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Contents: Unit 1-12

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摘要: Contents: Unit 1-12

Contents: Unit 1Unit 12

 

 

Unit 1 Define Journalism

 

Journalism is the investigation and reporting of events, issues, and trends to a broad audience. Although there is much variation within journalism, the ideal is to inform the citizenry. Besides covering organizations and institutions such as government and business, journalism also covers cultural aspects of society such as arts and entertainment.

 

Contents

1. Role of journalism

2. The elements of journalism

3. Legal status

4. Right to protect confidentiality of sources

5. Current state of journalism in the US

6. News values

 

1. Role of journalism

In the 1920s, as modern journalism was just taking form, writer Walter Lippmann and American philosopher John Dewey debated over the role of journalism in a democracy. Their differing philosophies still characterize a debate about the role of journalism in society and the nation-state.

Lippmann understood that journalism’s role at the time was to act as a mediator or translator between the public and policy making elites. The journalist became the middleman. When elites spoke, journalists listened and recorded the information, distilled it, and passed it on to the public for their consumption. His reasoning behind this was that the public was not in a position to deconstruct the growing and complex flurry of information present in modern society, and so an intermediary was needed to filter news for the masses. Lippman put it this way: The public is not smart enough to understand complicated, political issues. Furthermore, the public was too consumed with their daily lives to care about complex public policy. Therefore the public needed someone to interpret the decisions or concerns of the elite to make the information plain and simple. That was the role of journalists. Lippmann believed that the public would affect the decision-making of the elite with their vote. In the meantime, the elite (i.e. politicians, policy makers, bureaucrats, scientists, etc.) would keep the business of power running. In Lippman’s world, the journalist’s role was to inform the public of what the elites were doing. It was also to act as a watchdog over the elites, as the public had the final say with their votes. Effectively that kept the public at the bottom of the power chain, catching the flow of information that is handed down from experts/elites.

Dewey, on the other hand, believed the public was not only capable of understanding the issues created or responded to by the elite, it was in the public forum that decisions should be made after discussion and debate. When issues were thoroughly vetted, then the best ideas would bubble to the surface. Dewey believed journalists should do more than simply pass on information. He believed they should weigh the consequences of the policies being enacted. Over time, his idea has been implemented in various degrees, and is more commonly known as “community journalism”.

This concept of community journalism is at the centre of new developments in journalism. In this new paradigm, journalists are able to engage citizens and the experts/elites in the proposition and generation of content. It’s important to note that while there is an assumption of equality, Dewey still celebrates expertise. Dewey believes the shared knowledge of many is far superior to a single individual’s knowledge. Experts and scholars are welcome in Dewey’s framework, but there is not the hierarchical structure present in Lippman’s understanding of journalism and society. According to Dewey, conversation, debate, and dialogue lie at the heart of a democracy.

While Lippman’s journalistic philosophy might be more acceptable to government leaders, Dewey’s approach is a better description of how many journalists see their role in society, and, in turn, how much of society expects journalists to function. Americans, for example, may criticize some of the excesses committed by journalists, but they tend to expect journalists to serve as watchdogs on government, businesses and actors, enabling people to make informed decisions on the issues of the time.

2. The elements of journalism

According to The Elements of Journalism, a book by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, there are nine elements of journalism. In order for a journalist to fulfill their duty of providing the people with the information, they need to be free and self-governing. They must follow these guidelines:

Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.

Its first loyalty is to the citizens.

Its essence is discipline of verification.

Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.

It must serve as an independent monitor of power.

It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.

It must strive to make the significant interesting, and relevant.

It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.

Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.

Its the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

In the April 2007 edition of the book, they added the last element, the rights and responsibilities of citizens to make it a total of ten elements of journalism.

3. Legal status

Journalists around the world often write about the governments in their nations, and those governments have widely varying policies and practices towards journalists, which control what they can research and write, and what press organizations can publish. Many Western governments guarantee the freedom of the press, and do relatively little to restrict press rights and freedoms, while other nations severely restrict what journalists can research and/or publish.

Journalists in many nations have enjoyed some privileges not enjoyed by members of the general public, including better access to public events, crime scenes and press conferences, and to extended interviews with public officials, celebrities and others in the public eye. These privileges are available because of the perceived power of the press to turn public opinion for or against governments, their officials and policies, as well as the perception that the press often represents their consumers. These privileges extend from the legal rights of journalists but are not guaranteed by those rights. Sometimes government officials may attempt to punish individual journalists who irk them by denying them some of these privileges extended to other journalists.

Nations or jurisdictions that formally license journalists may confer special privileges and responsibilities along with those licenses, but in the United States the tradition of an independent press has avoided any imposition of government-controlled examinations or licensing.[citation needed] Some of the states have explicit shield laws that protect journalists from some forms of government inquiry, but those statutes’ definitions of “journalist” were often based on access to printing presses and broadcast towers. A national shield law has been proposed.

In some nations, journalists are directly employed, controlled or censored by their governments. In other nations, governments who may claim to guarantee press rights actually intimidate journalists with threats of arrest, destruction or seizure of property (especially the means of production and dissemination of news content), torture or murder.

Journalists who elect to cover conflicts, whether wars between nations or insurgencies within nations, often give up any expectation of protection by government, if not giving up their rights to protection by government. Journalists who are captured or detained during a conflict are expected to be treated as civilians and to be released to their national government.

4. Right to protect confidentiality of sources

Journalists’ interaction with sources sometimes involves confidentiality, an extension of freedom of the press giving journalists a legal protection to keep the identity of a source private even when demanded by police or prosecutors; withholding sources can land journalists in contempt of court, or in jail.

The scope of rights granted to journalists varies from nation to nation; in the United Kingdom, for example, the government has had more legal rights to protect what it considers sensitive information, and to force journalists to reveal the sources of leaked information, than the United States. Other nations, particularly Zimbabwe and the People’s Republic of China, have a reputation of persecuting journalists, both domestic and foreign.

In the United States, there has never been a right to protect sources in a federal court. Some states provide varying degrees of such protection. However, federal courts will refuse to force journalists to reveal sources, unless the information the court seeks is highly relevant to the case, and there’s no other way to get it. Journalists, like all citizens, who refuse to testify even when ordered to can be found in contempt of court and fined or jailed.

5. Current state of journalism in the US

In 2008, journalism came under heavy fire. The decline of print newspapers has led to a sharp increase in job cuts for journalists. In 2008 alone, approximately 16,000 journalists had their employment terminated – a budgetary response to declining subscription dollars and the inability to adapt to a free news-driven society. With advertising revenues taking a harsh rapping from the transitional shift of a subscription-based/advertising model to online ad placements, the discrepancy in advertising revenue is making it difficult for traditional newspapers to survive.

The Tribune Company (owner of the Los Angeles Times) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; The Rocky Mountain News (one of the country’s oldest newspapers) closed its doors after 150 years of business; The Christian Science Monitor transitioned from its daily newspaper edition to online distribution; 120 newspapers closed their doors in the first three months of 2009; newspaper circulation was down 7% in the first six months of 2009. However, it is recognised that in high population density distribution areas, traditional newspapers have been in oversupply. The current rationalisation of the free press may not be so much the end of print, as the reformation of an over-saturated medium that now has to compete with the growth of news online.

Newspapers are forced to maximize their current staff in a response to declining advertising and circulation revenue. As formerly relied upon revenues shore-up, newspapers are exploring radically new ways of reaching readers. The New York Times has partnered with Amazon’s Kindle DX to bring current subscribers and Kindle users NYT content. This, along with other social media properties, are ways in which traditional media are fighting to stay relevant in the digital age.

With the decline of print newspapers, there has been a wave of new media journalism. New media journalism is also known as convergence journalism. Convergence journalism focuses on using social networking as a means of communication as opposed to traditional print journalism. Many newspapers have begun publishing online to cut production costs; simultaneously, more people find news online instead of buying print newspapers. Recently, convergence journalism has been dominated by websites like Facebook and Twitter. With the evolution of new technologies, some experts predict print journalism will ultimately disappear, to be replaced by new media.

Besides, this new media age features the growth of multimedia, as some newspapers have begun publishing online, some journalists or journalism organizations also add their reporting through the internet on top of their traditional media outlets; and a lot of independent journalism production houses appear as well, which may feature both main stream news or unknown stories that are not cover in the news. Common Language Project is an example of a multimedia production house that features under-reported stories.

6. News values

News values, sometimes called news criteria, determine how much prominence a news story is given by a media outlet, and the attention it is given by the audience. A. Boyd states that: “News journalism has a broadly agreed set of values, often referred to as ‘newsworthiness’...” News values are not universal and can vary widely between different cultures. In Western practice, decisions on the selection and prioritization of news are made by editors on the basis of their experience and intuition, although analysis by J. Galtung and M. Ruge showed that several factors are consistently applied across a range of news organizations. Some of these factors are listed below, together with others put forward by Schlesinger and Bell. According to Ryan, “there is no end to lists of news criteria”. Among the many lists of news values that have been drawn up by scholars and journalists, some, like Galtung and Ruge’s, attempt to describe news practices across cultures, while others have become remarkably specific to the press of certain (often Western) nations.

Galtung and Ruge, in their seminal study in the area put forward a system of twelve factors describing events that together are used as a definition of ‘newsworthiness’. Focusing on newspapers and broadcast news, Galtung and Ruge devised a list describing what they believed were significant contributing factors as to how the news is constructed. Their theory argues that the more an event accessed these criteria the more likely it was to be reported on in a newspaper. Furthermore, three basic hypotheses are presented by Galtung and Ruge: the additivity hypothesis that the more factors an event satisfies, the higher the probability that it becomes news; the complementarity hypothesis that the factors will tend to exclude each other; and the exclusion hypothesis that events that satisfy none or very few factors will not become news.

A variety of external and internal pressures influence journalists’ decisions on which stories are covered, how issues are interpreted and the emphasis given to them. These pressures can sometimes lead to bias or unethical reporting. Achieving relevance, giving audiences the news they want and find interesting, is an increasingly important goal for media outlets seeking to maintain market share in a rapidly evolving market. This has made news organizations more open to audience input and feedback, and forced them to adopt and apply news values that attract and keep audiences. The growth of interactive media and citizen journalism is fast altering the traditional distinction between news producer and passive audience and may in future lead to a deep-ploughing redefinition of what ‘news’ means and the role of the news industry.

Defining news values

The practical constraints of the newsgathering process, the collective norms of the newsroom and manipulation by external pressure groups all affect the news value given to an event by the journalist and the way it is reported. The news value given to the story by the audience, its impact or interest, is determined by the degree of change it contains and the relevance of that change to the physical and social security of the individual or group. Major change, coupled with high relevance, gives the story a correspondingly high news value; little, or slow, change, together with low relevance, indicate low news value.

Some commentators (Harcup & O’Neill,) argue that as many stories are apparently manufactured, Galtung and Ruge’s list of news values should be open to question. The dominance of celebrity and social news, the blurring of the boundary between news and reality shows and other popular culture, and the advent of citizen journalism may suggest that the nature of ‘news’ and news values are evolving and that traditional models of the news process are now only partially relevant.

Conditions for News

Frequency: Events that occur suddenly and fit well with the news organization’s schedule are more likely to be reported than those that occur gradually or at inconvenient times of day or night. Long-term trends are not likely to receive much coverage.

Negativity: Bad news is more newsworthy than good news.

Unexpectedness: If an event is out of the ordinary it will have a greater effect than something that is an everyday occurrence.

Unambiguity: Events whose implications are clear make for better copy than those that are open to more than one interpretation, or where any understanding of the implications depends on first understanding the complex background in which the events take place.

Personalization: Events that can be portrayed as the actions of individuals will be more attractive than one in which there is no such “human interest.”

Meaningfulness: This relates to the sense of identification the audience has with the topic. “Cultural proximity” is a factor here -- stories concerned with people who speak the same language, look the same, and share the preoccupations as the audience receive more coverage than those concerned with people who speak different languages, look different and have different preoccupations.

Reference to elite nations: Stories concerned with global powers receive more attention than those concerned with less influential nations.

Reference to elite persons: Stories concerned with the rich, powerful, famous and infamous get more coverage.

Conflict: Opposition of people or forces resulting in a dramatic effect. Stories with conflict are often quite newsworthy.

Consonance: Stories that fit with the media’s expectations receive more coverage than those that defy them (and for which they are thus unprepared). Note this appears to conflict with unexpectedness above. However, consonance really refers to the media’s readiness to report an item.

Continuity: A story that is already in the news gathers a kind of inertia. This is partly because the media organizations are already in place to report the story, and partly because previous reportage may have made the story more accessible to the public (making it less ambiguous).

Composition: Stories must compete with one another for space in the media. For instance, editors may seek to provide a balance of different types of coverage, so that if there is an excess of foreign news for instance, the least important foreign story may have to make way for an item concerned with the domestic news. In this way the prominence given to a story depends not only on its own news values but also on those of competing stories. (Galtung and Ruge, 1965)

Competition: Commercial or professional competition between media may lead journalists to endorse the news value given to a story by a rival.

Co-optation: A story that is only marginally newsworthy in its own right may be covered if it is related to a major running story.

Prefabrication: A story that is marginal in news terms but written and available may be selected ahead of a much more newsworthy story that must be researched and written from the ground up.

Predictability: An event is more likely to be covered if it has been pre-scheduled. (Bell, 1991)

Time constraints: Traditional news media such as radio, television and daily newspapers have strict deadlines and a short production cycle, which selects for items that can be researched and covered quickly.

Logistics: Although eased by the availability of global communications even from remote regions, the ability to deploy and control production and reporting staff, and functionality of technical resources can determine whether a story is covered. (Schlesinger, 1987)

 

 

 

 

Unit 2 Normative Theories of the Press

The Authoritarian, Libertarian, Social Responsibility, and Soviet Communist Concepts of What the Press Should Be and Do

In 1956 three professors of communication-Fred S. Siebert, Theodore Peterson and Wilbur Schramm-brought out their Four Theories of the Press which went a long way in establishing a typology in the minds of journalism educators and students. Fred S. Siebert is Director of the School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Illinois. Theodore Peterson is Associate Professor of Journalism and Communications at the University of Illinois. Wilbur Schramm, former Dean of the Communications Division of the University of Illinois, is Professor of Journalism and Communications at Stanford University.

 “in the simplest terms, the question behind this book is, why is the press as it is? Why does it apparently serve different purposes and appear in widely different forms in different countries? Why, for example, id the press of the Soviet Union so different from our own, and the press of Argentina, so different from that of Great Britain? ”

One cannot understand the news media without understanding the nature of the state, the system of political parties, the pattern of relations between economic and political interests, and the development of civil society, among other elements of social structure.

If we want to address a question such as “why is the press as it is?” we must turn to comparative analysis In tracing the origins of the four theories, for example, Siebert, Peterson, and Schramm, make reference almost exclusively to three countries- the United States, to which they trace the libertarian and social responsibility theories; Britain, to which they trace both the authoritarian and, along with the United States, the libertarian theories; and the Soviet Union.

 

The little volume (in paperback since 1963) has become standard reading in journalism departments and schools and has done much to legitimize the fourth theory-social responsibility. Almost every article and book dealing with philosophical bases for journalism has referred to this book, commented on it or quoted from it. Its impact has unquestionably been great in spite of what some believe are significant weaknesses.

Presented here are four major theories behind the functioning of the world's presses: (1) the Authoritarian theory, which developed in the late Renaissance and was based on the idea that truth is the product of a few wise men; (2) the Libertarian theory, which arose from the works of men like Milton, Locke, Mill, and Jefferson and avowed that the search for truth is one of man's natural rights; (3) the Social Responsibility theory of the modern day: equal radio and television time for political candidates, the obligations of the newspaper in a one-paper town, etc.; (4) the Soviet Communist theory, an expanded and more positive version of the old Authoritarian theory.

Here are the main characterstics of each of these theories.

Authoritarian:    

²     Developed in the 16th and 17th centuries, England

 This theory developed in the 16th and 17th centuriesnotice that the inception of authoritarian press coincides with the advent of the print media. The first Gutenberg Bible appeared in 1456. By the end of that century, 44 years later, printing operations existed in 12 Europeans countries, and the continent was flooded with 20 millions volumes of 7,000 titles in 35,000 different editions.

 And this theory was mainly based on absolute power of the monarchy (truth). It was essential that the Press supports monarchy and couldn’t criticize it. This approach was designed to protect the established social order, setting clear limits to media freedom and ensure that it is not the media which must talk about people and their problems in any manner. According to this theory, mass media, though not under the direct control of the State, had to follow its bidding.

²     Absolute power of the monarchy

The government consists of a very limited and small ruling-class and media are not allowed to print or broadcast anything which could undermine the established authority of the government. The government is infallible and the media professionals are therefore not allowed to have any independence within the media organization. Foreign media are subordinate to the established authority, in that all imported media products are controlled by the state,

²     Press supports monarchy

Authorities had the right to maintain peace and security and therefore make rules that ensured these by way of censorship, essentially, the press had to do the government’ bidding. The government would decide what the public would read and restrict anything that threatens peace and security (of the state). Information was power and the government guarded it for public welfare. The basis of this theory is that humans are not rational enough and they need to told what is good and bad. The main function of the press was to support the policies and actions of the state and inform the public about them

²     Can’t criticize monarchy

No printing that could undermine the established authority or offense to existing political set up Any offense to the existing political values should be avoided and the government may punish anyone who questions the state's ideology

 

²     Press must be licensed

Registration of the media by the state and the Media professionals are not allowed to have any independence within the media organization. Press could be privately or publicly owned, but the restrictions imposed on all media had to be followed. Licensing was brought in and every publisher had to get a license. The main purpose of this was to revoke licenses if need be. if any publisher would allow content that criticizes the government, their license would be revoked and they could even be punishable by death.

