Selection and presentation of the news - Is it a social construct?

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: bibs_xo
  • Created on: 29-05-14 22:50

- Assess the view that the selection and

presentation of the news ‘is inevitably partial and biased’ - June 2011.

- Assess the view that the news is a social construction - Jun 2012.

- Assess sociological views of the selection

and presentation of the news - June 2013.

Debate: Selection and presentation of the news - Is it partially biased or a social construct?


Marxists particularly argue that the news is socially constructed to fit in with dominant ideology. This capitalist  ideology benefits ruling class interests and seems to benefit wc ideology

Whilst, neo-marxists argue that news is socially constructed but unintentionally by editors and journalists and is a result of their class. The Sutton Trust argue that 7% journalists are privately educated and bound to conform to RC ideology.

Key theorists

Spencer and Thomas, 2008 argue that news values are what influence what is selected to be in the news. Galtung and Ruge argue that news values are features that editors, journalists look for in order for stories to feature in the news. For example, reference to elite nations and person, threshold, negativity etc.

There are also bureaucratic and organisational routines which influence news content such as time, weather, funding, availability of space.

Governmental controls also influence news content, for example libel laws, the official secrets act and etc.

Doyle, 2002 argues that we should study ownership and control as the ruling class have control over dissemination of media and therefore undermine democracy as they influence public opinion. A02 Bagdikian supports Doyle by arguing that the concentration of ownership and control is a problem as owners influence news content. A02 Curran supports Bagdikian and argues that owners such as Murdoch influence their editors a lot. His editors are secondary socialised to conform to his beliefs, values and ways of seeing the world. If they rebel against his rules, then they are therefore sacked as failing journalists and replaced with aspiring ones. For this reason, the news is indirectly socially constructed and partially biased. This raises the question: are journalists, editors really objective, impartial delivers of the supposed truth? Chandler argues that the way the journalists present the news would give the


Adii x

Thank you!

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Mass Media resources »