied, under stood and manipulated by those who wish to gain access - on favourable terms,.