Media- topic 3

Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

How do owners of the media influence news content?

  • Owners can give direct instructions to news editors. 
  • The owners influence the resources made available to cover news stories, for example the allocation of resources for reporters to pursue a story.
  • Journalists an editors have to depend on media owners for their career, therefore they will self-sensor and avoid reporting some stories.
  • The owners are concerned with making profit, this search for profit and large audiences menas that the news gets turned into unthreateniing, unchallenging, inoffensive and bland infotainment. 

Give an example of how media owners influence news content?

Rupert Murdoch sat in on an interview between Micheal Gove and Donald Trump, so he could make sure that the iinterview showed Trump in a positive light. 

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

How is advertising used in the news to make a profit?

The mainstream media is run by large business corporations with the aim of making money, the source of much of this profit is advertising, especially in newspapers, commercial TV, social media and on websitres. The dependence on advertising is why there is so much conern with ratings of TV programmes, the ciriculation figures oof newspapers, and the social class of readers, as well as the number of hits on websites. Advertisers wil usually only advertise if they know there is a large audience for their advertisements, or if the audience is well off and likely to buy their products. 

What do Barnett and Seymour et al state about advertising in the news?

They say that in oter to attract thw widest possible audience, it is important to appeal to everyone and not to offend anyone. This leads to conservatism in the media, which tries to avoid criticism of society in case the audience is offended. Therefore, minority or unpopular views go unrepresented in the media which helps to maintain the dominant ideology. 

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

How has the news changed over the past few years?

The news market is now very competitive, and globalisation means there are a mass of news providers across the world to choose from. New technology such as smartphones, cameras, emails, Twitter and interenet websites, means news is instantly available from anywhere in the world 24/7. In the global market, news provides must compete to survive. It is therefore important for news companies to stay up to date and tailor the way news is presented to the audience. 

What new opportunity has the new media led to?

It has led to greater opportunities for citizen journalism. This is the new media like videos shot on mobile phones which are uploaded to youtube or Twitter by ordinary folk, and are involed in directly collecting, reporting annd spreading news stroies and information with minimal cost.

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

What positive effect can citizen journalism have on society?

These alternative sources of news and infromation can help to overcome the supression of stories, or biased or inadequate news reports, in established media. The reports by citizen journalists reach large global audiences, this makes it increasingly difficult for the mainstream media organisations not to cover news stories they may have once ignored. 

Give an example of citizen journalism?

In a study of Machsom Ashuri (2012), showed how citizen journalism can overcome media bias. A womans organisation whose members mointor the human riihts of Palestinians at checkpoints set up by the Isreal Defence Forces, members of the group were able to show an alternative view to the one in the main media, as they were able to give their own reports at checkpoints, by posting videos and photos on their website. 

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

How have the changes in the ways news is reported led to organisational pressures on news and media organisations?

News and media organisations have little alternative but to respond to the changed situation, and journalists now produce material for the web first, rather than for the newspapers or TV. Competition means news organisations have to work within very short time schedules, to meet shoterning deadline, whch means shortcuts to news gathering may need to be taken, which cn lead to iinadequate information being collected.

What is agenda setting accrding to McCombs?

Agenda setting is the idea that news media not only tells us about what to think about, but also how to think about certain subjects. 

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

What do the GMG argue about agenda setting?

Suggests that main media organisations and the journalists within them, work within a framework of the dominant ideology, which helps to form the list of subjects that the public are encouraged to think about, and so audiences have little real choice on the news they recieve. 

What did Philo of the GMG note about an example of agenda setting?

Philo of the GMG noted that in the global baking crisis of 2008 onwards, the media were very effective in chanelling public anger towards the greed of bankers, buut focused public attention on the solutions within the existing sytem. The media actively discouraged the public from thinking about solutions which challeneged the exisiting financial system, by avoiding the discussion of alternatives. 

What effect does agenda setting have on the news?

Through agenda setting and giving more prominance to some issues than others, the media are socially constructing the news and encouraging audiences to think about what the most impotant isues are and what they should or shouldnt be interested in or concerned about. 

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

What is gatekeeping in the media?

Gatekeeping is the medias power too refuse to cover some issues and let others through. GMG research suggested that owners, editors and journalists construct the news by acting as gatte keepers, influencing what knowledge the public gains access to. Sometimes, the media do not cover issues because journaliists see them as too offensive, controversial or threatening to society. News is selected based on what journalists see as important or what they think is entertaining to audiences. 

Give an example of gatekeeping in the media?

