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DESCRIPTIONThis presentation discuss how Normative Theory is used to explain the phenomena of mass media.
- 1. Presented by: Roddena Kirksey Ariel Foreman Holley Quick
- Professionalism, a crusade to clean up the media and make it respectable and credible, followed the era of yellow journalism; its objective was to eliminate shoddy and irresponsible content.
- Media professionals and social elites used normative theory to answer questions regarding media reform. Social responsibility is the normative theory used in the United States.
- Social responsibility theory
- Two opposing viewpoints
- Radical libertarians (First Amendment absolutists) & Technocratic Control
- First Amendment absolutists take the idea of free press as literal and oppose government regulation.
- Technocrats do not trust the media and believes in the use of regulators to act in the public interest.
- Propaganda and mass society theories are used to justify media regulation.
- Libertarian theory opposes authoritarian theory, which requires all forms of communication to submit to governing elites.
- If freed from authoritarian rule individuals would naturally follow their conscience, seek truth, engage in public debate, and create better life for themselves and others.
- John Milton asserted in fair debate good and truthful arguments would always win out over lies and deceit, the self-righting principle. The self-righting principle is fundamental within social responsibility theory.
- The founding fathers also subscribed to liberal thought.
- Three fundamental concepts underpinning the founders belief in press freedom:
- Individual rights
- Attainment of truth
- At the nations founding, the US was one of the first nations to adopt Libertarian principles lined out in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.
- Restrictions on communication:
- Gag Orders
- Regulations prohibiting false advertising, child pornography, and offensive language.
- Laws have been written to restrict communication freedom so that other seemingly equally important rights might be guaranteed.
- The Rise of penny press and yellow journalism.
- Progressive and populist movements
- In response against Progressives and Populist, media practitioners solution was known as Marketplace of Ideas.
- Marketplace Ideas: The Notion that idea should be put before the public & the public will choose the best marketplace (Baran & Davis, pg104)
- Laissez-faire doctrine
- How the marketplace of ideas work (communication process)
- Sender + Idea + medium + receiver
- 6. Marketplace-of-Ideas Theory
- Limits government control.
- Allows natural fluctuations in tastes, ideals, and discourse.
- Puts trust in the audience
- Assumes good content will ultimately prevail
- Mistakenly equates media content with more tangible consumer products
- Puts too much trust in profit-motivated
- Ignores the fact that contents is intentionally brought is often accompanied by other, sometimes unwanted content
- Has an overly optimistic view of audiences media consumption skills.
- Mistakenly assumes audiences-not advertiser-is consumer.
- Definition of good is not universal.
- Populist and progressive politicians argument against yellow journalism.
- Establishment of government commissions to oversee their operation.
- FRC (Federal Radio Commission)
- FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
- A call for professionalism in media
- Professional schools
- The Canons of Journalism
- Fourth Estate
- Limitations have been placed on media professionals but the following problems have occurred:
- 1. Professionals in every field, including journalism, have been reluctant to identify and censure colleagues who violate professional standards.
- 2. Professional standards can be overly abstract and ambiguous
- 3. In contrast with medicine and law, media professionalization doesnt include standards for professional training and Licensing.
- 4. In contrast with other professions, media practitioners tend to have less independent control their work.
- 5. In the media industries, violation of professional standards rarely has immediate, directly observable consequences.
- Throughout WWII and during the anti-communist agitation that followed, there was pressure for greater government regulation of media.
- The Hutchins Commission on Freedom of the Press was established in 1942. Members consisted of leaders from many areas of society, including academics, politicians, and heads of social groups.
- The members where divided in 2 views:
- Libertarian views
- View that some form of press regulation was necessary
- Chicago School
- Envisioned modern cities as Great Communities composed of hundreds of small groups
- Pluralistic Groups
- In a Great Community, the various segments defined by specific unifyin
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