Steps were taken to control the freedom of expression. The result was advocacy of complete dictatorship. The theory promoted zealous obedience to a hierarchical superior and reliance on threat and punishment to those who did not follow the censorship rules or did not respect authority. Censorship of the press was justified on the ground that the State always took precedence over the individual's right to freedom of expression.

 

This theory stemmed from the authoritarian philosophy of Plato (407 - 327 B.C), who thought that the State was safe only in the hands of a few wise men. Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679), a British academician, argued that the power to maintain order was sovereign and individual objections were to be ignored. Engel, a German thinker further reinforced the theory by stating that freedom came into its supreme right only under Authoritarianism. The world has been witness to authoritarian means of control over media by both dictatorial and democratic governments.

The state, as the highest expression of institutionalized structure, supersedes the individual and makes it possible for the individual to acquire and develop a stable and harmonious life. Mass communication, then, supports the state and the government in power so that total society may advance and the state may be viable and attain its objectives.

The State (the elite that runs the state) directs the citizenry, which is not considered competent and interested enough to make critical political decisions. One man or an elite group is placed in a leadership role. As the group or person controls society generally it (or he or she) also controls the mass media since they are recognized as vital instruments of social control.

The mass media, under authoritarianism, are educators and propagandists by which the power elite exercise social control. Generally the media are privately owned, although the leader or his elite group may own units in the total communication system. A basic: assumption a person engaged in journalism is so engaged as a special privilege granted by the national leadership. He, therefore, owes an obligation to the leadership.

This press concept has formed and now forms, the basis for many media systems of the world. The mass media, under authoritarianism, have only as much freedom as the national leadership at any particular time is willing to permit.

 

This theory essentially applies to authoritarian societies, but can surface in less authoritarian societies (particularly in times of war, terrorism). It depends on the medium/ media of press subject to a greater control in some countries. There are certain assumptions attached to the Authoritarian approach, which are as follows:

a) Press should do nothing to undermine vested power and interests; Press should be subordinate to vested power and authority;

b) Press should avoid acting in contravention of prevailing moral and political values

c)Criminalization of editorial attacks on vested power, deviations from official policy, violation of moral codes

d) Censorship justified in the application of these principles;

e). Media is an instrument/ mouthpiece to publicize and propagandise government ideology and actions.

f) Absolute power of state versus subservience of the individual press.

 

These assumptions in turn help us in understanding the basic premise of the theory. It explains the principles on which this theory is based and the approach which the authoritarian society used to follow. The biggest examples of this theory are: Fascist regimes, some African countries, communist countries, Aspects of apartheid etc.

 

Libertarian:

This theory is just in contrast to the authoritarian approach to media. The libertarian press concept is generally traced back to England and the American colonies of the seventeenth century. Giving rise to the libertarian press theory was the philosophy that looked upon man as a rational animal with inherent natural rights. One of these rights was the right to pursue truth, and potential interferes (kings, governors et al) would (or should) be restrained. Exponents of this press movement during the seventeenth century, and the 200 years which followed, included Milton, Locke, Erskine, Jefferson, and John Stuart Mill.

In 1789, the French, in their Declaration of the Rights of Man, wrote "Every citizen may speak, write and publish freely." Out of such doctrines came the idea of a "free marketplace of ideas." George Orwell defined libertarianism as "allowing people to say things you do not want to hear".

By far, however, the most eloquent expression of the right to free press is from page 16 of John Stuart Mill's On Liberty: 

 "If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person was of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it robs the human race, posterity as well as the existing generation. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity to exchange error for truth; if wrong, they lose what is almost as great a benefit - the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error." (Mill)

Mill's ideas are also presentable in the form of four arguments against censorship:

     If we silence an opinion, for all we know, we are silencing truth

     A wrong opinion may contain a grain of truth necessary for finding the whole truth

     Commonly held opinions tend to become prejudices unless forced to be defended

     Unless commonly held opinions are contested from time to time, they lose their vitality

 

The founding fathers of this theory (Milton, Locke, Mills) propounded that Press informs, entertains, sells and helps in discovering the truth. It is a free marketplace of ideas where anyone can publish his/ her views and expressions but cannot defame or be obscene. There shall be minimum checks and balances by the government.

Individual liberties were stressed by these philosophers, along with a basic trust in the people to take intelligent decisions (generally) if a climate of free expression existed.

Here media enjoys an absolute freedom of expression. Its prominent features are as follows:

a) Competitive exposure of alternative viewpoints.

b) Attacks on the government's policies are accepted and even encouraged: the media as a watchdog.

c) Journalists and media professionals ought to have full autonomy within the media organization.

d) There is no explicit connection between the government and the media.

e) The press is free from censorship

f) It is accountable to the law for any consequences of its activities that infringe other individuals' rights or the legitimate claims of the society.

g) Free press means that all forms of media must be totally unregulated.

The background of the libertarians is in rebelling against authoritarian theory early libertarians argued that there should be no laws governing media operations.

The Early Libertarians argued that if individuals could be freed from arbitrary limits on communication imposed by church and state, they would "naturally" follow the dictates of their conscience, seek truth, engage in public debate, and ultimately create a better life for themselves and others. They believed strongly in the power of unrestricted public debate and discussion to create more natural way of structuring society. In Areopagitica, a powerful libertarian published in 1644 by, John Milton asserted that:

“give me liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience”

“though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her (Truth) and falsehood grapple, who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter.”

"Let all with something to say be free to express themselves. The true and sound will survive. The false and unsound will be vanquished. Government should keep out of the battle and not weigh the odds in favor of one side or the other.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1787 said: Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

These libertarian principles were also adopted in the "Bill of Rights". (First 1 amendment to U.S. constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.). It asserted that all individuals have natural rights no government, community, or group can unduly infringe upon or take away. The ability to exercise dissent, to band together with others to resist laws that people find to be wrong, to print or broadcast ideas, opinions and beliefs- all of these rights are proclaimed as central to democratic self-government.

 

The ethics in multicultural or pluralistic societies vary from place to place; hence there is always complaint against the media of each other's society. This movement is based on the right of an individual, and advocates absence of restraint. The basis of this theory dates back to 17th century England when the printing press made it possible to print several copies of a book or pamphlet at cheap rates. The State was thought of as a major source of interference on the rights of an individual and his property. Libertarians regarded taxation as institutional theft. Popular will (vox populi) was granted precedence over the power of State.

this theory also entails certain ASSUMPTIONS that help in understanding the basic premise of this theory:

a) Press should be free from any external censorship; journalists and media professionals have full autonomy within the media organization

b) Publication and distribution should be accessible to any individual or group with a permit or license;

c) Attacks on governments or parties are fully accepted and even encouraged, should not be punishable;

d) the individual should be free to publish whatever he or she likes, No coercion to publish anything;

e) Freedom of access to information. no restrictions on import or export of media messages across the national frontiers

 

the basic of this theory is free market as foundation of free media.Another strand in liberal tradition presents Media as representative agency or as a watchdog protecting the public (individuals rights), overseeing the state. Wherein the Watchdog reveals and abuses in the exercise of state authority. This role overrides all other functions of the media and dictates the form in which the media should be organised, i.e. the free market.

 

However, Freedom of press can be abused. Absolute freedom is anarchy. Abolition of censorship; but, also the introduction of press laws designed to protect individual rights (protection of reputation, privacy, moral development of individuals or groups, security of the state) could override the right of the press.

 

The libertarians had a very modern approach which was quintessential to serve the purposes of the modern society based on rise of democracy, religious freedom, expansion of economic freedom, philosophical climate of the enlightenment, undermined authoritarianism emphasis on personal freedom and democracy. The reason behind the said philosophy was that people are rational and can distinguish between truth and falsehood, and between good and evil and therefore, be allowed to express their views and expressions.

Through the years many new ideas were grafted on to early press libetarianism: One of these, for example, was the general acceptance of a kind of obligation to keep the public abreast of governmental activities, or being a kind of fourth branch of government supplementing the executive, legislative and judicial branches reflecting public opinion.

Communist:

The communist theory of the press arose, along with the theory of communism itself, in the first quarter of the present century. Karl Marx was its father, drawing heavily on the ideas of his fellow German, George W. F. Hegel. The mass media in a communist society, said Marx, were to function basically to perpetuate and expand the socialist system. Transmission of social policy, not searching for the truth, was to be the main rationale for existence of a communist media system.

The Soviet theory differs from the authoritarian theory in that the media organizations have a certain responsibility to meet the wishes of their audience. This theory is derived from the ideologies of Marx and Engel that "the ideas of the ruling classes are the ruling ideas". It was thought that the entire mass media was saturated with bourgeois ideology. Lenin thought of private ownership as being incompatible with freedom of press and that modern technological means of information must be controlled for enjoying effective freedom of press. The theory advocated that the sole purpose of mass media was to educate the great masses of workers and not to give out information. The public was encouraged to give feedback as it was the only way the media would be able to cater to its interests.

 

With the revolution in Russia in 1917, and practice of Marxism, there appeared a very different approach to deal with media compare with libertarian and authoritarian. The media was tied to overall communist ideas and defined in a very different way. The theory to control media possessed following features:

a) Closely tied to a specific ideology—the communist ideology.

Media should act in the interests of and be controlled by the working class; Society has right to use censorship and other legal measures to prevent and punish antisocial publication. Media should reflect complete and objective view of world and society in terms of Marxist-Leninist principles.

b) The media is collective agitator, propagandist and educator in the building of communism. both the soviet and the authoritarian acknowledge the government as superior to the media institutions.

c) media organizations in this system are not intended to be privately owned and are to serve the interests of the working class No private ownership of the media.

d) The government is superior to the media institutions. Government has “influence” over the press.

e) The media is supposed to be serious. Press contributes to success of the state. The mass media in the Soviet model are expected to be self-regulatory with regard to the content of their messages

f) The soviet theory does not favour free expression, but proposes a positive role for the media, the society and the world. Media should support communist movements everywhere

g) Only legal party members can publish and no one can criticize party.

Media should perform positive functions for society, such as socialisation (to make people conform to desirable norms), education, the supply of information, motivation and mobilisation of the masses;

 

Mass media, under this theory, are instruments of government and integral parts of the State. They are owned and operated by the State and directed by the Communist Party or its agencies. Criticism is permitted in the media (i. e. criticism of failure to achieve goals), but criticism of basic ideology is forbidden. Communist theory, like that of authoritarianism, is based on the premise that the masses are too fickle and too ignorant and unconcerned with government to be entrusted with governmental responsibilities.

Thus, the media have no real concern with giving them much information about governmental activities or of its leaders. Mass media are to do what is best for the state and party; and what is best determined by the elite leadership of State and Party. Whatever the media do to contribute to communism and the Socialist State is moral; whatever is done to harm or hinder the growth of communism is immoral.

 

Under the Communist concept, media are tools that serve as implements of revelation (by revealing purposes and goals of party leaders) as well as instruments of unity and consensus. The main difference between authoritarian and Communist systems is ownership. In authoritarian systems, press can be privately owned as opposed to state ownership in Communist systems.

 

Social Responsibility:

This concept, a product of mid-twentieth century America, is said by its proponents to have its roots in libertarian theory. But it goes beyond the libertarian theory, in that it places more emphasis on the press's responsibility to society than on the press's freedom.

This theory, while maintaining the same objectives as the Libertarian, does not believe that under the Libertarian theory that these goals can be (or have been) achieved to their fullest potential. The Social Responsibility theory rose out of the mass media community itself who post World War II were concerned by the function prescribed versus the actual role that the media had taken

It is seen as a higher level, theoretically, than libertarianism-a kind of moral and intellectual evolutionary trip from discredited old, libertarianism to a new or perfected libertarianism where things are forced to work as they really should have worked under libertarian theory.

The explainers and defenders of this theory maintain that they are libertarians, but socially responsible libertarians, contrasted presumably with other libertarians who (if their views and actions do not agree with those of the new libertarians) are not socially responsible.

This theory of the press has been drawn largely from a report published in 1947 by the Hutchins Commission. Emerging from the Commission's publications and solidified in the literature of journalism by Four Theories of the Press, this new theory maintains that the importance of the press in modern society makes it absolutely necessary that an obligation of social responsibility be imposed on the media of mass communication.

This theory keeps certain areas free for the Press but at the same time puts lot of responsibility on media. the media is not just seen as an enterprise like others in the business sector of any society, but due to its unique nature, society expects a particular role which media must play in getting rid of social evils, educating people, criticizing government policies and exposing other wrong doings in a society. The sense of responsibility has been emphasized more in this theory as compared to any other. The basic premise of the theory is as follows:

a) Media has certain obligations to society.

b) It must show truth, accuracy, objectivity, and balance.

c) The media should be free but self-regulated (codes of conduct, and ethics)

d) The media according to this theory is pluralistic: diversity of society, various points of view, forum for ideas.

e) The media ownership is a public trust. Therefore, a journalist is accountable to his audience / readers.

 

According to the theory media must be controlled by community opinion and ethics. Media cannot violate people’s rights. Press can be free and be comprehensive and objective but at the same time must be socially responsible. The social responsibility theory is an outgrowth of the libertarian theory. However, social responsibility goes beyond "objective" reporting to "interpretive" reporting. media has certain obligations to society which it must fulfill in all circumstances:

• In formativeness  • Truth  • Accuracy  • Objectivity  • Balance

 

Media as a whole is pluralized, indicating "a reflection of the diversity of society as well as access to various points of view”. A truthful, complete account of the news is not necessarily enough today, notes the Commission on the Freedom of the Press: "It is no longer enough to report the fact truthfully. It is now necessary to report the truth about the fact."

Today's complex world often necessitates analysis, explanation, and interpretation. The emerging theory does not deny the rationality of man, although it puts far less confidence in it than the libertarian theory, but it does seem to deny that man is innately motivated to search for truth and to accept it as his guide. Under the social responsibility theory, man is viewed not so much irrational as lethargic. He is capable of using his reason but he is loath to do so. If man is to remain free, he must live by reason instead of passively accepting what he sees, hears, and feels. Therefore, the more alert elements of the community must goad him into the exercise of his reason. Without such goading man is not likely to be moved to seek truth. The languor which keeps him from using his gift of reason extends to all public discussion. Man's aim is not to find truth but to satisfy his immediate needs and desires.

 

It is the press, therefore, that must be the "more alert element" and keep the public informed, for an informed populace is the cornerstone of democracy. Siebert, Peterson and Schramm also note that "freedom of expression under the social responsibility theory is not an absolute right, as under pure libertarian theory....One's right to free expression must be balanced against the private rights of others and against vital social interests.”

 

Compare:

Libertarian theory rests on a concept of negative liberty, "freedom from", or more precisely "freedom from external constraint." Social responsibility theory rests on a concept of positive liberty, "freedom for", or freedom to achieve goals by any ethical means necessary. Social responsibility theory adds to or corrects for things that the founding fathers neglected to consider with freedom of the press.

 

 Today's large media conglomerates, however, may not function naturally as a public forum, where all ideas are shared and available. "The owners and managers of the press determine which persons, which facts, which versions of these facts, shall reach the public," writes the Commission. In this same light, Siebert, Peterson and Schramm warn:

“...the power and near monopoly position of the media impose on them an obligation to be socially responsible, to see that all sides are fairly presented and that the public has enough information to decide; and that if the media do not take on themselves such responsibility it may be necessary for some other agency of the public to enforce it.”

 

Four theories of the press

 

Authoritarian

libertarian

Social responsibility

Marxist

Developed

16th and 17th century, England

Adopted by England after 1688 in U.S.

In U.S. in 20th century

In Soviet Union, although similar to Nazis

Out of …

Philosophy of absolute power of monarchy, his government, or both.

Writings of Milton, Locke, Mill and general philosophy of rationalism and natural rights

Writing of W.E. Hocking, media codes, Commission on Freedom of Press

Marxists Leninist Stalinist thought, with some Hengel tossed in

Purpose

Support and advance policies o f the government

Inform, entertain, sell—but primarily discover truth and check on government,

Inform, entertain, sell- but chiefly to raise conflict to the plane of discussion

To contribute to success and continuance of the system and the party

Who can use media?

Whoever gets royal patent or permission

Anyone with the economic means to do so

Anyone who has something to say

Loyal and orthodox party members

How media controlled?

Government patents, guilds, licensing, sometimes censorship

Self-righting process of truth. ”marketplace of ideas” and courts

Community opinion, consumer action, pro ethics

Surveillance and economic or political action by the government

What forbidden

Criticism of political machinery and officials in power

Defamation, obscenity, indecency, wartime sedition

Serious invasion of recognized private rights and vital social interests

Criticism of party objectives

Ownership

Private or public

Chiefly private

Private unless government has to take over to ensure public service

public

Essential differences from others

Instrument for effecting government policy, though not necessarily government owned

Instrument for checking on government and meeting other needs of society

Media must assume obligation of social responsibility, and if not, someone make sure they do

State-owned and closely controlled media existing solely as an arm of the state

 

³         Developmental

The developmental model was seen to have arisen out of a combination of Communist ideas, anti-Americanism, and social-responsibility ideals. characteristic of this concept as being the idea that individual rights must be subordinated to the larger goals of nation-building and thus must support authority.

