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Social construction of the
news…read more

Slide 2

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Theoretical reasons
· Norm setting
· The way the mass media emphasise and reinforce conformity to social
norms and seek to isolate those who do not conform by making them
victims of unfavourable reports
· Stories this may apply to include s murder cases, riots, football
hooliganism and security/expense fiddlers.
· The media encourages confirmative behaviour by deterring people to go
on strike, obeying the law, being brave and helping people
· Marxists would believe capitalist norms are being reinforced while
functionalists believe norm setting is good to deter people from being
deviant and enable society to run smoothly…read more

Slide 3

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Theoretical reasons
· Gate keeping
· The medias power to cover some stories and issues and to let others through. The
editors also decide how much time and space will be dedicated to each story
· Sometimes stories are excluded as journalists and editors believe the story may
lack interest to readers and viewers and some stories they may see as too
controversial or offensive to certain groups in society
· Glasgow media groups "Bad news" studies suggests that those who construct the
news are gate keepers influencing what the public gain knowledge of. Issues that
are most damaging to the upper classes are aired less frequently
· Marxist idea as they believe owners, editors and journalists are ensuring the ruling
class needs are met and is a way of maintaining hegemony…read more

Slide 4

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Theoretical reasons
· Agenda Setting
· Refers to the medias influence in laying down the list of subjects and
agendas for public discussion. The journalists and editors also decide what
side of the story it should be reported from and how much bias there will
be within the story
· People can only discuss topics they are informed about and make opinions
from what they have been told and shown. It's the medias role to provide
the information so those in control have a great deal of power.
· They chose what's left in or out of news stories and influence the main
topic of discussion for public concern
· Marxist idea as they believe owners, editors and journalists are ensuring
the ruling class needs are met and is a way of maintaining hegemony…read more

Slide 5

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Structural/professional influences
· Profit making
· Mass media predominately run by large business corporations with the aim of making a
profit. They run on a budget so may buy stories from news agencies if they haven't any
reporters for the story and these agencies have a huge impact on the news
· Most of the profit comes from advertising in news papers and commercial broadcasting.
· Wanting advertisers explains why there is so much concern about ratings for TV programmes
and circulation figures in newspapers
· Audiences need to be attracted for advertising to occur otherwise the channel or paper will
go out of business
· To attract a large audience, the media isn't too critical encase it upsets certain people in
society. Any unpopular points unrecognised and left out. Distorted news on scandals may be
reported to attract viewers/readers
· This is mainly a pluralist viewpoint but hegemonic Marxists realise an audience is needed to
make a profit so occasionally stories may be critical of the dominant ideology…read more

Slide 6

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Structural/professional influences
· Owners influence
· Owners control the mass media and have the largest say on how they want their
business to be run
· Owners won't be able to control day to day running of media due to it being so
highly concentrated so day to day tasks are left in the hands of journalists and
· Editors and journalists depend upon their boss (the owner) for their jobs so wont
write anything too critical of the dominant ideology.
· Both journalists and editors and the owner will share similar views as they are mainly
white males from a upper middle or upper class background.
· This is a manipulative and hegemonic Marxist viewpoint on how the owner controls
media content to maintain hegemony and justify the dominant ideology…read more

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