The Pluralist Approach

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  • The Pluralist Approach
    • Pluralism
      • the rejection of economic determinism & the inevitability of class conflict
      • they argue that capitalist systems are able to opperate successfully on the basis of participation & democracy
      • they see power in society as being spread among a wide variety of interest groups & individuals, with no single 1 having a monopoly of power
    • Pluralists believe...
      • the exercise of power in society reflects a broad range of social interests
      • power is spread between a diversity of different groups
      • that media content isn't driven by dominant ideology or the political interests of owners but through competition for high circulation & audience numbers
      • there's a wide range of competing magazines, TV channels, websites & other platforms that deliver media products which reflect a huge variety of audience interests & ideas, including those that challenge the dominant ideology
      • consumer choice controls the media content as if the media aren't responsive to the wishes of their audiences they'll go out of business - ofcom etc. stop this from happening
      • the media is generally free from government / direct owner control as journalist integrity values are upheld
      • in the interests of the owners that media content remains relevant to their audiences
      • audiences are free to pick & choose which media they select & how they interpret it
      • audiences have the freedom to accept, reject or re-interpret media content in accordance with their beliefs
      • the digitalization of (new) media allows all views to be represented through citizen journalism etc.
    • Evaluation
      • user generated media allows small groups & individuals a platform to voice their views (e.g.#metoo)
      • over emphasis on the power audiences have & impact of user generated content
      • society is media saturated - can be seen as over facing consumers - only so much content that can be take in
      • underestimates amount of control owners have
      • high concentration ratios - 84:4 (84% of media owned by 4 companies)


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