The underlying fact behind the genesis of this theory was that there can be no development without communication. Under the four classical theories, capitalism was legitimized, but under the Development communication theory, or Development Support Communication as it is otherwise called, the media undertook the role of carrying out positive developmental programmes, accepting restrictions and instructions from the State. The media subordinated themselves to political, economic, social and cultural needs.

The weakness of this theory is that "development" is often equated with government propaganda.

 

 

Conclusion

Not confined to the extent of theories, the media always faces (and is open to) criticism and social scientists always keep this debate open as how best media could be used to improve functioning of civil society and promotion of democratic sense and practices. In their view if people's knowledge, understandings, capabilities, and actions are manufactured, it simultaneously follows that they can be developed, improved, and individualized in proper (ideal- democratic) circumstances. Among these circumstances, proper communication networks are inevitable. Because of new developments, the relationship among the state, private sectors, markets, and civil society profoundly changed during the 1980s.

In politically and economically advanced societies the change is based on new information and telecommunications technologies, which affected the media industries in terms of economic restructuring, and on a new social and political environment, as reflected by media contents. Training and continuing development of professionalism can be done to advance and nurture balanced and impartial news presentation. Professionalism implies standards and procedures, which means journalists tend to act as responsible members of the political establishment, upholding the dominant political perspective.

 

 

 

 

Unit 3 The origin and development of Journalism Education

 

The school of journalism with an emphasis on practical training is an American invention; it has not established a strong foothold in other nations with market economies. In Western Europe even today, little support is evidenced for practical journalism at institutions of higher learning. Attempts to follow the U.S. model of “nuts-and-bolts” training in Third World have been frustrated by economic and political pressures. There, too, the European model, which relies on on-the-job training, serves as a counterweight. The difference on the two sides of the Atlantic can be attributed in large measure to the difference in the financial structure of the press. In the United States, where advertising revenues have long represented the chief financial support of the press, political “independence” was early seen as a virtue. Because advertisers are not eager to publish their notices in press vehicles that represent opposing political viewpoints, they are more likely to pour their revenues into the coffers of political independents or those supporting their own views. In Europe, the news media are far more partisan than in the United States and have traditional adopted open political stands, often serving as outright instruments of political parties. European governments regularly challenge, and even threaten, news media that attack them and their powerful economic interests. Similarly, reacting against criticism of themselves or their interest in pro-government media, German political and economic elites have lent strong support to a campaign to “privatize” German television.

Organs of the opposition in Germany and elsewhere were less interested in maximizing advertising revenue than in political persuasion. The publishers, in these cases, sought to recruit staff members whose politics they shared rather than those who possessed the skills of writing, editing, layout design, and headline writing, which could be taught on the job. In Great Britain, as in Germany and France, publishers have long been inclined to recruit staff members from university programs in economicspolitics, or even Latin and Greek. Few European universities publish student newspapers; Oxford students are among the few who have put out their own paper. The American influence has been greater in Latin America and the Far East than in Europe, and number of university journalism programs have developed in Asia and South America; an increasing number are appearing also in Africa and the Middle east; but in all these cases, training is more likely to stress journalism history and philosophy, theory, and methodology rather than the practical skills.

The earliest-known program of journalism instruction at a university occurred in England in the mid-nineteenth century. By today’s standards, these were curious patterns of instruction. Some schools, such as the University of Birmingham, tried in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to make journalism training stick; but it was an off-and-on proposition never providing much hands-on practice. More intriguing was the “training” at Balliol College at Oxford University, which became a place for aspiring young newsmen (never, of course, newswomen). Only elite and daring young men considered journalism a career in the 1850s, when Balliol became famous as a springboard for journalists. The idea was that young men would learn the world at the feet of the distinguished scholars in the classics. They would chat with the great men as they took their afternoon constitutionals, walking along the banks of canals, commenting during pauses among the showy, splashy colors of spring flowers about the subtleties of international politics. That was all they needed, it was said, to make a distinguished name for themselves on Fleet Street or in India’s sunny climes.

After most of these young men died in the trenches in World War I, the plebeian University of London began journalism training in the 1920s. However, the training was not markedly practical. The students did take one seminar in “Practical Journalism”, styled somewhat after the American model; however, that instruction was lost in a sea of required courses in English literature, politics, principles of criticism, and a course titled “Economic and Social Structure of Today”---a far remove from the American model. Despite the University of London program, a Royal Commission on the Press, active in the years after World War 2 at the same time as the Hutchins Commission, condemned British education for not providing enough training in writing and editing.

The developing of journalists in France followed a similar pattern. As a result, the eyes of aspiring young journalists in the Asian and African colonies of both Britain and France were turned to London and Paris as guideposts, at least during the colonial era and in the early years of independence. Later, they turned to both the United States and the former Soviet Union as models.

Although journalism education did not begin in the United States, it was out of the special political and economic climate of the United States that it arose and flourished and from where it was exported to all part of the world, where it underwent local transformation in response to differences in political, economic, and even social involvement.

 

In the United States, schools of journalisms appeared as the ideas of progressivism and populism were at their zenith, especially in the Mideast, where the movement for journalism schools began. In the early twentieth century, the Whig interpretation of history was universal: Every day and in every way, things were getting better. Still, while capitalism was certainly morally superior to the oligarchies of Europe and the communism of Soviet Russia, there was always room for improvement and progress; and the press marched in the vanguard of the preachers of improvement and progress. The word that went forth from the journalism schools was that the press was destined to help lead the way to a bright tomorrow in which unlimited years of progress lay ahead. The muckrakers were the heroes, and the code of the watchdog was holy writ. Thus, the students who emerged from journalism schools were automatically tub-thumpers for progress and watchdoggery. They also championed financing newspapers and magazines by advertisements and not by government; advertisers were seen as uninterested in political issues and unlikely to seek to exercise control over content. If advertisers ever tried to do so, they were to be spanked sharply and reminded of who ran the papers and what the mission of the press was. The standard was to keep the advertiser and the business manager in the boardroom, not in the newsroom; it was a standard given clear expression by no less a figure than Joseph Pulitzer, the patron saint of schools of journalism.

In post-World War I America, the good life was available for the taking. Americans needed no new consciousness, no Communist party in order to achieve the good life. Indeed, they needed no party at all; they could do it alone. What had beckoned millions of European immigrants in the nineteenth century was for native-born Americans as well a land of unlimited opportunity.

It was at this time that journalism first became an academic discipline in American colleges and universities. Joseph Pulitzer offered to endow a journalism program at Columbia University in 1903, but it took a while for the details to be worked out, and his graduate School of Journalism did not open its doors until 1912. The first journalism school in actual operation, therefore, was at the University of Missouri, where Walter Williams, a veteran newspaper editor backed by publishers, was installed as dean in 1908. William’s curriculum was dominated by practical studies---reporting, feature writing, and advertising---and the course of study was centered on practical experience gained in working for the newspaper published by the students. At the rival University of Wisconsin, Dean Willard Bleyer, a professor of English, followed a somewhat different path. His department did not establish a student newspaper and emphasized instead a program of general education, particularly in writing and the social sciences that, as reported in history of the university, was viewed as “of greater usefulness in developing journalists than preoccupation with artisan training.”

Disputes over which is more valuable for journalists, practical training or general knowledge, have not ceased to this day. Even so, little difference between the two approaches can be found with regard to the basic ideological underpinnings of journalism. It is important to take note of the time when these journalism schools were established. Both the Missouri and the Wisconsin approaches saw the world through the prism of capitalism and progressivism.

 

 

 

 

Unit 4 Convergence Journalism

 

Why Convergence?

In opening his epic A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens wrote that it was the best of times and the worst of times. Those words aptly describe the state of journalism at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Is the best of times because of the wide range of news outlets, news operations, and venues available for getting information about the rapidly changing world. A visit to a bookstore or newsstand finds a display of dozens of magazines and newspaper titles. Basic cable television opens up a hundred or more channels for newsentertainment, and information, and the internet provides thousands of sites. The choices seem endless.

Yet it is also the worst of times for journalism. Audiences are becoming more fragmented while news media ownership becomes more concentrated. Daily newspapers see a decline in readers, as well as a decline in advertising. The nightly network news sees its viewership decline, as the age of its audiences rises. Journalism itself is being redefined. Anyone with a website and information can have access on a web log (blog) to an audience greater than many daily newspapers or monthly magazines. Bloggers are challenging the traditional media’s role as gatekeepers of news and information.

As a result, the news industry is in a state of flux and. some might say, a state of disarray.  Technological, social, and economic changes are challenging traditional news organizations to develop innovative ways to attract new readers and viewers and to hold on to current ones. Convergence is one strategy being tried in several newsrooms across the United States. Yet convergence in journalism is ill-defined, misunderstood, and misrepresented. It has been used to explain everything from computer use in news to corporate consolidation.

When it comes to journalism, convergence means a new way of thinking about the news, producing the news, and delivering the news, using all media to their fullest potential to reach a diverse and increasingly distracted public. Convergence refocuses journalism to its core mission—to inform the public about its world in the best way possible. But nowadays, the best way is not just one way: newspaper or television or the Internet. The best way is a multiple media way, doing journalism for a public that sometimes gets news from newspapers, at other times gets news from television and radio, and at still other times seeks news online. To be successful at convergence, journalists need to understand the strengths of each news medium or outlet and work to develop and provide news stories that dovetail with those strengths. Convergence requires journalists to put the reading, viewing, and browsing public at the center of their work.

However, convergence in journalism has many interpretations and definitions. Most journalists "know it when they see it" but really cannot describe convergence or explain its application in the newsrooms. Although a 2002 survey of journalists indicates that nearly 90 percent of the newsrooms in the Unites States claim they are practicing some form of convergence, those same survey respondents were unable to define just exactly what they are doing that is convergent.

More often than not, journalists distrust convergences. They view it as marketing ploy, a way to promote the news as a “product,” emphasizing the business rather than journalism in the news industry. They also view it as a management ploy, a way to get fewer journalists to do more work with fewer resources.

We examine the different definitions of convergence: technological, economic, and journalistic. We also look at what has happened technologically, socially, and economically that led to this buzzword for all that is new in the news media.

TECHNOLOGICAL CONVERGENCE

The original discussions of media convergence focused on the technological: computers and digitization. Anyone who has sent an e-mail on a computer or used a cell phone that takes pictures sends text messages is taking for granted technological convergence.

The development of digitization would set off a new debate about technological gence. Ithiel de Sola Pool, a communications scholar, pointed out that this next wave of convergence would involve a merging of electronic devices, “the convergence of modes.” In1983, he noted that “electronic technology is bringing all modes of communications into one system” Everything would come down to one device---computer +TV +telephone +stereo + movie player +organizer. This all-in-one mega device has not yet become a household standard.

On one level, technological convergence means the coming together of formerly distinct electronic or media delivery systems, changing the equipment used to get information and to access it. But technological convergence has also opened up new ways of presenting that information. Technological convergence has led to multimedia information presentation. The Internet allows formerly separate and distinct storytelling media or platforms----the text of print, the audio of radio, pictures and graphics of visual design, and the moving pictures of animation film, and television ---to be combined into a new way of proving information.

Trying to pin down a name for this new, evolving type of journalism that comes together via the Internet has added confusion to the definition of convergence. Journalism distributed on the Internet has been called new media, online news, online news, multimedia journalism, digital news. But it also has become known as convergence journalism. since it marks the coming together of different elements of storytelling. The merger of AOL and Time Warner in 2000 helped solidify the definition of convergence to mean electronic content delivery, because that merger was the coming together of a content company. Time Warner, with an online delivery company, AOL. Yet that merger also created confusion over the definition of convergence, because AOL Time Warner became the largest media conglomerate in the world. Tanks to AOL Time Warner ,and the mergers of other media companies, convergence came to mean media consolidation.

JOURNALISTIC CONVERGENCE

News organizations that are experimenting with the notion of convergence aim to achieve Fuller’s goal of “higher-quality news” in all the formats available: print, online, and on radio and television. The problem comes when convergence is seen as a benefit for media company stockholders and not as a benefit for journalists or for readers, viewers, or browsers.

Convergence in journalism requires changes in how news organizations think about the news and news coverage, how they produce the news, and how they deliver the news. Most convergence in journalism today focuses on the last of those areas, delivering the news. It involves a newspaper’s daily edition or a newscast’s scripts being placed online, a newspaper reporter appearing on television for a “talk-back” or interview on his or her story, the television weathercaster developing the weather page for the newspaper.

However, dozens of news organizations are trying to also think about and produce news differently. They are trying to ensure that the news they are providing is best suited for the audiences of each medium or format being used to distribute the news. These organizations realize that newspaper readers want more context and detail to their stories, while online browsers are looking for quick hits of information, interactivity, and the ability to seek out other information, and broadcast listeners and viewers are looking for the latest information that puts them at the scene. Convergence in journalism means the coming together of journalists and certain types of journalism that have been operating in separate spheres—newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and online—to provide quality news in all those different formats. That coming together can involve shared resources and information. It can involve joint reporting and production on projects. It can involve “one-man bands” or “backpack” journalists—one person doing the reporting and producing of news for all the different formats. It can involve multimedia storytelling online or what could be called “converged presentation.” It can involve some or all of these variations.

Convergence journalism is happening in a variety of newsrooms, in a variety of manners. No one form of convergence journalism has risen to be the best template for doing convergence. What has emerged among news organizations aggressively pursuing convergence is a mind-set.

While economic convergence has often pushed journalistic convergence, like at the Tribune Company, at Media General’s Tampa Tribune, tbo.com and WFLA, and Time Warner’s NY1, journalists are defining what convergence means for them. Journalist Chindu Sreedharan calls it “layering.” Journalists “understand the possibilities of other mediums, contribute across platform when called upon, and begin to layer their stories.” Convergence is “new journalism” that is evolving to keep up with the times.

Convergence is one answer to the question of where journalism should be headed in the twenty-first century. It is a response to the convergence of lifestyle, business, and technological trends that are forcing a change in the relationship between the people who make the news—journalists—and the people who use it—the public. Convergence is a response to two seemingly dichotomous trends—the fragmentation of the news audience and the consolidation of news ownership.

 

 

Unit 5 Is newspaper important?

 

The History of News Process in the United States

The United States mass communication system has changed over a small period of time.   In the beginning, town newspapers delivered the news to families.  Then they progressed to news stations on the television.  Now the new way of obtaining information comes from the Internet.  In this paper I will discuss the many resources available to people in the United States that include the evolution of the news forms.

A Brief History of American Newspapers

The News Press in the United States dates back to 1704 in the first American newspaper the Boston Newsletter.   The United States used this paper to inform most Americans about British news. Since the printing press was developed in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg mass production of daily, weekly, and annual newspapers became a success. Newspapers became more important throughout the United States history during World War I.  The American people were now so immersed in what was happening across seas due to the immense danger their loved ones were in.  Politics in newspapers have always been an interesting feature for readers.  They used advertising to promote their elections or inform citizen of their position.  Advertising is a very important part of American newspapers.  People rely on want advertisements to find jobs and also to be informed of loss of life or even when looking for a house.  Also the United States is known for their Independence or Freedom of the Press.  This allows for all views to be placed in the paper without the need of government approval. (Stephens 1).

There have been many popular and famous newspapers in the United States, which includes the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal owned by Dow Jones Company.    There is also the Chicago Tribune that went out of business, it was once a very informative newspaper but since Internet has provided free news the Chicago Tribune has lost many customers.

The newspaper is a form of active media because a person must seek out the paper and become actively involved in acquiring information.  The person does not have to become immersed in every article in the paper but merely chooses which one that attracts his or her attention.  This is a good example of active media.  A disadvantage of the newspaper is that a person must be able to read and have a previous knowledge of the subject in question.  Also newspapers are not always up to date and the news may be old and out dated. (McLuhan). 

With newspapers also come magazines.  Magazines in the US are very popular because of their contents.  Since magazines focus on certain categories or items one can buy them without worry of looking at or reading information that they would not care for.  For example Sports Illustrated is focused on sports and the sport stars.  Also there are National Inquirer, which displays information that is stretched and is formed around conspiracies and gossip.

Television has been used as a mean of obtain information as well.  Now journalists are no longer required only to be apart of the newspaper or journal.  They have become entertainers on the television as well.   Now journalists have certain duties to give information to listeners at a set time during the day.  This form of passive media requires no personal attentiveness and the reporters need to grab their attention to keep them following the story.  A problem that may occur during news reports is commercials and also information that is irrelevant and the listener doesn't care to receive and thus they loose interest in the media.

There are many news stations that are famous in the United States; they include: CNN, FOX, and ESPN these stations inform the United States people a myriad of information that they use in their daily lives. 

In the United States there is a trend that involves the entertainment news programs that are comical.  These programs normally inform a viewer on certain politically incorrect situations as well as daily news blunders.  Some trendy shows that demonstrate this are Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report.  These three shows were extremely popular during the 2008 Presidential Elections.    Television is a very important part of the United States culture.  It provides us with fast information and also explains situations in many details. 

