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C A Murray CMNS 130 State, Media and Politics. C A Murray CMNS 130 Objectives of this lecture To introduce key concepts: ideology, democracy To introduce.

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Presentation on theme: "C A Murray CMNS 130 State, Media and Politics. C A Murray CMNS 130 Objectives of this lecture To introduce key concepts: ideology, democracy To introduce."— Presentation transcript:

1 C A Murray CMNS 130 State, Media and Politics

2 C A Murray CMNS 130 Objectives of this lecture To introduce key concepts: ideology, democracy To introduce normative theories of the press Introduce the laws and institutions in place to express this theory of the press

3 C A Murray CMNS 130 Ideology A system of ideas or way of thinking about how to relate politics and society May be consensual, or conflictual Unitary: where one culture is dominant, or Plural: minority Ideologies define what we take as commonsense, as moral ‘telos’ or goal They rationalize why we choose to live together in a society, and how we choose to organize the power in that society

4 C A Murray CMNS 130 Democracy An ideology A system of ideas about political organization of a demos: ( greek: peoples) and kratos ( rule) Literally and most simply: Rule by the People Core assumptions: Reflect the enlightenment: centrality of the idea of individual autonomy Also the theoretical social good of equality

5 C A Murray CMNS 130 Key features of Modern Democracies Elections of representatives to govern by majority By voters consisting of entire adult population Whose votes carry equal weight Who are allowed to vote in secret without coercion For Limited Terms: accountable to re- election or rejection

6 C A Murray CMNS 130 Democracy around the World Now Over 180 democracies: the dominant form of political organizations among nation states Dominance is less than 100 years old Just over half the world’s population lives in a democratic state: yet fewer than 50 countries offer a relatively free press Right to vote has not become universal in most Western democracies until after 2nd World War

7 C A Murray CMNS 130 Myths and Reality Myth: there is one form of democracy Reality: 311 different definitions of democracy in the study of political communication; at least eight different historical models of democracy Conclusion: democracy is culturally- bounded Modern Democracies sharply vary in their protections of minorities from majorities

8 C A Murray CMNS 130 Press and Democracy around the World media played role in rise of modern nation state, emergence of democracies, Fall of Berlin Wall, fall of communism, fall of Milosevic in Serbia– are media playing a roll in beating back fundamentalist Islamic militantism? Or its spread ( Al Jazeera) creating an independent media is an important communication goal in Eastern Europe, South Africa and other regimes But, as seen above, most countries choose a different model than the Western one of a free press: why?

9 C A Murray CMNS 130 Normative Theories of the Media A type of theory, or strain of ideology, which describes the ideal way for media systems to be structured and operated

10 C A Murray CMNS 130 Four Theories of the Press Libertarian Social Responsibility Authoritarian Development/Communist

11 C A Murray CMNS 130 Authoritarian Theory Watch for this on your handouts in the Video Today The media are a tool of the authority A range of Authoritarian Regimes: ‘benign’ kings/rulers: Sauds in Saudi Arabia Military dictatorships One party states Dictators

12 C A Murray CMNS 130 Authoritarian Views hold that the ruling class is more discerning: rabble must be contained criticism and public dissent is not tolerated if it jeapardizes social cohesion, stability, economic growth or the common good press may be licensed: censorship before publication is prevalent criticizing government programs undermines the peace

13 C A Murray CMNS 130 Sanctions of Authoritarian Regimes reporters and citizens may be jailed: all dissent is illegitimate ( range of dissent tolerated may vary) still present in some developing countries in Asia, Middle East and Latin America and Africa Media become a part of the apparatus of the State\dominant military, economic or political class. associated with totalitarianism: forms of military, royal dictatorship * see L & G p. 74

14 C A Murray CMNS 130 Libertarian Theory A theory that the press are an extension of the individual’s absolute right to freedom of the Press At its most extreme: no role for the state Makes no distinction between individual’s right to freedom of expression or a private media corporation’s right to freedom of expression: irony: corporations have most often spoken up on individual freedoms Protects security of private ownership

