Marxist Theory of Media Ownership and Control

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  • Created on: 24-04-14 09:17
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  • Marxist Theory of Media Ownership and Control
    • Role of Ideology
      • Capitalist classes use ideology to make sure the working class accept capitalism.
      • Ruling classes use the dominant institutions like the media to convey ideology.
      • They convince the working class of the benefits of capitalism.
      • 'False class-consciousness' the working believe that the capitalist system is fair.
    • The Media and Ideology
      • Media owners transmit conservative and conformist ideology through news and entertainment.
      • MILIBAND (1973) the role of the media is to shape how we think about the world we live in.
      • We are rarely informed about important issues such as why people contuine to live in poverty.
      • Owners ensure that we only get a narrow range of 'approved' views and knowledge.
      • The media will transmit ruling class ideology because the owners are from the ruling class.
      • TURNSTALL & PALMER (1991)suggest that governments are no longer interested in controlling media activities but will arrange 'regulatory favours' in exchange for positive press exposure.
    • Evidence of Ideology CURRAN (2003)
      • SILVIO BERLUSCONI
        • owns 3 TV stations
        • his shares in the media helped him win the general election in 1994
      • There are four distinct periods of owner intervention.
      • 1920's - 1950's
        • The rise of 'press barons'
        • Lord Beaverbrook and Northcliffe excerised control over the content and layout of their papers.
        • Papers on this time "strengthen conservative prejudices of their readers".
      • 1951 - 1974
        • Pluralist phrase of reporting
        • Investigative reporting appeared.
        • A group consensus appeared between editors and journalists.
      • 1974 - 1992
        • A new type of interventionist proprietorship appeared.
        • Rupert Murdock
        • Murdock introduced a perrsonalised style of management.
        • Murdock handpicked compliant editors.
      • 1997 to the present day
        • 'Global conservatism'
      • The Pluralist view of media owners not intervening with media content is evidently false as Curran's evidence shows.
      • There is little evidence eto support the Marxist idea that there is a deliberate capitalist conpiracy to subvert working-class consciousness.
      • CURRAN suggests that owners are motivated by economics rather than capitalist ideology.
      • CURRAN'S findings fit with findings of the Glasgow University Media Group (GUMG)
    • The Manipulative/ Instrumental Approach
      • MILIBAND
      • Traditional Marxist Approach
      • Ownerships is in the hands of a few media corporations
      • The media output serves the ruling-class
      • The ruling class can manipulate media content in its own interests
      • Owners have direct control over media content
      • They use it to spread ideas that justify the ruling-class power.
      • Media managers do not have much choice or power
      • Journalists support the interests of the owners.
      • The audience is assumed to be passive.
      • Strenghts
        • There is evdience to support the approach.
        • Media owners do control the content of the media.
        • Ownership is highly unconcentrated
        • Jounalists depend on owners for their careers
      • Weaknesses
        • Pluralists would argue that there is a wide range of opinions in the media.
        • The state regulates media ownership so one company does not have too much influence.
        • Audiences are not easily manipulated.
    • The Hegemonic Approach
      • Neo-Marxist Approach
      • Spreading ideology to legitimise ruling-class power
      • Journalists manipulate media content.
      • Hegemony
      • Dominant class ideology becomes the everyday common sense.
      • Owners of the media rarely have direct control on media content
      • Journalists support dominant ideology
      • The audience is exposed to a limited range of views.
      • Strenghts
        • Owners are often not involved in the day-to-day runnings of their businesses.
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