The process to become a TV reporter is becoming more and more difficult in the United States today.  Reporters, columnist, bloggers and journalist have to become more and more educated in there field to be accepted in most reporting jobs excluding bloggers because anyone can start a blog.  But all these include ways of receiving information and it’s apart of the American culture. 

Today’s information age has been using the Internet as a fast and easy mean of passive media.  Internet is becoming more popular and the use is becoming used more often than newspapers and television for the news.  The Internet provides many resources and fast up to date news information.   The Internet also gives the option of going green by not using more paper and saving trees. 

To concluded this paper, the US using different forms of active and passive media.  The US does have free press and the government does not get involved with our press.  For this reason the US stands apart from other media due to their freedom of speech.  Although not all the information the United States comes across is true it still provides many other options in which to get information from. 

 

The most useful bit of the media is disappearing. A cause for concern, but not for panic

“A GOOD newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself,” mused Arthur Miller in 1961. A decade later, two reporters from the Washington Post wrote a series of articles that brought down President Nixon and the status of print journalism soared. At their best, newspapers hold governments and companies to account. They usually set the news agenda for the rest of the media. But in the rich world newspapers are now an endangered species. The business of selling words to readers and selling readers to advertisers, which has sustained their role in society, is falling apart (see article).

Of all the “old” media, newspapers have the most to lose from the internet. Circulation has been falling in America, western Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand for decades (elsewhere, sales are rising). But in the past few years the web has hastened the decline. In his book “The Vanishing Newspaper”, Philip Meyer calculates that the first quarter of 2043 will be the moment when newsprint dies in America as the last exhausted reader tosses aside the last crumpled edition. That sort of extrapolation would have produced a harrumph from a Beaverbrook or a Hearst, but even the most cynical news baron could not dismiss the way that ever more young people are getting their news online. Britons aged between 15 and 24 say they spend almost 30% less time reading national newspapers once they start using the web.

 

Up to a podcast, Lord Copper?

Advertising is following readers out of the door. The rush is almost unseemly, largely because the internet is a seductive medium that supposedly matches buyers with sellers and proves to advertisers that their money is well spent. Classified ads, in particular, are quickly shifting online. Rupert Murdoch, the Beaverbrook of our age, once described them as the industry's rivers of gold—but, as he said last year, “Sometimes rivers dry up.” In Switzerland and the Netherlands newspapers have lost half their classified advertising to the internet.

Newspapers have not yet started to shut down in large numbers, but it is only a matter of time. Over the next few decades half the rich world's general papers may fold. Jobs are already disappearing. According to the Newspaper Association of America, the number of people employed in the industry fell by 18% between 1990 and 2004. Tumbling shares of listed newspaper firms have prompted fury from investors. In 2005 a group of shareholders in Knight Ridder, the owner of several big American dailies, got the firm to sell its papers and thus end a 114-year history. This year Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, attacked the New York Times Company, the most august journalistic institution of all, because its share price had fallen by nearly half in four years.

Having ignored reality for years, newspapers are at last doing something. In order to cut costs, they are already spending less on journalism. Many are also trying to attract younger readers by shifting the mix of their stories towards entertainment, lifestyle and subjects that may seem more relevant to people's daily lives than international affairs and politics are. They are trying to create new businesses on- and offline. And they are investing in free daily papers, which do not use up any of their meagre editorial resources on uncovering political corruption or corporate fraud. So far, this fit of activity looks unlikely to save many of them. Even if it does, it bodes ill for the public role of the Fourth Estate.

 

Getting away with murder

In future, as newspapers fade and change, will politicians therefore burgle their opponents' offices with impunity, and corporate villains whoop as they trample over their victims? Journalism schools and think-tanks, especially in America, are worried about the effect of a crumbling Fourth Estate. Are today's news organisations “up to the task of sustaining the informed citizenry on which democracy depends?” asked a recent report about newspapers from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a charitable research foundation.

Nobody should relish the demise of once-great titles. But the decline of newspapers will not be as harmful to society as some fear. Democracy, remember, has already survived the huge television-led decline in circulation since the 1950s. It has survived as readers have shunned papers and papers have shunned what was in stuffier times thought of as serious news. And it will surely survive the decline to come.

That is partly because a few titles that invest in the kind of investigative stories which often benefit society the most are in a good position to survive, as long as their owners do a competent job of adjusting to changing circumstances. Publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal should be able to put up the price of their journalism to compensate for advertising revenues lost to the internet—especially as they cater to a more global readership. As with many industries, it is those in the middle—neither highbrow, nor entertainingly populist—that are likeliest to fall by the wayside.

The usefulness of the press goes much wider than investigating abuses or even spreading general news; it lies in holding governments to account—trying them in the court of public opinion. The internet has expanded this court. Anyone looking for information has never been better equipped. People no longer have to trust a handful of national papers or, worse, their local city paper. News-aggregation sites such as Google News draw together sources from around the world. The website of Britain's Guardian now has nearly half as many readers in America as it does at home.

In addition, a new force of “citizen” journalists and bloggers is itching to hold politicians to account. The web has opened the closed world of professional editors and reporters to anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection. Several companies have been chastened by amateur postings—of flames erupting from Dell's laptops or of cable-TV repairmen asleep on the sofa. Each blogger is capable of bias and slander, but, taken as a group, bloggers offer the searcher after truth boundless material to chew over. Of course, the internet panders to closed minds; but so has much of the press.

For hard-news reporting—as opposed to comment—the results of net journalism have admittedly been limited. Most bloggers operate from their armchairs, not the frontline, and citizen journalists tend to stick to local matters. But it is still early days. New online models will spring up as papers retreat. One non-profit group, NewAssignment.Net, plans to combine the work of amateurs and professionals to produce investigative stories on the internet. Aptly, $10,000 of cash for the project has come from Craig Newmark, of Craigslist, a group of free classified-advertisement websites that has probably done more than anything to destroy newspapers' income.

In future, argues Carnegie, some high-quality journalism will also be backed by non-profit organisations. Already, a few respected news organisations sustain themselves that way—including the Guardian, the Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio. An elite group of serious newspapers available everywhere online, independent journalism backed by charities, thousands of fired-up bloggers and well-informed citizen journalists: there is every sign that Arthur Miller's national conversation will be louder than ever.

 

 

 

 

Unit 6 The rise and fall of mass communications

 

1. Back to the coffee house: The internet is taking the news industry back to the conversational culture of the era before mass media

There is a great historical irony at the heart of the current transformation of news. The industry is being reshaped by technology—but by undermining the mass media’s business models, that technology is in many ways returning the industry to the more vibrant, freewheeling and discursive ways of the pre-industrial era.

Three hundred years ago news travelled by word of mouth or letter, and circulated in taverns and coffee houses in the form of pamphlets, newsletters and broadsides. The Coffee houses particularly are very commodious for a free Conversation, and for reading at an easie Rate all manner of printed News.

This phenomenon can be traced back to Roman times, when members of the elite kept each other informed with a torrent of letters, transcriptions of speeches and copies of the acta diurna, the official gazette that was posted in the forum each day. News travelled along social networks because there was no other conduit.

The invention of the printing press meant that many copies of a document could be produced more quickly than before, but distribution still relied on personal connections.

Newspapers at the time had small, local circulations and were a mix of opinionated editorials, contributions from readers and items from other papers; there were no dedicated reporters. All these early media conveyed news, gossip, opinion and ideas within particular social circles or communities, with little distinction between producers and consumers of information. They were social media.

Until the early 19th century there was no technology for disseminating news to large numbers of people in a short space of time. It travelled as people chatted in marketplaces and taverns or exchanged letters with their friends.

Everything changed in 1833 when the first mass-audience newspaper, the New York Sun, pioneered the use of advertising to reduce the cost of news, thus giving advertisers access to a wider audience. At the time of the launch America’s bestselling paper sold just 4,500 copies a day; the Sun, with its steam press, soon reached 15,000.

2. Coming full circle: News is becoming a social medium again, as it was until the early 19th century—only more so

The invention of the steam press in the early 19th century, and the emergence of mass-market newspapers such as the New York Sun, therefore marked a profound shift. The new technologies of mass dissemination could reach large numbers of people with unprecedented speed and efficiency, but put control of the flow of information into the hands of a select few.

For the first time, vertical distribution of news, from a specialist elite to a general audience, had a decisive advantage over horizontal distribution among citizens. This trend accelerated with the advent of radio and television in the 20th century. New businesses grew up around these mass-media technologies.

In modern media organisations news is gathered by specialists and disseminated to a mass audience along with advertising, which helps to pay for the whole operation.

The penny press, followed by radio and television, turned news from a two-way conversation into a one-way broadcast, with a relatively small number of firms controlling the media.

In the past decade the internet has disrupted this model and enabled the social aspect of media to reassert itself. In many ways news is going back to its pre-industrial form, but supercharged by the internet.

Camera-phones and social media such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter may seem entirely new, but they echo the ways in which people used to collect, share and exchange information in the past. Social media is nothing new, it’s just more widespread now.

The media and political landscapes will be very different, because people who are accustomed to power will be complemented by social networks in different forms. WikiLeaks operates in the tradition of the radical pamphleteers of the English civil war who tried to “cast all the Mysteries and Secrets of Government” before the public.

Now, the news industry is returning to something closer to the coffee house. The internet is making news more participatory, social, diverse and partisan, reviving the discursive ethos of the era before mass media. That will have profound effects on society and politics.

 

3. Going West

In much of the world, the mass media are flourishing. Newspaper circulation rose globally by 6% between 2005 and 2009, helped by particularly strong demand in places like India, where 110m papers are now sold daily. But those global figures mask a sharp decline in readership in rich countries.

Over the past decade, throughout the Western world, people have been giving up newspapers and TV news and keeping up with events in profoundly different ways. Most strikingly, ordinary people are increasingly involved in compiling, sharing, filtering, discussing and distributing news.

Twitter lets people anywhere report what they are seeing. Classified documents are published in their thousands online. Mobile-phone footage of Arab uprisings and American tornadoes is posted on social-networking sites and shown on television newscasts. An amateur video taken during the Japanese earthquake has been watched 15m times on YouTube.

“Crowdsourcing” projects bring readers and journalists together to sift through troves of documents. Social-networking sites help people find, discuss and share news with their friends.

 And it is not just readers who are challenging the media elite. Technology firms including Google, Facebook and Twitter have become important (some say too important) conduits of news. Celebrities and world leaders, including Barack Obama, publish updates directly via social networks; many countries now make raw data available through “open government” initiatives.

 

4. Social-media technologies allow a far wider range of people to take part in gathering, filtering and distributing news

The web has allowed new providers of news, to rise to prominence in a very short space of time. And it has made possible entirely new approaches to journalism, such as that practised by WikiLeaks, which provides an anonymous way for whistleblowers to publish documents. The news agenda is no longer controlled by a few press barons and state outlets, like the BBC.

Thanks to the rise of social media, news is no longer gathered exclusively by reporters and turned into a story but emerges from an ecosystem in which journalists, sources, readers and viewers exchange information. The change began around 1999, when blogging tools first became widely available.

News is also becoming more diverse as publishing tools become widely available, barriers to entry fall and new models become possible, as demonstrated by the astonishing rise of the Huffington Post, WikiLeaks and other newcomers in the past few years, not to mention millions of blogs. At the same time news is becoming more opinionated, polarised and partisan, as it used to be in the knockabout days of pamphleteering.

 

5.We contort, you deride

In principle, every liberal should celebrate this. A more participatory and social news environment, with a remarkable diversity and range of news sources, is a good thing. Authoritarian rulers everywhere have more to fear. So what, many will say, if journalists have less stable careers All the same, two areas of concern stand out.

The first worry is the loss of “accountability journalism”, which holds the powerful to account. Shrinking revenues have reduced the amount and quality of investigative and local political reporting in the print press.

But old-style journalism was never quite as morally upstanding as journalists like to think. Indeed, the News of the World, a British newspaper which has been caught hacking into people’s mobile phones, is a very traditional sort of scandal sheet.

Meantime, the internet is spawning new forms of accountability. A growing band of non-profit outfits such as ProPublica, the Sunlight Foundation and WikiLeaks are helping to fill the gap left by the decline of watchdog media. This is still a work in progress, but the degree of activity and experimentation provides cause for optimism.

 

6.Copyrighting facts

FACTS, ruled America’s Supreme Court in 1918 in the “hot news doctrine”, cannot be copyrighted. But a news agency can retain exclusive use of its product so long as it has a commercial value. Now newspapers, fed up with stories being “scraped” by other websites, want that ruling made into law.

The second concern has to do with partisanship. In the mass-media era local monopolies often had to be relatively impartial to maximise their appeal to readers and advertisers.

In a more competitive world the money seems to be in creating an echo chamber for people’s prejudices thus Fox News, a conservative American cable-news channel, makes more profits than its less strident rivals, CNN and MSNBC, combined.

What is to be done At a societal level, not much. The transformation of the news business is unstoppable, and attempts to reverse it are doomed to failure. But there are steps individuals can take to mitigate these worries.

 

7. The people formerly known as the audience.

As producers of new journalism, they can be scrupulous with facts and transparent with their sources. As consumers, they can be catholic in their tastes and demanding in their standards.

And although this transformation does raise concerns, there is much to celebrate in the noisy, diverse, vociferous, argumentative and stridently alive environment of the news business in the age of the internet. The coffee house is back. Enjoy it.

Not surprisingly, the conventional news organisations that grew up in the past 170 years are having a lot of trouble adjusting. The mass-media era now looks like a relatively brief and anomalous period that is coming to an end. But it was long enough for several generations of journalists to grow up within it, so the laws of the mass media came to be seen as the laws of media in general.

A new generation that has grown up with digital tools is already devising extraordinary new things to do with them, rather than simply using them to preserve the old models. Some existing media organisations will survive the transition; many will not.

The biggest shift is that journalism is no longer the exclusive preserve of journalists. Ordinary people are playing a more active role in the news system, along with a host of technology firms, news start-ups and not-for-profit groups. Social media are certainly not a fad, and their impact is only just beginning to be felt. It’s everywhere—and it’s going to be even more everywhere.

Successful media organisations will be the ones that accept this new reality. They need to reorient themselves towards serving readers rather than advertisers, embrace social features and collaboration, get off political and moral high horses and stop trying to erect barriers around journalism to protect their position.

 

8.The digital future of news has much in common with its chaotic, ink-stained past.

Checking snippets of information posted on Twitter is difficult. Tweets can be a useful way to gauge the public mood about an issue and are now often incorporated into news coverage as digital “vox pops”.

Many journalists use Twitter to solicit leads, find sources or ask for information. But Twitter is a public forum where anyone can say anything. it is a journalist’s duty to provide reliable information, on Twitter as elsewhere.

Either way, there is clearly a role for people—including journalists, but not limited to them—to select, filter and analyse the torrent of information being posted on the internet. There still is an editorial function that needs to happen—there still needs to be someone who really makes sense of it allThis process is known in social-media jargon as “curation”, and a growing number of tools is available to do the job.

Storify, for example, is a website that lets users arrange items of social media (including tweets, Facebook posts, videos from YouTube and photos from Flickr) into chronological narratives. The resulting narrative can then be embedded into pages on other sites. Keepstream and Storyful work in a similar way.

All this raises the question whether some stories may be better covered by constantly updated streams of tweets than by traditional articles.

By providing more raw material than ever from which to distil the news, in short, social media have both done away with editors and shown up the need for them. News organisations are already abandoning attempts to be first to break news, focusing instead on being the best at verifying and curating it, says Mr Newman. But like other aspects of journalism, this role is now open to anyone.

As well as getting involved (if they choose) in newsgathering, verification and curation of news, readers and viewers have also become part of the news-distribution system as they share and recommend items of interest via e-mail and social networks. If searching for news was the most important development of the past decade, sharing news may be among the most important of the next.

 

 

 

 

 

Unit 7 More than writing news

 

It has been said that a reporter’s ego is like an unskilled brain, a quivering mass of vulnerability. But no matter how big an ego a reporter may have, the simple fact of newspapering is that no story, no matter how well written, would be printed and seen by readers without the important work of dozens-often hundreds-of men and women in all departments of the newspaper, starting in the newsroom.

Most of the public’s attention is focused on reporters chiefly because they are the “point” men and women of the news business. More people know reporters by name or reputation than they do press operators. Yet both are essential to a newspaper.

A newspaper’s reputation often is based on the public’s perception of its reporters. They usually are blamed by the public for all the perceived sins of the press simply because they are the most visible members of the staff.

Despite the prominent role of the reporter, increasing attention has been given in recent years to the dramatic advances in the technology of printing and the speed with which news can be delivered to the public. At times, in the trade press in particular, it has appeared that the technology of the industry was more important than the human beings involved in the news process.

Like printing technology, however, the reporter is better than ever .at the same time, reporters cannot afford to be arrogant about their importance, because without the important work performed by all the others in the organization, business and technical as well as editorial personnel, their work would be useless. Each of the three major departments of a typical newspaper plays a significant role in the delivery of news to reader.

 

How’s a modern newspaper from?

Since the late 1970s, the process of getting a story into print has changed dramatically. The Age of the Computer is in full flower at newspapers all over the nation. Reporters write their stories on a computer terminal. Copy editors use computers to edit stories and write headlines. Graphic artists use personal computers for designs, charts, graphs, maps and many papers to design the pages as well.

