Social Construction of the News

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  • Created by: Elysia
  • Created on: 29-01-14 09:14
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  • Social Construction of the News
    • Journalists
      • Trained media professionals who report on events
      • Stories must be seen as newsworthy to be selected
      • Journalists use a range of criteria called news values
        • News values reflect the beliefs and attitudes of the journalists
        • Ruge (1965) analysed international news and found that news values were present in the stories that made it to the top of the news agenda
        • Vasterman (1995) argues that journalists do not report events, they construct the facts into "a" reality
        • Hall (1981)  argues that the list of news values fails to shed light on the ideological factors underlying them
    • Editors
      • Editors are trained media professionals who supervise journalists
      • Have the ability to change/rewrite stories
        • Curran and Gurevitch (2005) make note of the self-censorship journalists employ in order to please theireditors
      • Sumpter (2000) suggests that editors keep a close eye on audience figuress and make decisions based on increasing audience figures
      • Editors have greater power and control that journalists and are involved in agernda settings
        • Agenda setting involves the shaping of a news story, including the focus given to particular issues
    • Owners
      • Strive to ensure their organisation is a profitable as possible
      • Owners employ media professionals to write and report news stories
      • There is much speculation as to the role of the owner
        • Some argue that owners leave the media professionals to construct the news
        • Others argue that owners seek to exert influence over the content of the news
    • The State
      • Laws
        • Certain stories can be censrored or banned through the use of laws based on the grounds of national security
          • Officials Secrets Act
          • Terrorism Act 2006
      • Spin Doctors
        • Place a particular 'spin' on a news story that conveys a messae in a way they want the public to percieve it
        • Another spin technique involves delyaing bad news until a day where it will do the least damage
      • Constitutional Constraints
        • The BBC Royal Chrater sets out a public purpose for the BBC
          • This involves promoting education and learning and stimulating creativity and cultural excellence
        • The BBC is rrequired, under the terms of the Charter, to maintain an independant approch
  • Both journalists and editors are gatekeepers - a form of censorship
    • The processes of gatekeeping and agenda setting means that some events and issues are not reported
      • Some argue that this process is influenced by wider ideological influences


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