An example of gatekeeping is the idea that the media often chooses to report on strikes negatively, whilst issues such as health and safety infringements are not reported on. This leads to more public concern on stopping future strikes which actually causes less damage than health and safety infringements.

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

What is norm setting?

Norm setting describes the way the media emphasise and reinforce conformity to social norms, and seek to isolate those who do not conform by making them victtims of unfavourable news reports. 

What are the 2 ways norm setting is achieved in?

  • Encouraging coformist behaviour by rewarding people who stick to the norms and values of society.
  • Discouraging non-conformist behaviour where the media  gives sensational treatment to stories where people do not follow the norms of society.
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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

How does the presentation of the news influence how many people view it?

  • The physical postion od the news story on a website or in a newspaper, the order of importance given to storiies, choice of headlines, whether there is a an accompying film or photographs aan the camera angles will all influence the attetion given to a particular issue. 
  • Some issues may not be covered at all especially if there are no camera crew to report it in the area. However, camera shots of images are just a snapshot of what happened and could show biased.

What is false reporting?

False reporting through eeitther complletely making up stories to inventing a few details, and the medias tendancy to exaggerate and dramatise events, are devices used to make a story more interesting and attract audiences. This is especially true with tabloid newspapers such as the sun. 

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

What can false reporting generate?

Moral panic- a wave of public concern about a some exaggerated or imaginary threat to society.

What are moral panics?

Moral panics a generated around activities of social groups which are defined as threatining to society or the dominant ideology. The classic study of moral panics, was Cohens study of mods and rockers. Moral panics show the medias power to define what is normal and what is deviant, unacceptable behvaiour.

When do moral panics occur?

Moral panics begin when the media starts expressing concern over certian activities and the behaviour of certain groups, and exaggerating their real significance and the harm caused to society. 

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

What do moral panics and false reporting cause?

It can cause public anxiety and hotility towards the group or activity, and encourage agencies like schools, social services, police and courts to stamp down hard and take harsh measures against alleged trouble makers. This action can cause more deviant behaviour, as people become more aware of things via media, which they would not have previously been alerted to. Or the groups  concerned may play up to the behaiour to gain media attention, or react with hostility to those who are attempting to stop their activities.

What is news selection?

Millions of news worthy events occur every single day meaning onlt a small selection of these stories can make it to the daily news. Journalists therefore have a criteria of what makes a stroy newsworthy, they will pick stories which are more likely to appeal to audiences.  

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

Name four news values and give examples for each?

  • Continuity- events that are likely to have a continuing impact, meaning newspapers can fo running stories leaving their journalists there.- Brexit and article 50 as it takes a long time to come into force.
  • Elite nations or people- West European and merican news will take preference, news surrounding important people suuch as celebs and politicians- Merkel disagrees with May over Brexit.
  • Negativity- bad news is nearly always rated above good news- London and Manchetser terror attack.
  • Threshold- stories that impact a large amount of people are likely to make the news- peanuts with mealss gaurds against heart attacks. 
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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

How does the hiearchy of credibility affect the media content?

Journalists operate within what Becker calls a hierachy of credibility, this means they attach the greatest importance to the views of the powerful and influential individuals and groups, such as senior politicians, senior police officers, civil servants and bankers. Hall et al refer to these people as primary definers, who regularly feature in the media as experts and are in the postion to set news agenda and influence what journalists define as news and how they present it. 

How does journalists political view affect media content?

Journalists tend to be in the moderate centre ground of politics, and therefore ignore and treat unfavourably. What they regard as extremist or radical views.

How does journalists backgrounds affect media content?

Journalists tend to be white, male and middle class and share the interests of the dominant ideology. This influences whose opinions they seek for comment, what issues they see as important, and how they think issues should be presnted and explained to audiences.  

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

How do journalists wanting to keep work simple affect media content?

Journalists like to keep their work as simple as possible, to reduce time and cost, they often produce atricles based on info provided by news agencies, government press releases, publiv relations cosultants and spin doctors, without checking facts for themselves. This is known as churnalism- reports are based on what others claim about events rather than what reporters have discovered.

What is churnalism?

Churnalism is a word used to describe the trend whereby journalists were uncrtically churning out articles based on second hand news agency reports, and are packaged material from press releases, rather than digging out the news for themselves and doing further research.

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Media- topic 3- the selection and presentation of

What evidence can be used to support the idea of a rise in churnalism?

Davies found that 80% of stories in the times, the gaurdian, the independent, the daily telegraph and the daily mail, were wholly, mainly, or partially consturucted from second hand mateiral, provided by news agenices. Only 12% of stories were generated by reporters. 


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Williams is the sociologists who mentions 'infotainment'

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