The designed pages are sent by the newsroom computers to the computer in the printing department, where the stories, photographs, charts and advertisements are assembled into a finished page by the image-setter (photocomposition machine). The image-setter produces a negative of the page, which is burned onto thin, sensitized plates that are attached to the press. The image is produced on newsprint by the offset method. In that process, the ink adheres only to the image that has been burned onto the plate; it is then imposed on a rubber roller on the press that transfers the image to the newsprint. The result is generally a much sharper, cleaner-appearing newspaper. Most modern newspaper presses are computer driven.

Major benefits of computerization have been increased speed and the reduction of personnel, particularly in the composition and printing operations. However, there is still considerable debate in newsrooms over whether the product is as good. Some worry that the editing is not as carefully done, although a number of studies show that there is little or no different in the quality of editing whether it is done on a computer or by hand. Some reporters complain that the computer turns them into typesetters and proofreaders. And other studies have been conducted on the possible health hazards that could be caused by working on computers for extended periods. San Francisco was the first city to establish safety guidelines for persons who use computers in their daily work.

How does the editors department operate?

Although the editor of a newspaper works in concert with the publisher and often the business manager, he or she is primarily responsible for the editorial content. At larger papers, the editorial generally delegates the responsibility for running the daily operation to a managing editor, who in turn directs the activities of the city editor and the various department editors.

All local news stories are written by staff reporters who work under the city editor. Stories received from the national wire services are handled by the wire editor. Correspondents (out-of-town reporters) work through the state editor. Editors in charge of lifestyles, sports, entertainment, business and other editorial departments handle all the stories for their pages. However, they work closely with managing editor, the city editor and the graphics editor in an effort to coordinate their efforts.

Editorials are written by editors and editorial writers. Usually, if an editor has administrative duties, he or she may write few editorials. Newspapers that are owned by chains may receive some of their editorials from the home office. In addition, the public relations offices of a number of the state and national business and professional organizations and other special-interest groups send materials for editorials to newspapers. Some newspapers use them, but others consider their use unethical and will not print them.

On larger newspapers most headlines are written by the copy editors. On smaller ones much of the copy-reading and headline writing may be done by the city, wire and state editors. And on very small publications, a reporter may write the headline on the story he or she has just composed.

Photographs may serve under a chief photographer, but their assignments generally come from a photo editor or one of the departmental editors. They may accompany a reporter on an assignment, or they may cover an event alone. On smaller newspapers, reporters often serve as their own photographs.

Department editors are in charge of special sections devoted to such topics as business, sports and entertainment, including radio, television, motion pictures, the arts, music, and books. Department editors also are responsible for the special Sunday sections of most newspapers. However, on smaller newspapers, coverage of those areas may be assigned to various staff reporters in addition to their regular duties. The book page editor may be an editorial writer, for example. Or a beat reporter may also do movie reviews.

Editorial Department. The function of the newspaper’s editorial department is to gather news from various sources and to write it nito readable, interesting stories, edit them and plan how they will be displayed on the printed pages. Other functions of the editorial department are to instruct or influence the public through editorials, commentary and analysis, as well as to entertain the public through its by-lined columns, comics and other features. All the editorial content of the newspaper is processed by the editorial department.

Many newspapers have established their own web pages on the Internet and the editorial department is responsible for preparing stories for that page. If a newspaper has a web site, it will be listed in the Editor & Publisher Yearbook. Newspaper web addresses also can be found through the use of Internet search engines.

Mechanical Department. The complicated and highly technical process of transforming the reporter’s stories into type and reproducing them on thousands of pages of newsprint is done by the mechanical department, which includes the composing room and the pressroom. The printing process has become highly computerized.

Business Department. To finance the two other departments, advertising space must be sold, subscriptions must be solicited and the finished product must be delivered to the readers.to handle these important duties, most newspapers have separate advertising and circulation departments under the business department.

A third division handles problems of management, personnel and business administration at many newspapers. Advertising, circulation and management may be combined into one unit at small newspapers. But at larger ones, they generally operate as separate units and report to a business or general manager.

Details of Organization

The organization of a newspaper will vary considerably, depending on its size Metropolitan newspapers frequently have highly developed organization charts similar to that in Chart. At smaller newspapers, some of the duties of various departments may overlap. And in rare cases, there may be no formal organization chart at all; everyone does what has to be done to get the paper out.

What is a publisher?

All papers have a publisher. The title often is assumed by the owner or the majority stockholder in the corporation or it can be given to someone hired to serve in that position. The latter is particularly true at newspapers owned by both large and small chains. The men and women hired as publishers may have no direct ownership in the publication, although some companies do offer opportunities to by stock in the firm.

The degree of involvement by the publisher in the daily operation of the newspaper varies greatly. On smaller newspapers a publisher may also be the editor and general manager. On larger newspapers he or she may serve as the chief executive officer of the company and delegate authority for daily operation to a general manager.

Although a publisher technically has the power to dictate all policies, editorial as well as business, it usually does not work that way. Policies are generally worked out among the publisher—or owners, if the publisher is hired—the editors and often members of the business staff. The publisher is ultimately, and legally, responsible for everything that appears in the newspaper.

On smaller dailies and weeklies, the publisher may be the owner, editor and even one of the reporters. The late Nancy Petrey, copublisher of the Newport Plain Talk (Newport, Tn), the largest nondaily in the state, sold advertisements, took photographs, wrote stories, sold subscriptions and delivered her prize-winning newspaper. She was also known to put on a pair of coveralls and crawl up on the press when a mechanical problem developed.

What is a business manager?

The business manager generally has authority over advertising, circulation and the office manager, if the newspaper is large enough to need an office manager. In many instances the business manager also fills that position. In that type of organization, the advertising and circulation managers report to the business manager, who then reports to the general manager or publisher. On smaller newspapers it is not uncommon for the publisher also to act as the business manager and an advertising sales representative.

Business/FinanceScorekeeper for Newspaper

The people in the business or finance office are the newspaper’s scorekeepers, crunching the numbers from all departments and giving management the big picture.

Much of what goes on in the business office has to do with, yes, money. Accountants, auditors and bookkeepers record revenues, bill customers, log expenses, process payments and generate key financial reports. But while much is financial in nature, many of the statistics gathered and decisions made there can and do affect the entire newspaper.

Should the newspaper expand its circulation? How much of the paper’s resources should go to the online version? What would it take to justify refitting or replacing the presses? Can the paper afford a foreign news bureau? Is the new Spanish-language section paying for itself with the advertising it is attracting?

Timely and accurate reports from the business office are essential to a productive and profitable newspaper operation. The purchasing department negotiates for the best prices on equipment and supplies, from printing presses to paper clips, from newsprint to ink.

Newspaper financial managers help develop effective long- and short-range strategic plans and often are asked to provide financial perspectives on key decisions involving other areas of the newspaper’s operation.

At some papers, the next publisher might be working in the business department, not editorial. It is sometimes thought that a financial person can learn the editorial side better than an editorial person can learn the business side. But one thing is for sure: There is power in controlling a company’s purse strings.

Whether you’re the bookkeeper, a payroll clerk, the auditor or the vice president for finance, your financial skills and business sense will ensure the newspaper’s continued vitality.

Circulation

Circulation is much more than getting newspapers off the presses, onto the streets and into readers’ homes. It is the total marketing of the newspaper and related specialty products to the consumer.

The circulation departments are responsible for newspaper sales, distribution, customer relations, merchandising, pricing and promotion. The circulation department promotes a brand new product every day, and sometimes a multitude of publications.

Just as circulation is more than distribution, today the delivery function often includes more than the local newspaper. The circulation staff is increasingly challenged to leverage its distribution system to deliver other niche publications to targeted households in its market, and segment that audience for advertisers.

At the same time, circulation managers are the newspaper’s experts in sales, customer relations and merchandising. Every day the circulation staff applies a variety of marketing techniques to convince people that reading a newspaper is essential to help them make day-to-day decisions in a complex world, and that the newspaper is worth their investment of time and money.

Newspaper marketing is a never-ending, exciting challenge involving the packaging, wholesaling, retailing and delivering of a new product every day. Circulation departments use modern techniques: telemarketing with specific target audiences, intricate sampling and follow-up studies, and direct mail and reader-involvement programs.

advertising

The newspaper offers credibility and flexibility, both for the advertiser and for the consumer. It also offers its advertisers a powerful and tangible tool to get their message across to their target market.

What types of opportunities

What types of opportunities are available for college students? Often times, the newspaper industry is thought of solely from a journalistic point of view or as a "source of information for our community." In reality, there are many other interesting and rewarding areas to be explored. Students are welcome as interns, allowing them the opportunity to explore the various departments within the newspaper.

Don’t be afraid

For those college students who were interested in pursuing a career in advertising area of the newspaper industry, Don’t be afraid to test your own skills in the different newspaper departments. Explore your options within the industry in order to become well rounded. In order to understand its dynamics, you must become involved and knowledgeable, not only with what you do in your particular area or department, but also with what others do and how it affects your efforts.

The steps upward

Be familiar with other key departments such as creative services, community relations, advertising sales and circulation. Internships offer the flexibility of working in the various departments giving the student the opportunity to know how each affects the next and how each is dependent on the other. Some courses that might be beneficial are marketing, advertising, journalism and management.

Human Resources 

 

People Movers

If people are a newspaper’s greatest asset, human resources professionals may hold its most important jobs. Once perceived as form-shuffling administrators, today’s HR professionals help companies achieve their strategic goals and employees define and attain their career goals.

In fact, at many newspapers, HR managers and directors have helped to change the very nature of work, making for both happier employees and greater productivity. Human resources specialists also help the newspaper develop a multicultural staff, one with an ethnic composition that matches society as a whole.

In addition to developing and administering the company’s compensation and benefits programs, human resources professionals:

● investigate and litigate claims of discriminatory employment practices

● provide professional development and training opportunities for employees

● render assistance in changing the nature and design of jobs and departments to improve the newspaper’s operating efficiency

● develop personnel policies governing such areas as sick leave, vacation, holidays, tuition assistance, employee safety, retirement programs and termination.

In many newspaper operations, the human resources professional also is the company’s spokesperson in dealing with any labor unions that may represent groups of employees. In this role, the HR manager or director is responsible for the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, contract administration and arbitration proceedings.

 

The goals of all these tasks merge into one—to help newspaper employees better serve their customers, both readers and advertisers. And newspapers rely on getting the best people in order to stay competitive.

 

More recently, the urgent need to help employees learn new technologies has put human resources at the forefront in developing and managing training programs. Newspaper publishers also are relying more and more on HR professionals to develop flex-time, job-sharing and other programs to reduce the increasing stresses on two-career families with children.

A newspaper is more than writing the news

Career Articles 

Help Wanted

Challenging, socially significant work. Lifelong opportunities for career development. Thriving industry, with a special role in every North American community, seeks talented and energetic young people interested in communications, sales, computers, distribution, production and management. We have more than 440,000 employees in the United States. Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

If the newspaper industry were advertising to today's college-trained young men and women, that's how the ad might read. Today, each local newspaper is part of a huge network that spans the United States and Canada. There are almost 1,500 daily newspapers and more than 5,000 weekly newspapers. You'll find that as many as 55 million weekday and 65 million Sunday copies are tossed on doorsteps, tucked under arms and spread out in family rooms across North America.

People who are skilled at newspaper work can take their careers wherever they want to live - from Seattle to Sarasota, Quebec to California, or anywhere in between. Most people know about the newsroom side of newspapers through books, television and movies. But for every writing and editing position at a newspaper, there are many other good opportunities waiting for today's job seeker.

 Look inside any newspaper and you'll see artists, photographers, salespersons, advertising specialists, marketers, business managers, accountants, distributors, computer experts, personnel specialists, Web producers, and production coordinators, not to mention support staff such as secretaries, maintenance professionals, drivers and telephone operators.

So whether you like words, numbers, photography, art, the Web, sales, working with intricate machinery or meeting the public, think about newspaper work. You can bring your own background and unique perspective to this important and thriving industry. Browse through these pages and learn more about how you can begin a career in the industry that changes daily! A newspaper is about much more than writing the news!

 

 

 

 

Unit 8  Comparative Journalism: similarities and differences

1. News and News Value

For years media scholars have attempted to identify press systems in order to analyse further the function of the press under different social conditions. "The Four Theories of the Press" proposed by three American scholars, Fred S. Siebert, Theodore Peterson and Wilbur Schramm during the 1950s, is the most influential analysis. It divides the world press into four classifications: Authoritarian, Libertarian, Social Responsibility and Soviet Communist.

The "Four Theories" suggests that the authoritarian press existed universally in Europe of the sixteenth and most of the seventeenth centuries. It was born in the authoritarian climate of the late Renaissance when printing had just been invented and was in the process of being developed. The press functioned as a servant of the government. "Truth was conceived to be, not as a product of the great mass of the people, but of a few wise men who were in a position to guide and direct their fellows ... The rulers of the time used the press to tell the people what the rulers thought they should know and the policies the rulers thought they should support." Private ownership of the press could be withdrawn at any time by the authorities. The authoritarian press set the original pattern for most of the national press systems of the world. West and East, whether democratic countries such as England, the United States of America and Australia or the communist countries such as the Soviet Union, North Korea, have passed through or are still in this stage.

The period from the late seventeenth century to the nineteenth century saw the growth of political democracy and the rapid development of individual freedom in the West. The libertarian press mostly replaced the authoritarian and was adopted by the leading democratic nations such as Britain, the United States of America and many European countries. The "Four Theories" argues that in the liberal model the press is not an instrument of government, but acts as a "Fourth Estate" which is free from government control and influence, a goal achieved by most Western democratic countries.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, two social systems, capitalism and communism, were established worldwide. Two different press models, based on libertarian and authoritarian philosophies, developed: one, social responsibility and the other, Soviet communist. The social responsibility model, "a 20th century child of the libertarian parent", originated in Western democratic countries as the press gradually fell into the hands of a few monopolies which dictated both the content and profit of the press. The model emphasises that the freedom of the press carries the obligation of responsiblity to society while functioning as entertainment and advertisement. Many Australians regard the press of their country as falling in the social responsibility category. In 1991, Sally A. White explained in a journalism text book, that Australia places "more emphasis on the serious functions of media to expose corruption, wrongdoing, bungling, complacency and venality."

By 1917, the authoritarian model was modified: the Soviet Communist model, as Marxism and Leninism and the dictatorship of the Communist Party, developed. This model is characteristically the press operating as a tool of the ruling power: it serves the Party and speaks for the Party.

The concept of the "Four Theories of the Press" has been developed and modified during the past forty years. In 1983, media scholar Professor Osmo A. Wiio further analysed the features of the four models, as shown below:

1. The Authoritarian Model: the right to send may belong to the individual, but the right to receive belongs to society. Society allows only certain kinds of messages to be sent by the media. This model applies to many authoritarian states and dictatorships, such as Nazi Germany or Franco's Spain.

2. The Libertarian Model: the individual owns both the right to send and the right to receive, and society can limit these rights only to protect similar rights of other individuals. This applies to the United States.

3. The Social Responsibility Model: the individual owns the right to receive, but society owns the right to send. Society also has some control over what is received. This right is used mainly to protect the members of society against "harmful" communication, such as too much violence, explicit sex, abuse of children or unwanted advertisements. This model applies to most Western-type democracies.

4. The Communist Model: society controls both the right to send and the right to receive. Society can give these rights to individuals on certain conditions, and it has the absolute right to recall these rights when individual rights conflict with the interests of society. This model, as the name implies, is to be found in communist countries.

The great contribution of the "Four theories of the Press" was to classify the world press into two basic groups: libertarian and authoritarian. This has been widely adopted although there have been many variations, interpretations and arguments. Since the 1950s, numerous books and articles have been written about the press of individual countries and in recent years researchers have also focused on international comparison: the role of the press under different socio-political systems. In the early 1980s, the world media system was divided by a group of international media scholars into three parts: the Western world, the Third world and the Communist world. The differences between the three worlds provide a basis for comparison.

Relatively speaking, the journalism of each country has inherited, and is orientated towards its own socio-political pattern. Western journalism has influenced and produced Australian journalism, and this argument has been propounded in major works on Australian journalism such as Henry Mayer, The Press in Australia (1964), Humphrey McQueen, Australia's Media Monopolies (1977), J. Avieson, Applied Journalism in Australia (1980), J. S. Western, The Mass Media in Australia (1983), Keith Windschuttle, The Media, A New Analysis of the Press, Television, Radio and Advertising in Australia (1988), John Henningham, Issues in Australian Journalism (1990), Len Granato, Reporting and Writing News (1991), Sally A. White, Reporting in Australia (1991), John Hurst & Sally A. White, Ethics and the Australian News Media (1994) and Julianne Schultz (ed), Not Just Another Business: Journalists, Citizens and the Media (1994). Media scholars have complained about the weakness of Australian journalism and the lack of comprehensive theoretical studies in particular. Indeed, at present it is hard to find any systematic Australian journalism references or textbooks like those in leading Western democratic countries, such as Mass Communication Theory: An Introduction by Denis McQuail. Professor John Henningham stated in 1990 that "The two hundred years of Australian journalism waits to be written".

