2 Ownership and control of the mass media To work in pairs and groups in order to:Investigate the extent of media ownership in the UK.Outline and evaluate the Sociological theories on the ownership and control of media.Consider the effect the internet has on the distribution of power in society.Who owns the mass media in the UK? What are the Sociological perspectives on ownership of the mass media?What influence does the internet have over the distribution of power within the media?
3 Starter In pairs, discuss these questions: What is LA news bulletin/twitter feed about in terms of the content of its articles?Who is LA news bulletin’s /twitter feed target audience?What is therefore the purpose of LA news bulletin’s /twitter feed?Who owns LA news bulletin’s /twitter feed? Does this have an effect on the paper’s purpose and the types of articles it publishes?Would the content of LA news bulletin’s /twitter feed be different if it was owned by Chestnut Grove?
4 Home learningAnswer the short mark exam questions.Due – next lesson.
5 Task 1Work in pairs.Study the table in front of you and answer these questions in full sentences:How many companies publish the majority of national daily newspapers in the UK?What percentage of all national daily newspapers in the UK are owned by News International?Apart from newspapers, what other forms of media are owned by News International?What percentage of all national daily newspapers in the UK are published by Independent News and Media?Extension questions:Does this mean that the ownership of the press is spread out or concentrated?What could be the problem of media ownership being concentrated in a democracy?
6 Ownership of the mediaThe debate in Sociology is, if only a few companies own and control the media in the UK, does this pose a threat to democracy as the owners of the media can use it to control what is published and in their own interest.There are three views on this in Sociology:The pluralist approachThe conflict approachThe influence of the internet on the control of the media
7 Task 2 Complete the worksheet on the follow 3 approaches. The pluralist approachThe conflict approachThe influence of the internet on the control of the mediaYou have 15 minutes.
8 The pluralist approach A range of views and interests exist in society and are provided for by the press in the UK because there is a variety of newspapers and magazines available to us based on our interests, e.g. The Sun, The Guardian, Gay Times, Hello, Woman’s Weekly, NME, The Voice, Asian Bride, etc. Therefore, everyone’s points of view and interests are catered for and represented.The owners of the media do not control its content, the media simply gives us what we need and want. This is because is if the newspapers included something we were not interested, we would not buy them. For example, The Sun has very little international news because its readers are not interested in such information. If The Sun started including a lot of international news, its readers would be put off and would stop buying it.Freedom of the press refers to the fact that the media is free from control and interference of its owners.According to the pluralist approach, the media in the UK does have freedom. This is because people would stop buying a newspaper if they didn’t like what’s included in it, anyone can set up their own newspaper if they don’t like any that are already published, readers can have their views included in the newspapers by writing letters to the editor, it is not the owners who decide what is published, but the media professionals such as journalists and editors.
9 The conflict approachThe owners of the media control the content of the newspapers by putting across their own views for their own interest. For example, if a large business owns a newspaper, they would include a lot of articles in favour of the business world and a lot of articles against organisations such as trade unions.The owners of the media make sure the newspapers they own publish stories which are in their interest by hiring editors who have the same views as they do and firing those editors that do not.The owners of the media control what is and isn’t published. The evidence for this is: only a few companies own most of the press in the UK so they can control the news stories, multimedia conglomerates have emerged – these are companies that own many different types of media (e.g. News International owns newspapers, TV channels, internet websites, film companies), these conglomerates are international so they don’t just control the news in a country, but across countries.
10 The influence of the internet on the control of the media The internet can help democracy by spreading power more widely between different groups and individuals. This is because people can get information, express their own political opinions and exert influence. This empower people.The internet is increasing people’s access to politics by giving them political information and enabling them to easily communicate with their MPs, e.g. through , pressure groups can also use the internet to spread their message.The internet is giving people the opportunity to be involved in politics by giving them information about political parties quickly and for free, enables people to respond to news with their own opinions, it is interactive so people can create their own content, expressing their views, people can organise protests online and get people to sign petitions.However, people prefer to use the internet for entertainment rather than for politics and not everyone has access to the internet.
11 Home learning – ownership and control of the media Describe and explain one characteristic of press ownership in Britain. (5 marks)According to the pluralist approach, how can the market (the readership - the public) control the content of newspapers? (5 marks)According to the pluralist approach, identify two reasons why the freedom of press exists. (2 marks)According to the conflict approach, explain one factor that can influence the content of news. (5 marks)Identify two arguments for and two arguments against the view that the internet empowers people in a democracy. (4 marks)
12 Task 3Create a poster about one of the approaches.
13 How can media develop people’s political views? What effect do the media have on its audience? How do the mass media act as agents of socialisation?How can media develop people’s political views?What are the mass media? Technological advances affecting the mass mediaThe consumption of the mass media - newspaper readership, TV watching and the InternetMass media representations of ethnic groupsHow is the content of the media created?What influence has the development of the internet got over the distribution of power within the media?Who owns the mass media? - Theories on the mass mediaContemporary media related issues such as violenceRevision and end of Topic exam questionMass media representations of genderMass media and crime
14 ReviewUse your own knowledge from today’s lesson to fill in the grid. Which view do you agree with and why?Pluralist approachConflict approachThe internet’s influenceWhose interests dominate in society?Who or what influences the content of the media?What is the effect on democracy?No one’s dominate, everyone’s interests are equally represented.The interest of a small minority dominate society.No one’s dominate, everyone’s interests can be equally represented through the internet.The readers influence the content of the media.The owners influence the content.Anyone with access to the internet can influence the content.Positive as everyone has a say.Negative as only the ruling minority have a say.Positive, as anyone can have a say.