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Vehicle Strand The News and Power. News and Power B&S: the news and a public remit; news construction; impartiality and accuracy; news values; news futures.

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Presentation on theme: "Vehicle Strand The News and Power. News and Power B&S: the news and a public remit; news construction; impartiality and accuracy; news values; news futures."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vehicle Strand The News and Power

2 News and Power B&S: the news and a public remit; news construction; impartiality and accuracy; news values; news futures. today = news construction Key terms: ideology, factual narrative, filters, elitism But first: Plato…

3 Plato Allegory of the Cave The Republic, 360 BC political philosophy and more allegory = an educational tale key elements represent real world in fictional form e.g. Animal Farm concerned with reality and illusion…

4 The Allegory of the Cave Imagine an underground chamber like a cave, with a long entrance open to the daylight and as wide as the cave. In this chamber are men who have been prisoners there since they were children, their legs and necks being so fastened that they can only look straight ahead of them and cannot turn their heads. Some way off, behind and higher up, a fire is burning, and between the fire and the prisoners, and above them, runs a road, in front of which a curtain-wall has been built, like the screen at puppet shows between the operators and their audience, above which they show their puppets. Imagine further that there are men carrying all sorts of gear along behind the curtain-wall, projecting above it and including figures of men and animals made of wood and stone and all sorts of other materials, and that some of these men, as you would expect, are talking and some are not. Plato, 1888, Book 7, §7


6 Explanation and Escape prisoners can see only the shadows they assume these are reality escape = incomprehension, disbelief sunlight would hurt their eyes initially would want to return would adjust and be glad to be free might feel responsibility to return Any Questions?

7 Plato and The Matrix The Allegory = The Matrix both about mistaking illusion for reality: computer simulation (The Matrix) puppet show re-presentation (Plato) Neo is the freed prisoner Why do my eyes hurt?

8 Plato, Narrative and Audience Monomyth and The Allegory: departure > initiation > return Audiences and The Allegory: Cave = Media effects approach

9 Platos Point the story = an allegory (literal +symbolic meaning) designed to make us think most opinions and beliefs are untrue people uncritically accept appearances shows us that our reality is an illusion

10 Exploitation difference between Allegory & Matrix: machines are exploiting humans illusion works to some elses benefit dupes are unaware of the exploitation

11 The Allegory of The Matrix The Matrix: far-fetched sci-fi? treat it as an allegory: what we experience is not reality, but a set of re-presentations we are all being fooled + exploited this is ideology

12 Why Study Ideology? it concerns the power of the media: c.f. representations and stereotypes c.f. audiences and effects model the Big Question of Media Studies Any Questions?

13 What Is Ideology? an ideology is: - idea, attitude, belief, value - idea shared by a social group - interpretation of reality, - partial point of view, representation - a way of understanding the world, a whole world view

14 How Does Ideology Work? circulates within institutions: family, education, media, etc we adopt the ideologies of those around us believed to be true, obvious, natural, common sense determines behaviour: people act on it serves the interests of a particular group these interests are concealed by ideology

15 Example 1950s housewife women stay at home: cook, clean, raise children, etc this seems completely natural wouldnt change it for the world Sex and the City = incomprehensible women exploited, men benefit

16 The Power of the News Starkey (2007) : National television news = the most trusted source of news (82%) International satellite news trusted by 52% Television the most important source of news for 68% of British population 72% of British population say television is their key source for international news. Why?

17 The Power of the News Elements of Realism: audio-visual conventions and subject matter Elements of Realism: impartiality, objectivity and public remit We will come back to ideology and the news, but first…

18 What is News? Harrisons (2006) five defining precepts of the news: 1. News has an orientation to the truth 2. There are lots of types of journalism 3. News is what journalists deem worthy 4. There is a relationship between news and how audiences perceive society, culture, politics and so on 5. Conflict between serving the public and media groups commercial value

19 What is News? 3. News is what journalists deem worthy Journalists are restricted by their employers Stories are shaped by audience demographic Types of stories vary according to the type of broadcast or newspaper Popularity or breadth of a news story

20 What is News? Activity: comparison of news headlines What time of day are the news programmes broadcast? What channel are they broadcast on? What are the headlines? Do these differ? If so, why? Consider the time of day, the news channel, the possibly audience.