Early Chinese journalism basically followed the Western pattern, as shown in four major Chinese publications on journalism before the 1949 revolution: Xu Baohuang, Journalism (Xinwenxue; 1919), Ren Baitao, Applied Journalism (Yingyong xinwenxue; 1922), Ge Gongzhen, History of Chinese Journalism (1927), and Lin Yutang, A History of the Press and Public Opinion in China (1936). Since 1949, Chinese journalism has been following Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong thought. The major producers of media theory have been based on three institutions: Department of Journalism of the Chinese People's University in Beijing, Fudan University in Shanghai, and the Institute of Journalism attached to the China National Social Sciences Academy in Beijing. The representative journalism works which come from these institutions are: Gan Xifen: Foundations of Journalism (Xinwen lilun jichu; 1981), Dai Bang, Qian Xinbo and Chen Zusheng, Basic Knowledge of Journalism (Xinwenxue jiben zhishi jianzuo; 1983), and Department of Journalism of Fudan University, An Introduction to Journalism (Xinwenxue gailun; 1985). Although extremely limited for a population of twelve hundred million, these Chinese communist journalism theoretical publications are highly consistent and systematised.

Focusing on the generality and diversity of the two press systems, the basic elements of the role of the press, including the concept of news, news value, the function and freedom of the press are examined. Rather than a detailed demonstration of each of the existing theories on these issues, this examination is more concerned with the mainstream in which the two press systems are operating. Offshoot journalistic comments certainly are referred to, but are treated as less important. For example, in the early 1980s, liberal journalism rose in China to challenge traditional Party journalism which shocked the Chinese press considerably. However, the communist media system has not changed fundamentally and the press still follows the communist pattern.  Similarly, in recent years, many critical ideas have emerged in Australian journalism. There have been announcements that "traditional journalism is in crisis" and attempts to redefine and revise existing news concepts. Despite spirited arguments, there is a general consensus that Australian journalism essentially is conducted within a Western framework. Len Granato maintains that there is considerable agreement on the principal theories of journalism in most English-speaking countries, including Australia. He has proposed the concept of an "Anglo-American-Australian system of journalism" in his text book.

Definitions

Traditional Western journalism defines "news" as "an account of something real", something that "has actually happened", "truthful and complete accounts of the social world", or "a report of an event, containing timely...information which has been accurately gathered and written by trained reporters for the purpose of serving the reader, listener, or viewer". The Oxford English Dictionary defines "news" as "tidings; the report or account of recent events or occurrences, brought to or coming to one as new information; news occurrences as a subject of report or talk." Munir K. Nasser, an American media scholar, has suggested there is no universally accepted definition of news but that a common feature can be found in Western journalism:

News is an accurate, fair, balanced, and objective report that must have certain news values based on such criteria as impact, prominence, proximity, timeliness, human interest, conflict, and oddity.

Three basic elements are involved in "news": an event, a reader and a journalistic report with a time limitation. These Western views have been well received by Australian journalism. A typical example is a definition of "news" given by Len Granato in 1991:

News is a journalistic report to an audience about an expected or unexpected situation in which the public has a legitimate interest and which may bring about a change that will impact on people and on society.

Granato therefore, emphasises three aspects: a situation, a journalistic report and an audience which combine to make "news". He further explains: "News is a journalistic report of a situation, it is not the situation itself". On the other hand, a situation reported by a journalist should have "a genuine public interest". For example, he says, the Sydney Morning Herald has no interest at all in what an ordinary person may eat for dinner tonight but they do have an interest in the meal that contestants will prepare at the Australian Chef of the Year competition at the Hilton Hotel tonight.

Two decades earlier, in discussing the concept of news, Henry Mayer quoted a definition from the Concise  Oxford  Dictionary as "tidings, new information, fresh events reported". "But," Mayer argued, "which of the millions of fresh events are to be reported?" Pointing out that news is always a product of human enterprise and always artificially created, Mayer did not give his own definition of "news".

In an investigation in 1980, of a group of professional newsmen including reporters and sub-editors, Ian Baker concluded that Australian journalists seemed "generally unable to discuss or explain logically" the concept of news. The following are some extracts from their responses:

News is something that has happened, is happening; something that can be seen or felt or is affecting the lives of others....

                                                ¾ A senior Canberra political correspondent

I suppose news could be defined as events of interest to people, events that are outside their normal experience.

                                                ¾ An ABC News sub-editor

That which has been previously unknown to the reader; that which surprises him, informs him, titillates him. It's something the person didn't know before or a slant on life or aspects of life previously unknown.

                                             ¾ Chief of Reporting Staff for a Sunday newspaper

News is something that's new, that's important, that's relevant, and it takes something further .... News of course is something that people might be interested in....

                                             ¾ Specialist Canberra writer for quality morning                                                                                                                                                           daily

What is different, unusual, surprising or dramatic to the reporter....the chances are it will be the same to the reader.

                                             ¾ An ABC News Chief of Staff

News is what they decide to put in the papers

                                            ¾ Senior Canberra political correspondent

Well, whatever the editor thinks is news, I suppose.

                                            ¾ Staff writer for a weekly news magazine

Ian Baker suggests that these definitions are "generally imprecise, rambling, and vague".

Another Australian media scholar, Sally A. White, seems more cautious in defining the nature of news. White believes that it is hard to separate several interrelated concepts such as: to what use do people put news; what are the functions of a news medium; and what are the characteristics of news, or what makes an event or opinion newsworthy. Further, who decides what is news?

Keith Windschuttle also suggests that journalists generally have difficulty in defining the concept and in articulating news values. He divides existing theories on news and reality into five categories: free market, manipulative, bureaucratic, ideological consensus and the materialist theory.  Among them, the first two are related most to Australian journalism.

The free market model claims that newspapers are simply in the business of satisfying the demand for news; the principal criterion of selection is public interest; journalists should report reality objectively. Stanley Cohen and Jock Young assert that news is a natural category of event which must be reported as objectively as possible and that "The responsible journalist selects those events which are in the public interest to know and then objectively portrays reality within the format and genre of the particular media concerned”.

The manipulative model is the most critical one, and has been regarded as "Left-wing analysis of news". The key points of this theory were outlined by Humphrey McQueen in his Australia's Media Monopolies in 1977, submitting that the news presented in the Australian press was in the direct interest of press proprietors as employers of labour. This can be seen through a great deal of evidence that news content has been heavily influenced by Australian media monopolies, which then included Keith Murdoch, Frank Packer, Rupert Murdoch and Sir Warwick Fairfax.

Bill Bonney and Helen Wilson suggest that "news is selected raw information, impartially presented and distinguished from comment and interpretation". However, not all information and factual material, such as information on weather, shipping, the stock market and sport result, are counted as news. They say "News is not just any information. It is information having what is called 'news value' ".

Murray Masterton simply implies that "news is published information which interests people or affects them in their everyday lives, or will do so in the future." He correlates four common points: information itself is not news, it must be published to become news; it must have interest for a great many people, and usually significance for them as well; it must be new, or at least timely, if it is to be interesting at all; and it must be understandable to the public who read it, hear it or see it.

In terms of the concept of news, in some particulars Chinese journalism shows an attitude quite similar to that of many of the Western perceptions. As indicated in previous chapters, Western journalism was introduced when Western missionary papers infiltrated China in the early 1880s but not until the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth century, when the New Culture Movement (1915-1919) swept across major metropolitan areas was it encouraged systematically in Chinese journalism. Westernised Chinese scholars, such as Xu Baohuang (1894-1930) - a journalism graduate from the University of Michigan, and Ren Baitao - a graduate from Waseda University in Japan, took leading roles in the introduction of Western journalism, and their major works are considered to be the first generation of Chinese journalism. In 1919, Xu Baohuang acknowledged that "News is a most recent fact which attracts a large audience". Almost at the same time, the Communist leader and theorist, Li Dazhao said, "News is the latest, alive, socialist reflection. In 1943, two years after the establishment of the Liberation Daily - the first Chinese communist daily, Lu Dingyi, a communist theorist, stated that:

News is a factual report on a recent event.

Lu's definition, described as "an outstanding contribution to Chinese journalism", was widely used in journalism until 1981, when it was challenged by Gan Xifen, a Professor of journalism in Beijing. Gang argues that news is not just a factual report but it is also involved with the publisher's opinion of the fact: news does not focus on all, but only those important events which attract most people. Also, news has a political purpose. It is a special method of influencing public opinion. Therefore, Gang gives his  definition of news:

News is a report or a "comment" (comment means the political bias when selecting news or explaining the fact) on the latest or most important fact. It is a special method of influencing public opinion.

Lu Yunfan also criticises Lu Dingyi's definition for being "incomplete", arguing that "it is not necessary for news to have happened lately, but an old fact could also be news in some circumstances" and that "reported news is news, but news disseminated within the masses should also be regarded as news". Hence, Lu Yunfan gives his definition:

News is a transmission of a fact which has recently occurred or recently been discovered.

News value, a phrase first used by an American academic, Julian Ralph, in 1892, is another issue which has lead to heated arguments associated with news. In a Western sense, news value - a criterion to help journalists judge the value of a news item, and whether a story should be prominently displayed, played down, or neglected, - normally consists of the following elements: impact, prominence, proximity, timeliness, human interest, conflict and oddity.

Australian journalism walks in the same Western pattern, with slightly different interpretations. Henry Mayer in 1962 selected two standards for newsworthiness: importance and interest. John Henningham, in a discussion on television news in 1988, suggested that the following factors should be included in newsworthiness: proximity, recency, impact, famous people, conflict, emotion.

Similarly, in 1991, Sally A. White outlined news value as having the following aspects: impact, timeliness, proximity, prominence, conflict, currency and the unusual. In the same year, it was portrayed by Len Granato as: conflict, disasters, consequence or impact, prominence, timeliness, proximity, novelty, human interest, and his own addition: sex, drugs and alcohol, animals, money and aged people.

The traditional Western principle of news value is generally accepted by Chinese journalism, although for a long time the concept was ignored in practice. In 1919, Xu Baohuang indicated in his  Journalism , the first Chinese journalism book, that:

News value is a matter of whether a news item  could attract people in varying degrees. The more significant the latest event, the more people would be concerned, and it would be recognised as more valuable news. The less significant and older event would only draw less attention and it would be recognised as having less news value.

In 1947, Yun Yiqun also mentioned that news value decides the arrangement of the news items in the newspaper. After the revolution of 1949, news value was a banned topic as it was regarded as "bourgeois goods". Consequently, newspapers were a Party propaganda instrument rather than an information medium. Since 1978, when China adopted the reform policies, news value has been gaining more attention and has become an important criterion for the selection of news items. In 1981, Zhang Zonghou defined  news value as:

News value is a quality consisting of fact and material which could meet the needs of society. It is a criterion to select and judge the facts and material used by a journalist according to his knowledge.

Zhang Zonghou summarised the four basic elements of news value as: 1. significance,  2. novelty, 3. proximity, 4. human interest; remarkably similar to Australian and other Western definitions.

Another noted journalism publication, An Introduction to Journalism, edited by Department of Journalism of Fudan University, holds a similar viewpoint to that of Zhang, with slight differences in the recognition of elements of news value:

1. timeliness and novelty, 2. significance, 3. proximity, 4. prominence, 5. human interest.

The authors say that an event with timeliness and novelty plus any one of the other elements, would be recognised as news. The more of these elements a fact has, the more its news value.

Research by American media scholars L. John Martin and Anju Grover Chaudhary shows that proximity is a criterion for news selection in all systems. However, while timeliness is highly demanded in a democratic system it is a relatively unimportant factor in a controlled system, in which the media is often late in reporting news events because they must go through government clearance. Yvonne Preston, a former Beijing correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald, is surprised that the downfall of the Gang of Four, such a crucial event to the Chinese people, was first leaked by the English Daily Telegraph instead of the Chinese media.

News and news value concepts seem to be widely shared between different news media, at least in theory the gap between the Australian and Chinese press on this point may be considered not very wide, as has been shown. However, a genuine difference can be observed from the presentation of the newspapers. A survey found that the most widely read topics in American dailies were accidents, disasters, natural phenomena, government affairs, taxes and crime. In Australia, similarly, Len Granato considers "conflict" as having the most important news value. It is ranked with elements such as: violence with death, injuries and damage to property ... wars, crimes of all kinds but especially kidnappings, rapes, severe bashings and murders, riots, trials, demonstrations, street marches, industrial disputes, sporting events, parliamentary debates, election campaigns, retrenchments and bankruptcies.

Indeed, these phenomena take a significant position in the Australian press. A close look at the Chinese press however, would disclose that, except for sport, the above elements were treated at a much lower level. A newspaper investigation in 1979 shows that articles promoting Party policies, revolutionary theories and the nation's administration took about a seventy per cent portion in the Chinese press. A car accident could be a lead story in The Sydney Morning Herald, but an air crash with hundreds dead could be ignored by the People's Daily. The bush fires in New South Wales in January 1994 and the earthquake in Newcastle in 1989 took days of attention for the Australian media, but in Tangshan in 1976, an earthquake, in which the city was completely destroyed and twenty-four million people died, received no direct coverage from the Chinese media, as will be discussed in a later chapter.

It would be dangerous if comparison only remains on the basis of theory, for theory is often divorced from reality. Thus it is important to distinguish theoretical claims from newspaper practice. One should not just look at the issue of what the press claims but also examine what it actually does. A commonly agreed concept can have diverse interpretations. For example, "significance", as one of the most important factors of news value, is accepted by journalism both in China and the West. Numerous reports show us that "significance" is often perceived quite differently. Taking the coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen democratic movement as an example, the death toll and casualties were most significant in The Sydney Morning Herald but were almost dismissed in the People's Daily.

What decides news selection? Why can a similar fact or event be treated so differently, sometimes in even a diametrically opposed fashion? These questions require a broader and deeper investigation.

2. Class Distinction, Objectivity and Propaganda

Class distinction is normally ignored by mainstream Western journalism. Instead, public interests and public opinion generally are given special emphasis. In Western democratic opinion a newspaper should not belong to any political group and should reflect public opinion - which means the ideas from all elements of society. The primary task of journalists is "to convey the news to the widest audience: to act as a common carrier and thus to create an exchange of opinions." Objectivity in reporting is especially required.  Journalists should not allow personal interests to influence their professional duties. Reporters accomplish this, as Len Granato says, "by writing in the third person, by using neutral language and by attributing opinion to sources". "Bias" in the reporting of news is heavily criticised. In 1976 The Age drew up a guide for Australian newspapers:

The duty of the press is to expose, not oppose. It is to seek truth, not to wield power; to be vigilant, not politically ambitious; to criticise, not overthrow. It is to discover the news as diligently and dispassionately as it can and to publish it as quickly, fairly and accurately as possible. And in politics the function of a newspaper is, we think clear; to report politics, not play them; to report and comment on politics without political motivation.

As a reporting method, objectivity did not achieve its place until the late 19th century. In the early years, newspapers used the news as a political weapon and were heavily biased. Later, newspapers separated their opinions from the facts and recorded news objectively, without personal intrusion and comment, and presented not just one side but all sides. Apart from the progress of professionalism, the reasons for the change chiefly arose from the papers' economic demands. Len Granato summarises this as the situation where proprietors ended their financial dependence on political factions and relied on advertising to provide most of their revenue. While ceasing to slant their stories towards a particular ideology they "took their cue from the international news agencies and instructed their journalists to write objective stories so as not to alienate readers, hoping to offer advertisers the largest possible number of potential customers".  Theodore Peterson argued in 1957 that, for a decade, "objectivity" had not been a goal of the Western press; instead, it was merely "a fetish". This arose when the 1947 Royal Commission declared that a truthful account of the news was not enough; it was necessary to report "the truth about the fact". Peterson further explained:

...the press has developed a curious sort of objectivity - a spurious objectivity which results in half-truths, incompleteness, incomprehensibility. In adhering to objective reporting, the press has tried to present more than one side to a story; but in doing so, the suggestion is, the media have not bothered to evaluate for the reader the trustworthiness of conflicting sources, nor have they supplied the perspective essential to a complete understanding of a given situation. Instead of assuming that two half truths make a truth, the Commission says in effect, the press should seek "the whole truth".

Despite the arguments, objectivity, fairness and neutrality are of great concern and are described as "core values" to journalists. In the Australian interpretation, objectivity means "reporting the news in a fair and balanced manner", or that the reporter "expresses fairly the position of each side in a political dispute" and "does not allow the journalist's own political beliefs to affect the presentation of the subject".

However, there are many doubts as to whether these principles can be functional in practice. As a matter of fact, there are varying understandings on the issue of objectivity even in the Western world. John Martin and Anju Grover Chaudhary have discovered that objective reporting in the American and British sense is not found in all Western countries. For instance, "German journalists prefer to give their stories 'perspective' by providing interpretive background and writing subjectively. Swedish journalists give a lively twist even to straight news stories for fear of boring their readers". Manoff and Schudson maintain that the attempts to be objective are "evidence that journalists have a strong sense of formal constraints on their work, one of which is the set of rules, procedures and traditions that define what 'objectivity' means". They assert that the journalists' system is "operating out of its own conventions and understandings and within its own set of sociological, ideological and literary constraints". Allen and Linda Kirschner more clearly point out that:

We mistakenly assume that our newspapers print the whole truth....For behind every article is a writer with his own vision of the truth just as behind every reader is a human being with his vision of the truth. Print is, in the language of Marshall Mcluhan, a "cool medium," a medium which requires a human being to complete it. Words, therefore, fail to exist until they interact with a reader. This interaction does not guarantee, however, that the truth will be the same to every writer or to every reader.