15 C A Murray CMNS 130 Libertarian II Related to classical liberalism theory Classical Liberalism has a romantic view of the individual as good, rational and completely able to distinguish good from bad Like one of its theorists: Milton: believes that debate is always fair and that good and truthful arguments win out over lies and deceit

16 C A Murray CMNS 130 Libertarian III Wants to unleash the market/freedom of expression for the media Opposes censorship in any form: no pre or post censorship Democracy is best achieved by radical protection of individual freedoms and advancement of the market Free people, left to their own devices, will make economically and intellectually profitable choices

17 C A Murray CMNS 130 Libertarian 2 Freedom from state intervention is the central slogan Media are seen as a commodity like any other: privately owned, in pursuit of profit, subject only to the ‘invisible hand’ of the market Freedom of press is absolute: that is, press may promote ideas of their own choosing– citizens are able to make enlightened choices of media tailored to their own beliefs Many vestiges of 19th century libertarian ideology remain in the newspaper industry; modern platforms of Alliance and Libertarian parties, Fraser Institute in review of media

18 C A Murray CMNS 130 Libertarian Model Closest analogy to print media ( books, newspapers) Closest country analogy is US Only time these views are suspended is in time of war/extraordinary upheaval In times of WAR, state may license, censor or otherwise suppress news “ in the interests of national security”

19 C A Murray CMNS 130 Problems with the Libertarian Model historically, costs of entry to publishing rose competition was not free: oligopoly and monopolies arose shocks of Great Depression challenged this consensus model of economic rationality underpinning behavior began to unravel (Freud, Resistance etc)

20 C A Murray CMNS 130 Problems/ Libertarian View central analytic question: does a system of private ownership promote diversity of expression and high standards of journalism? Are citizens “ enlightened” enough to make choices? How well does an exclusively market dominated media system media serve the public?

21 C A Murray CMNS 130 Social Responsibility Focuses less on the individual than the welfare of society Concerned about equality ( where overall benefit of the many may override the individual) Sees a more extensive role for the State Related to reform liberalism and rise of electronic era Central belief is that the media are not a commodity like any other: central to democratic expression; therefore a public good Democracy must protect the interests of the majority against the harm of extreme individual freedoms; but also promote diversity of views, protect rights of minorities

22 C A Murray CMNS 130 Social Responsibility 2 Freedom For the pursuit of the democratic social good is the central slogan ( not freedom from) Associated with the rise and sunset of the welfare state: protection of basic economic and cultural freedoms Freedom of the press is not absolute: it is responsible to society Regulation may be necessary in the social interest ( and especially in case of spectrum scarcity) Vestiges of the social responsibility model remain in broadcasting media Generally: social responsibility model applies to radio, TV industries around the world Internationally, Canada and Europe and some of the Asian countries ( eg Singapore) conform to this view.

23 C A Murray CMNS 130 Key Assumptions of Social Responsibility Models Must regulate competition to ensure sufficient diversity in market place ( perhaps order sale) Must create codes of fair treatment by media, and promote ethics and training in journalism Must protect against flagrant abuses ( false advertising, libel, hate crimes) Promote public subsidy or public not for profit ownership of media where underrepresented minorities frozen out

24 C A Murray CMNS 130 Problems with the Social Responsibility Model despite efforts to impose it on the newspaper industry in Canada and US, this model has not become prevalent across all media trend to global free trade and deregulation is undercutting models of social responsibility now often narrowly interpreted as the industry’s right to develop and regulate their own codes of conduct (self-regulation by professionals)

25 C A Murray CMNS 130 Problems Cont’d private sector in broadcasting, which has represented a so-called ideal type of social responsibility regulation of the media in Canada has not achieved certain democratic or national goals analytic question: when social responsibility conflicts with the profit motive, what then? Classic argument: leave it to the educated elites

26 C A Murray CMNS 130 Four Types of Political Control over the Media Legal/Regulatory Controls over Freedom of Expression Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Regulation Voluntary Controls News Manufacture: Indirect State Economic Influence Election Regulation/Marketing and Persuasion

27 C A Murray CMNS 130 Sources:


29 C A Murray CMNS 130 BACK TO INDEX

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