Marxism

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Media
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MARXISM
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The mass media is a societal institution that transmits and controls the masses through the
transmission of IDEOLOGY
Marxists argue there is a DOMINANT IDEOLOGY within society that is akin to the
DOMINANT CLASS . For Marxism, this is the BOURGEOISIE
Traditional Marxists argue that the media is controlled and owned by a very small group of
people (concentrated)
- This allows for a very narrow range of media material to be published
The owners of the media ( media moguls, members of the Bourgeoisie) directlycontrol
and manipulate its content, and as a result, the audience
Profits are protected and the dominant ideology continues to prevail, allowing them
control over the Proletariat
Marxists writers, such as Ralph Miliband, argue the media is a tool used by the dominant
group to control the masses and convince them the widespread inequalities are inevitable
within a capitalist society
- Miliband suggests the mass media is the " NEW OPIUM OF THE PEOPLE "
This control is not imposed on the masses but also economically on the media's
workforce
- As they have little choice in their work and must produce what their bosses want so they
keep their jobs
Because of this, media content is biased, one-sided and often attacks, ridicules or ignores
ideas from groups that seem to threaten or criticize the interests of the dominant class,
ensuring the status quo within society
Traditional Marxists assume the media audience is passive, easily manipulated, unthinking
and uncritical robots
- They swallow every opinion and biased report found in the media
The theory argues media audiences are fed a dumbed-down media diet of undemanding,
trivial and uncritical content to avoid them focusing of serious issues in a manner which
supports the dominant class
DO THE RULING CLASS CONTROL THE MEDIA CONTENT?
Italy:
- Support for Marxist ideas can be found by examining the Italian media industry
- Ex Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi,owned 3 TV channels that had an audience figure of
40% of the Italian population
- He used this media outlet to help win the election in 1994
Curran and Seaton (2010)
- Investigated the content of newspapers and found evidence to support the claim that

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Media
newspaper owners often did interfere with the newspaper content
- For example, in February 2003, Rupert Murdoch strongly supported the War in Iraq; all
175 News Corporations publications also supported the war
- Murdoch admitted that he was "in the hands on both economically and editorially"
Tunstall and Palmer (1991)
- Argue that governments are no longer interested in controlling or regulating media
conglomerates
- Instead they offer ` regulatory favour s' in return for support or disinterest in government
policy, thus allowing media…read more

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Media
However, despite the lack of direct influence, they continue to produce media products
that support the DOMINANT IDEOLOGY
DO MEDIA PROFESSIONALS CONTROL THE MEDIA CONTENT?
The Glasgow Media Group (GUMG)
- They can be associated with the Neo-Marxist perspective
- Suggest most journalists, who typically are white, middle class and male , are a
by-product of their socialisation process, produce content which supports the dominant
capitalist system
- Personal values, translate into professional values, and as such media professionals often
produce content that is…read more

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Media
Pluralists argue; the media is driven by ` economic factors'
- Fight for profits, media owners achieve this by competing with each other
Rather than individuals or groups controlling the media, the content is decided via
CONSUMER CHOICE or as Pluralists suggest, `
MARKET MECHANISM '.
In free-market economies, it is the people, through their purchase power, who are the real
power holders
Media professionals act with autonomy
- They produce stories, television programmes and news bulletins etc.…read more

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