Some European philosophers have argued that objective or even neutral accounts of reality  are not possible, since a person's world view always helps shape their accounts of reality. Professor Wolfgang Donsbach, a German communications commentator, maintains that: 

From the beginning the press was dominated by a strong belief in the superiority of opinion over news. The opinionated editor and commentator were seen as the epitome of the journalistic profession.

Donsbach does not mention whether the class system affects journalist opinion. However, a few Western radical scholars have referred to this issue when dealing with communication. Denis McQuail for example, states unequivocally that:

There is certainly a class bias in attention to 'information-rich' sources and strong correlations are persistently found between social class, attention to these sources and being able to answer information questions on political, social, or economic matters.

McQuail also points out that "not all information is equally useful to all groups" and "it is likely that the media do close some [information sources] and open others".

If class distinction is not discussed sufficiently in McQuail's studies, it is well explained by Humphrey McQueen, an Australian media critic and scholar. Using Marxist class struggle methodology in his analysis, McQueen divides media into socialist and capitalist systems. He considers that the Australian media definitely upholds the interests of capitalism and does not support the working class. Therefore, its objectivity and fairness are doubtful because "even if all the media were completely honest, accurate and unbiased in all their political comments and reports, they would still uphold the interests of capitalism." He complains that in Australia "too many writers have concentrated on the outright lying and distortion practised by the media, while almost no mention is made of the ways in which the media supports capitalism without ever raising the issue openly." He further explains:

Indeed, even if the media cut out all political comment and news they would still be defending the interests of capitalism. They do this by the ways in which they present their content; by their relations with their audiences; by what they leave out; and, most of all, by the values which lie behind everything they do - values which they in turn pump out into their audiences.

Marxist journalism attacks Western claims to objectivity as being "hypocritical" and maintains that "Bourgeois journalism tries to hide its class nature under a mask of "classlessness" or "non-partisanism", and tries to present itself in the eyes of public opinion as 'objective', independent of the social forces of the source of information." According to Rilla Dean Mills "in the Marxist-Leninist conception, truth cannot be synonymous with 'objectivity', in the sense of being non-partisan, since every point of view is partisan - an expression of some class interests, whether hidden or open".

Journalism scholars at Fudan university hold a similar point of view, maintaining that "When the media reflect the objective world their presentation often contains a sort of class interest", which normally shows in the following: news selection; editing; news item placement in newspaper and commentary. PRC journalism has admitted that, to some extent, objectivity as a method may exist in reporting a purely scientific or natural fact, but when social affairs are involved, particularly political matters, bias cannot be waived.

Bias has remained one of the major problems in Australian journalism and usually is attributed to the different political viewpoints of journalists, or the issue is simply disregarded. The few critics who connect this issue with class include Humphrey McQueen, already mentioned, Bill Bonney and Helen Wilson.

McQueen believes that it is class background that makes the bias which obviously exists in Australian reporting, and this shows particularly in the reporting of international affairs. In his view, the accounts on China since 1949 have been "disastrous examples of the Australian media misreporting". It was also "disastrous to the best interests of the Australian people" and this misreporting could even be a reason for Menzies sending troops to Vietnam.

It is believed now that the Australian media (perhaps partly because of attitudes based on wrong background information) mis-reported on several international events such as the Vietnam war and the Tonkin Gulf affair. McQueen maintains the Australian people have real difficulty in knowing what is happening in other countries because the media are upholding the interests of the capitalists. Bill Bonney and Helen Wilson think that the presentation of news items in the Australian media is not balanced: while the USA and Western Europe dominate foreign news, news about Second World or Third World countries is in a very subordinate position. A weakness of Australian newspapers also criticised by some Western observers is that "Australian journalists, especially political reporters, play up or play down stories to support their political slant".

Trevor Barr, another Australian media critic, firmly believes that "all news is biased". As he further explains:

The gathering, editing and publishing of news involves decisions by people who inevitably bring their own background, values and prejudices to bear on deciding what to select, emphasise and colour as news. Our view of the world through press reports depends on who decides reality, and how it is presented. The issue is not  whether the press is biased, but the nature and extent of bias.

The 1980s saw a view that has been wide spread in journalistic circles: since all news is written from a reporter's viewpoint, objectivity is recognised as an impossible and unattainable ideal and is being rapidly replaced by concepts such as fairness, accuracy and lack of bias. Most Australian journalists would now acknowledge that objectivity is an impossible ideal, nevertheless believing that journalists should try to be as objective as possible. Len Granato stated in 1991 that:

we all possess cultural, psychological, political and social filters that colour our interpretations of the environment. However difficult it may be, journalists are expected to be aware of their particular blind spots and to keep them from influencing their copy ... Even though objectivity - like godliness - may be impossible for mere mortals to attain, the profession demands that journalists try for it so that decision-making remains with the people, where it belongs in a democratic society.

On the other hand, as a reporting method, the objectivity approach which features separation of fact from comment and an impartial attitude, has been widely adopted by international press. Objectivity and fairness are the written code for both Australian and PRC journalism. The difference lies in the fact that many Australians see objectivity as belonging to all elements of society, and the media as a utility for conveying the diverse elements of public opinion. This acknowledgment sounds good, but on examination it is shown to be weak in practice. The cases mentioned above have already been proved, and it is not difficult to find others. It is claimed that, in the history of Australia, working class papers have frequently been suppressed by governments and there has been no space for communism (other than in small specifically papers).

The term "propaganda" usually is applied to the PRC newspapers. However, it also exists in the Western press, not only in enormous advertisements but also in government campaigns, political elections, journalists' reports and editors' comments. Historical analysis reveals that propaganda has been widely used in all countries. Some Western media scholars already have admitted this. In 1972 Robert Cirino pointed out that "Any attempt to influence public opinion can be considered propaganda of one sort or another.... the use of hidden techniques of implanting bias by those who control mass media in the United States is a form of propaganda. That it is used to further establishment policies and priorities can be seen readily." Chomsky and Herman assert that the mass media in a capitalist society operate "very much in the manner of a system of state-controlled propaganda" and refers to "the capacity of Western ideological institutions to falsify, observe and reinterpret the facts in the interests of those who dominate the economy and political system." An Australian media textbook has acknowleged that propaganda is a regular phenomenon in the Australian press and that "part of the media's job is to convince us to buy products or ideas." As early as 1964, Mayer mentioned that Lord Beaverbrook had once stated that he ran the papers "purely for the purpose of making propaganda, and with no other motive." The performance of Murdoch's The Australian in the 1975 election has been criticised as that of a "propaganda sheet" because of its heavy bias against Labor. It is clear that propaganda is a common factor in the world press; the difference in each country is in degree and form. Many Western academics also have tried to avoid using this word and to employ the word "persuasion" instead. However, as Garth Jowett points out, "Propaganda has not been successfully differentiated from persuasion".

Careful observation reveals, therefore, that propaganda is employed widely, and has a key function in the Chinese media, while in most Western democratic counties, including Australia, it is an unpopular concept which, for the most part, is avoided and controlled. 

In summary, therefore, class distinction, and propaganda as a method of distributing news and views, are openly declared and lawfully exist in the PRC media. This declaration, along with its denial of "Western objectivity" in the press, is meaningful. It provides a fully legitimate basis and approach for the existence of PRC newspapers. The logic simply is this: because the media has class character, a proletarian paper should belong to its highest organisation and the people's leading force - the Communist Party. Meanwhile, the editing and reporting should be on the proletarian track. The judgement of what is newsworthy, the placement of news, whether up, down or withdrawn -is all to be in accordance with  the best interests of the proletariat. Because the newspaper belongs to the Party, promotion of the Party line and policy is the natural consequence, and is the most important task of the paper. These considerations have developed into a systematic theory - the Party journalism which, since the 1949 revolution, has dominated Chinese media as a main principle.

For the Australian press, bias is recognised as undesirable, and newspapers have tried hard to use the objective method, even when one would argue that they are still biased. In PRC, the propaganda method is openly declared, but objective techniques are used to improve presentation. It would seem that class distinction, objectivity and propaganda are issues for continuing argument, which may remain as an endless debate, since these are not merely academic questions but problems rooted in two different political systems. There may be some truth in Yvonne Preston's statement that, "journalism in China and journalism in Australia are not in the same profession at all".

 

 

 

Unit 9 Modern Press: Origin and Political history

 

This part, in tracing the development of the modern Chinese press, its role, and the degrees of freedom of the press during different historical periods from 1815 until the present time, covers a similar period to the previous chapter. However, the story it tells is very different.

Western studies on Chinese journalism can be traced back to the 1920s when the first group of American journalism researchers showed interest in the Chinese press. Pioneering works include Don D. Patterson, “The Journalism of China” (1922), Y. P. Wang, The Rise of the Native Press in China (1924) and H. J. Timperloy, The Beginnings of Journalism in China (1930).  Patterson reviewed briefly the development of Chinese journalism from ancient times to the 1920s and recorded details of the existing Chinese newspapers at that time. Y. P. Wang provided a short discussion on the progress of the Chinese newspapers with particular reference to legal aspects, advertising and circulation. About this book, it is said, “for the first time, Chinese journalism has been introduced to the English speaking world”. Timperloy also dealt with the early history of the Chinese press. His work was followed by Roswell S. Britton, Chinese Periodical Press, 1800 -1911 (1933), a special study of the indigenous periodical press during a period when modern journalism was emerging. Britton’s contribution is especially significant, in that he not only provided a detailed account of prominent figures of the Chinese press, such as Wang Tao and Liang Qichao, but also analysed the relationship between the native press and Western journalism. Some important statements by Chinese journalists were also first translated by Britton. The period between the 1940s and the 1960s was quiet for Western studies on the Chinese press. In the 1970s, Government Control of the Press in Modern China 1900-1949  by Lee-Hsia Hsu Ting, contributed further to the study of this field, with special emphasis on the government role in the press development during the first half of the 20th century.

More works emerged during the 1980s, including Adrian A. Bennett, Missionary Journalism in China: Young J. Allen and His Magazines, 1860-1883 (1983), P. P. Liu, How China is Ruled (1986), Patricia Stranahan, Moulding the Medium: the Chinese Communist Party and the Liberation Daily (1990), Chin-Chuan Lee (ed.), Voices of China: The Interplay of Politics and Journalism (1991) and Won Ho Chang, Mass Media in China: the History and Future (1989).

Comprehensive Western studies of the Chinese press have not been undertaken, and the limited available references are mostly dynasty and period research or focused on specific issues. There is a great shortage of studies on the general history of the Chinese press. Dr. Won Ho Chan provides a chapter “Historical Background”, perhaps the only study which contains a general review of Chinese press history from ancient times to 1989; it is, however, weak in theoretical analysis.

Existing Western studies generally reveal an ignorance of the development of communist newspapers and contain superficial analysis, if any. The newspapers of the People's Republic of China normally are simply labelled "propaganda tools" without substantial analysis. Sometimes one-sided observations, if not bias, are involved. Incorrect assessment also occurs. For example, when discussing the People's Daily, in his book Global Journalism: A Survey of the World's Mass Media (1983) John C. Merrill states:

 The People's Daily carries no comics, sports, or entertainment news or divergent political opinions...

This is completely false and misrepresents the actual situation. Ever since it was established in the late 1940s, the People’s Daily has had comics, sports and entertainment news in its special columns for literature, arts and sports. The paper also publishes divergent political opinions, although, as is widely known, this does not happen most of the time and the divergent political opinions are often published under specific conditions, i.e. they are quoted in order to substantiate attacks on such opinions.

Most Western scholars have emphasised the propaganda function of the Chinese press but have ignored other aspects, for example its value as a social communication medium. The substantial changes which took place in newspapers during the post-Mao period (particularly 1978-1989) have not received adequate attention.

Before the changeover of 1949, a few press histories were written by Chinese scholars. The most important are: Ge Gongzhen, History of Chinese Journalism (Zhongguo baoxueshi; 1927), Lin Yutang, A History of the Press and Public Opinion in China (1936). They provide reliable information about the Chinese press during relevant periods.

A number of books on newspaper history were published in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), such as Fang Hanqi, History of the Modern Chinese Press (Zhongguo jindai baokanshi; 1981), Fang Hanqi and Others, A Brief History of Chinese Journalism (Zhongguo xinwen shiye jianshi; 1983), Li Longmu, A Draft of the History of Chinese Journalism (Zhongguo xinwen shiye shi chugao; 1985), Zheng Kuang (ed) Contemporary Journalism (Dangdai xinwenxue; 1987), Fang Hanqi and Cheng Yeshao, History of Contemporary Chinese Journalism 1949-1988 (Dangdai xinwen shiye shi 1949-1988; 1992) and Zhang Tao, The Journalism History of the People's Republic of China (Zhonghua renmin gongheguo xinwenshi; 1992). Although these books provide information about Chinese newspaper development in the modern era, they are strongly influenced by prevailing Party attitudes and policies.

Studies on modern Chinese newspapers by both Western and Chinese scholars reveal two major problems: first, limited information and the lack of any comprehensive historical studies which include the press development to present times; second, analytical weakness and instances of bias. Therefore, in this Chapter, while discussing the general development of the Chinese press until the 1990s, both Western and Chinese references are carefully assessed and selected, and the author's own observations are given.

Section One is a brief review of ancient Chinese newspapers and their "official" features. Section Two is about the emergence of the first modern Chinese newspapers. Western influence, especially that of the missionary press, is emphasised.

In the 1870s two major trends emerged in the development of the Chinese press: some papers operated purely for profit and others mainly for propaganda and the airing of political views. Section Three discusses these changes. Some well-known journalists such as Wang Tao and Liang Qichao and early theories of Chinese journalism also are discussed.

Section Four is a study of a famous case of sedition in modern Chinese journalism. It also draws attention to the significant government suppression of the press at that time. Section Five provides a discussion of the general development of the Chinese press during the period 1920 to 1949. This period covers the May Fourth Movement, the rise of communism, the Sino-Japanese War and the struggle between the Guomindang and the Chinese Communists. The Chinese press, strangled by continual warfare and mired by political struggles, developed with great difficulty and became further politicised.

Since 1949, the Chinese press on the mainland has been solely controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (The CCP). Consequently the role of the press became much clearer: it was a propaganda instrument of the CCP. Section Six provides an account of the development of the Chinese press in the communist regime. The typical newspaper structure is depicted to show the processes and procedures of communist propaganda. This section also discusses communist journalism, based on statements on the role of the press by leading communist figures such as Marx, Engels, Lenin and Mao Zedong. Pointing out that the principle of the communist press is that "the press must be the Party's mouthpiece", this section briefly examines the role of the Chinese press during each major upheaval.

The chapter argues that freedom of the press in China is still unrealised; it is a goal which has never been achieved in any period of Chinese history. Generally speaking, the major role of the Chinese press to date has been as a political propaganda instrument.  In the final analysis, press freedom is based on political democracy. A system in which a high level of ideological control exists can not tolerate press freedom. However, China is changing, both economically and politically, and this has brought some ray of hope for the future of the Chinese press.


1. Official Newspapers: A Brief Review

The modern Chinese press came into being at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It had a particular feature in that it did not appear on its own national basis but was introduced by Western journalism, even though at that time the Chinese press already had a very long history.

As early as the Han Dynasty (206 B.C - 220 A.D.) China had produced the Court Gazette (Di bao), an imperial court publication, which contained mainly the Emperor's instructions and orders, imperial court regulations and some official reports. The Court Gazette has been noted by many press historians both from China and Western countries, in books and articles such as "The Journalism of China" by Don D. Patterson (1922), History of Chinese Journalism by Ge Gongzhen (1927), The Chinese Periodical Press 1800-1911 by Dr. Roswell S Britton (1931), The Newspaper: An International History by Anthony Smith (1979) and Moulding the Medium: the Chinese Communist Party and the Liberation Daily by Patricia Stranahan (1990). Most scholars believe that it was during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) that the Court Gazette became a regular publication. An original Dunhuang version of the Court Gazette has been kept in the British Museum since 1960. It is believed to be one of the earliest newspaper records in the world. As an official paper, the Court Gazette carried neither social news nor commentary and was read only among officials. Most readers belonged to the central and local governments or were members of the families of high ranking officials. Because it was not for the public, some scholars have argued that the Court Gazette should not be categorised as a newspaper.

Chinese history reveals an almost continuous thread of political measures to exercise control over public opinion. This can be traced back to very early times, during the period of the First Emperor Qinshihuang (221 B.C.-210 B.C.) who maintained his power through harsh tyrannical measures. In 213 B.C. he ordered that all books, except for the Qin History and some medical books, be burned. The following year, he gave the order for over one hundred dissident scholars to be buried alive. As for the press generally, it had been under severe official control from the time of its inception. Until 1815, there was only the official press, as the governments did not allow a private one to exist. During the Song Dynasty (960-1127), printing began to be used in China and an unofficial bulletin called Small Sheet (Xiao bao) appeared. This paper provided some information about the activities of the imperial court to the local officials and some intellectuals. However, Small Sheet was regarded by the government as illegal. It was frequently suppressed and it could not develop.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the publication of  the Court Gazette was still strictly controlled by the government. Information on natural disasters and rebellions could not be published. However, during this period, some private publishing houses began printing official reports and documents under government supervision. Since these publishing houses were located in the capital Peking, the official publication was called Peking Gazette (Jing bao), which retained a character similar to that of the Court Gazette. By this time, moveable type was being widely used in printing and publications began to be sold to the public. By the time of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) the Peking Gazette was published every day, with seven to fifteen pages. Its daily circulation was ten thousand. Roswell S. Britton has recorded.