21 Allans (2004) rules of newsworthiness Conflict – balance dictates that each story has two sides. Relevance – story needs to have an impact on the viewer. Timeliness – ideally within the last 24 hours. Simplification – significance needs to be understood easily. Personalization – emphasis on human actors. Unexpectedness – something out of the ordinary. Continuity – where might the event fit in to something bigger. Composition – news bulletins must cover a range of topics. Elite nations – is the country concerned important to the audience. Elite persons – not about ordinary people. Cultural specificity – will the audience share the meaning of the story? Negativity – bad news more newsworthy than good news.

22 The Power of the Media Noam Chomsky linguistics, MIT commentator on power of the media researches what media leave out media are ideological

23 Filters broadcasters filter information selections are made we get whats left

24 Chomsky Manufacturing Consent: ideas about the media relationship with the media film and book in library Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media…

25 What is News? Activity: Watch the news headlines again and consider: How many stories relate to Allans rules of newsworthiness? Do these differ according to the news broadcast? Are the broadcasts impartial and objective? How do you know?

26 Environment Strand Everyone a Publisher

27 The Xerox media power and the internet Key term: gatekeeping the Xerox makes everyone a publisher (McLuhan: 1977, p. 178) first Xerox photocopier: 1959 inexpensive and widely accessible

28 Online Xerox everyone a publisher online Week 5: online identities: blogs, homepages, forum Week 6: global village: participation and Wikipedia how does online publishing affect gatekeeping and control of the media?

29 Gatekeeping gatekeepers: those who control access to information Morpheus: agents are gatekeepers Levinson: two kinds of gatekeeping: (1) ideological (2) economic

30 Ideological Gatekeeping an institution restricts access to information e.g. Church or government protect audiences from heresy or obscenity (c.f. effects model) extreme form = censorship mild form = e.g. 9.00pm watershed a qualitative limitation

31 Economic Gatekeeping publishing costs money (paper, ink, transport, etc) e.g. limited space in a newspaper e.g. limited book publications editors must choose what is important or financially viable some ideological influence a quantitative limitation

32 (1) Internet and Ideology the internet affects both kinds of gatekeeping everyone a publisher = infinite ideological viewpoints what someone censors, someone else publishes access and coverage on a global scale

33 We the Media Dan Gillmor, We the Media (2004) (book online and in library) blogging > book drafts > feedback internet changes balance of power between journalist and reader today: news like a lecture (hot) tomorrow: news like a conversation (cool) producer and consumer in dialogue

34 Examples consumers are becoming producers (c.f. global village) Wikipedia (South Korea) some blogs more popular than papers and US troops

35 The End of Gatekeeping? it is easier to leak information it is harder to control information result = better media, better democracy

36 (2) Internet and Economics internet sidesteps economic gatekeeping: very cheap, no space limitations websites potentially boundless e.g. Times Online, Guardian Unlimited

37 Gatekeeping Mentality greater freedom > two fears: fear of rubbish fear of overload we need official experts to filter information: e.g. Wikipedia this is the gatekeeping mentality Levinson: from filtration to evaluation…

38 Filtration > Evaluation two examples: (1) websites: - good sites get lots of links, e.g. Google - good sites rise to the top of the listing - no need to remove sites - no filtering just evaluation

39 Filtration > Evaluation (2) Amazon - traditional bookshops are subject to economic gatekeeping: limited stock/ display - Amazon stocks everything (even 2 nd hand) - everything is equally available…

40 Filtration > Evaluation there is no filtration (censorship): all books remain equally available customer reviews provide evaluation (frequently opposing) e.g. The Medium is the MassageThe Medium is the Massage plus evaluation of evaluation

41 The End of Gatekeeping? the internet undermines gatekeeping ideological economic it replaces filtration with evaluation the end of gatekeeping?

42 Next weeks reading Branston and Stafford: Chapter 11 Debating Advertising, Branding and Celebrity

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