These gazettes were issued by various publishers under various names, printed in various formats on various grades of paper, and sold at correspondingly various prices; but all were alike in that they contained only official communiques released by the throne through an office of Nei Ko, the Inner Cabinet or Grand Secretariat at the imperial palace in Peking. The only difference in the contents of various gazettes was in their selection of documents.

No fundamental change was made to the official nature of the Peking Gazette except that its readership had expanded from just officials to upper-class and business people. The common people were still excluded.

However, the number of official papers grew significantly during the late Qing Dynasty. At the turn of the twentieth century, there were more than one hundred official papers. These included the central government papers such as the Political Gazette (Zhengzhi guanbao), local government papers in different provinces such as Northern Official Gazette (Beiyang guanbao) and Southern Official Gazette (Nanyang guanbao), as well as papers run by government departments such as Trade Gazette (Shangwu guanbao) by the Ministry of Trade and Education Gazette (Jiaoyu guanbao) by the Department of Education.

A popular explanation for the expansion of official papers is that, at times of political and economic crisis, the ruling group wanted to improve its relationship with society, so that it could continue to control the country. Newspapers were regarded as an effective medium of communication to society. As Northern Official Gazette, one of the official papers said in its first issue, "understanding between the government and people cannot be achieved without the help of newspapers." China's many defeats by the West since the Opium Wars 1839-42 had taught officialdom the importance of Western knowledge and technology. Therefore, foreign information including news, politics, economics and science became a constant theme in official newspapers. However, official information still dominated. For example, an edition of the Qing Government daily, the Political Gazette, was structured as follows:

1. The Emperor's instructions and his activities.                                                                        

2.  Information from foreign countries, mainly news from Western news agencies.          

3. The ministers' submissions.                                                                                                      

4. New policies and regulations.

5. Translations of foreign information on politics, economics, law and culture.

In their studies on the official press in the late Qing Dynasty, “A Study of Official Press in Late Qing", Wang Ruzhu and Sun Bingchuan have summarised the features of the official papers at this stage:

...all editing was according to the ruler's instructions; the approach of the editor was to praise the wisdom and power of the ruler and to emphasise the peaceful situation in the country; the news mainly consisted of the Emperor's instructions and the activities of the imperial court with very little other information.

The government gazette was also authorised to publish legal notices. Its circulation was guaranteed - each government institution had to subscribe to the official paper. In this way its circulation was kept high. It was not unusual for a local government paper to have a circulation of 5 000 copies each issue compared with 7 000 to 9 000 copies for the paper published by the central government.

Despite the existence of the Court Gazette and later the Peking Gazette, which constituted the only press in China, official restrictions and control prevented the development of a popular press as in Western countries. In 1927, Ge Gongzhen addresses this phenomenon: in Western countries, the official press was aimed at the people, but in China, it was for official eyes only. The principal aim of the Chinese newspapers was "to stop the people from discussing politics, in order that the ruler could control them."

Ge Gongzhen's view is confirmed by Anthony Smith and he concluded that:

Even though the Chinese had produced the essential technical prerequisites of the newspaper in its European guise before the year 1500, the Chinese press was very slow to develop. Ink, paper, printing, moving letters and metal type were used in China long before the first relacioun or coranto appeared in Europe, but for the public, printed and periodical distribution of news did not begin until European traders and missionaries started foreign-language newspapers on the Chinese mainland, for their own purposes, in the nineteenth century.

The ancient official papers perished with the fall of the Qing dynasty which ended the imperial system in China in 1911. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, two kinds of press, official and non-official, existed concurrently: while official papers dominated the Chinese press, a popular press developed rapidly alongside it. It was during this period that the modern Chinese press emerged and grew to maturity. 

2. The First Modern Chinese Newspapers and Western Influence

Chinese and Western historians generally agree that the establishment of the modern Chinese press was heavily influenced by Western journalism. When European traders and missionaries flourished on the China coast at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Catholic missionaries had already published books and tracts there, but it was not until 1815 that the first Chinese periodical, the Chinese Monthly Magazine (Cha shisu mei yue tongji zhuan), was born.

The establishment of the Chinese Monthly Magazine resulted from the expansion of missionary power in China. The magazine was run by Robert Morrison (1782-1834) and William Milne (1785-1822), both from the London Missionary Society. In 1807, Robert Morrison, a Protestant, came to Canton to preach Christianity. He was then one of only three Europeans with a good command of Chinese. His missionary work faced two pressures: in Canton, printing was strictly controlled and the Chinese government was very strict about Western religions. The Catholic establishment had already grown strongly in the nearest port, Macao. Morrison selected Malacca to establish the Anglo-Chinese College for "reciprocal cultivation of Chinese and European literature" and it was there that he started a magazine. Morrison and Milne as editors used Chinese names. Morrison used “Boai zhe” (“One who loves many”), and Milne used “Yudi Milian” (“Your humble brother”).

3. The Press: Profit-Orientation and Political Organ

During the 1870s, two major trends began to emerge in the Chinese press: some papers operated purely for profit and some mainly for propaganda and the airing of political views.

The first group of papers developed apace. Most were owned by foreigners, with a Chinese editorial management. A typical example is Shen bao in Shanghai. It was founded in 1872 by a British proprietor, Frederick Major (1837-1908), a businessman who had spent some years in China before starting the paper. He employed many Chinese scholars as editors and gave them editorial control. In the first issue, the editor announced:

...When we cast about for something which records and narrates modern events in a style simple though not vulgar, and which reports current affairs concisely yet in sufficient detail so that scholars and officials as well as farmers, artisans, traders and merchants all can understand, we find nothing so suitable as the newspaper. Publication of newspapers originated among Westerners, and has been introduced into China. .... Now we emulate the idea, and establish the Shen bao here in Shanghai.

The lead article stated that the newspaper would contain news on the political situation of the empire, changing customs, important developments in foreign relations, business fluctuations, and all that would evoke surprise and astonishment and pleasure or refresh the public ear. It continued:

We shall apply our best efforts to convey only reliable news, and without misrepresentation: also to make the news understandable. We shall not indulge in shallow or vainglorious talk, or write about ghosts and magic. Those interested in current affairs may get from our paper the gist of daily events, and those engaged in business will not be misled by any reports in our paper.

Aimed at making a profit, Shen bao pledged that it would "cover all major events that happened in China without delay". For this, the paper employed reporters in the major cities including Beijing, Nanjing, Suzhou, and Hankou, a procedure at the time not widespread in the Chinese press. Shen bao always sent its correspondents to the news scene. For example, the coverage of the Formosa Massacre in June 1874, the Korea coup in July, 1882, and the Sino-French War in March, 1884, were among the earliest war reports in Chinese journalism.

Shen bao also became famous for its use of modern communication facilities. Its publication of the news item "The British Reshuffle Cabinet" on 30 January 1874, has been acknowledged as the first publishing of a cable news item to appear in a Chinese newspaper. The cable lines had just opened in China and as soon as the telegraph line between Shanghai and Tianjin was connected in December 1881, Shen bao was quick to use it in the issue of 16 January 1882 to publish the story of an official punished by the imperial court. When telegraph connection was made to Beijing in 1884, the paper immediately began to get the more important information by wire, thus gaining a substantial advantage over the Peking Gazette.

4. The Su bao Case and the Restriction of The Press

The reform and revolutionary press seriously threatened the Qing Government. The rulers strove to suppress the press, particularly at the beginning of the twentieth century when the movements were becoming dominant. Many cases of suppression occurred and the first press law was made during this period.

The Su bao case, which took place in Shanghai in 1903, has been generally regarded as the first sedition case in modern Chinese journalism. Su bao was launched by a Japanese businessman in 1896. In 1900, the paper was sold to Cheng Fang, a Chinese scholar and reformer, and it became more and more radical. In 1903, Zhang Shizhao became the editor and he boldly published a series of articles attacking the Qing Government and advocating political revolution.  On 9 June, the paper published Zhang Taiyan's introduction to Zou Rong's The Revolutionary Army (Geming jun), a pamphlet advocating violent revolution. The introduction reviewed The Revolutionary Army and stressed that its main purpose was to overthrow the Qing rule, encouraging readers to join the revolution. On 29 June, Su bao published an article called "The Relationship between Kang Youwei and Jueluoshi" ("Kang Yuowei yu Jueluoshi zhi guanxi") in which the author called the Emperor by his personal name and attacked him as a "petty thief who cannot distinguish millet from wheat".

The Qing government, not surprisingly, was incensed by the insolence of these rebellious articles. At their request, six editors and writers, including Zou Rong and Zhang Taiyan, were arrested by the Shanghai Municipal Police. In July, the paper was ordered to stop publication. Since Su bao was published in the International Settlement, the Qing court could not deal with the case directly. Instead of the prisoners being surrendered to the Chinese government, the case was brought before the Mixed Court in the Settlement.

During the court session, while the representative of the Qing Government accused the Su bao of sedition, the editors argued that they were innocent, that the Qing Government should be replaced and that the revolution should be encouraged. In May 1904, after much legal debate, Zou, who later died in prison, and Zhang, who was released in 1906, were sentenced to hard labour for three and two years respectively as well as banishment from the Settlement upon their release from prison. The other four editors were released. Su bao was never permitted to resume publication.

5. The Press: In Turmoil and the Party's Control

Although China became a republic after the revolution of 1911, it was still in turmoil. Instead of peace, order and unity, the early Republican years were filled, as Immanuel C. Y. Hsu puts it, with "moral degradation, monarchist movement, warlordism, and intensified foreign imperialism."

From 1905 on, a group of Western-influenced intellectuals such as Chen Duxiu (1879-1942), Hu Shi (1891-1962), Li Dazhao (1889-1936) and Lu Xu (1881-1936), who were seeking a further shift away from the traditional Chinese base towards complete Westernisation, began a campaign to introduce a new literature based on the vernacular language instead of the classical. During this campaign which is known generally as the "New Cultural Movement", these scholars advocated Western democracy and science and denounced feudal autocracy, feudal rites and morals, as well as Confucian ethics. Based on many magazines such as New Youth (Xinqingnian), New Tide (Xinchao) and Weekly Review (Meizhou pinglun), their powerful publications, both fiction and non-fiction, soon evoked a national response.

The Russian revolution of October 1917 introduced socialist ideas to China. With the promotion of Marxism-Leninism by many leading intellectuals, the New Cultural Movement soon entered a new stage when a patriotic demonstration occurred in central Beijing in 1919.

On 4 May 1919, about five thousand students in Beijing held a huge demonstration against the verdict at the Versailles Peace Conference on German concessions on Shandong. Earlier, under popular pressure, the Chinese delegation had put before the conference the "Twenty-one Demands", including one that the various rights previously enjoyed by Germany in Shandong Province and seized by Japan during the war be restored to China. However, the conference refused to accede. This caused an explosion of public anger from workers, businessmen and intellectuals as well as students. Demonstrations and strikes were staged in many major cities. Opposition to imperialism and the Beijing warlord government became strong national themes. The movement pressured the Chinese delegation to Versailles to reject the peace treaty.

The "May Fourth Movement" has been called the "first genuine mass movement in modern Chinese history". It was during this movement that a part of the Chinese press once again became an instrument of propaganda. While profit-seeking newspapers kept their "neutral" and "reserved" attitudes and gave little space to the movement, the radical papers, mostly periodicals, showed more vigour and took a major role. Most influential magazines such as New Youth, Weekly Review, and New Tide were based in Beijing, the epicentre of the movement. Many crucial questions such as Western democratic ideas and communism were discussed. Immanuel C.Y. Hsu has described these magazines as:

...an intellectual bombshell. For the first time in China important national and social problems were being publicly discussed and debated. The youth of the country could not wait to read each new issue."

As the movement progressed, the promotion of socialism became one of the dominant themes. After the Russian Revolution, the Soviet government proclaimed the abrogation of all unequal treaties concluded by Tsarist Russia with China, and gave up all privileges in China which had been seized by the Tsarist imperialists. They also advocated support of China's movement for national independence. These measures encouraged the immediate interest of the Chinese towards socialism. Li Dazhao, the chief editor of New Youth, one of the founders of the Chinese communist party, published articles introducing the Russian revolution and Marxism. The issue of May 1919, was a special number on Marxism, and this included Li's article entitled "My Understanding of Marxism", briefly expounding Marxist theories. Li predicted that the future China would be a communist country.

During the movement, a large number of radical periodicals which aimed to introduce Western democracy and science, promoting a national revolution as well as socialism, sprang up all over the country. These included Xiangjiang Review (Xiangjiang pinglun) established by Mao Zedong in Hunan, Bulletin of the Students' Federation of Tianjin (Tianjin xuesheng lianhehuibao) edited by Zhou Enlai in Tianjin, the Beijing Students' Weekly (Beijing daxuesheng zhoukan) in Beijing, and the Students' Weekly (Xuesheng zhoukan) in Wuhan.

While Marxism spread steadily, the first group of Chinese communist publications was produced. In 1920, New Youth became the first Communist Party organ, and it was followed by a number of communist magazines such as the Labour World (Laodongjie) in Shanghai, the Labourers (Laodongzhe) in Guangdong and the Labour Information (Laodongyin) in Beijing. Two weekly party organs, the Labour Weekly (Laodong zhoukan) and the Guidance Weekly (Xiangdao zhoubao) were established in Shanghai in the early twenties. In 1926, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) founded its first daily, Hot Blood Daily (Rexue ribao) in Shanghai. These early communist publications concentrated on propaganda with very few news items. Although they have little significance journalistically, they hold an important place in studies of the development of the Chinese communist press, especially examination of the function of the press as an organ of the Party.

The twenties saw a rapid proliferation of Chinese newspapers and magazines. In 1921, there were 1 134 publications nationwide, including 550 dailies. In 1926 the number of dailies reached 628. Meanwhile, 150 newsagencies had been established, although most of them were small operations.  By this time, the Chinese newspapers had almost all the features of a modern Western newspaper of the same period, including the internal structure of a newspaper organisation and all other elements.

6. The Communist Regime After 1949

If it is hard to summarise the features of the Chinese press before the revolution of 1949, strangled as it was by continuous war and caught in the mire of political struggles of two competing authoritarian regimes, it is not so difficult to specify the main characteristics of the Chinese press since then. Since the establishment of PRC, the press has been, like all elements of the media, unilaterally manipulated and controlled by the CCP, and in character and function it has been demonstrated to be equally unilateral. It has been a propaganda instrument of the CCP.

Soon after the founding of the People's Republic of China, the CCP started to regulate the press by taking over the private papers. As Fang Hanqi and Chen Yeshao indicate, in 1950 fifty-eight individual papers were still in existence, but just one year later, the number was reduced to twenty-five and by the beginning of 1953, no private newspapers existed. In the meantime, a communist newspaper system was established. This system has been steadily and continuously developed until the present time.

Under the strict control of the CCP Propaganda Department, this system generally consists of four major parts; namely, the top CCP central organs, regional papers, government department papers and army papers and those run by the mass organisations.

1. The Top CCP News System.

This includes a national daily the People's Daily and a national newsagency, New China News Agency (Xinhua tongxunshe) which direct all media enterprises.

The People's Daily

Since its establishment in 1948, the People's Daily has been the daily organ of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. Printed on the same day in printing establishments throughout the country, the paper has an enormous circulation, from 1980 onwards, totalling nearly eight million copies daily.

Generally of eight pages, the People's Daily carries news and commentary on pages one and four. Page two is given over to economics and page three features politics, culture and education. Page five is theory, pages six and seven carry international news and features, and page eight has essays. The paper also has some regular columns such as sport, law and finance.

The People's Daily has been described as "the equivalent of Pravda in the Soviet Union." Its major role is as a medium to publish the CCP and government decisions, policies, regulations and instructions as well as to interpret them. The editorials are often regarded by the people as a reflection of the latest thinking of the top leadership and are frequently quoted by other papers as a guide. In short, the People's Daily is the most authoritative and widely-read official newspaper.

The New China News Agency (NCNA)

Being the only official newsagency, NCNA is the news gatekeeper of PRC. The agency transmits all the news from China to foreign nations and all the foreign news to Chinese leaders and the public. It also provides all national news to the provincial and local media. It speaks for the CCP and the government.

NCNA has twenty-nine branches in PRC and about one hundred branches throughout the world. With twenty thousand staff, the agency daily provides five thousand words of news to the home country and six thousand words to the world in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese and Russian.

 2. Regional Newspapers

Regional papers include provincial and local newspapers run by the local Party committee and the local government. More than four hundred of these are spread throughout the country. As they all act as propaganda instruments for the party, there is no fundamental difference between them and the People's Daily, except for their local colour.

 3. Government Department and Army Newspapers          

Almost every government department runs its own newspaper, such as Chinese Education (National Education Department), China Sports Daily (National Sports Committee) and China Cultural News (National Cultural Department), in order to emphasise its own special features. Most are weekly but some, such as the China Sports Daily which are more popular with a variety of readers, are daily.

Founded in 1956 and run by the Chinese Central Military Committee, The People's Liberation Army Daily (Jiefangjun bao) is a national paper published for all the military forces in the country. A basic guiding principle of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is that " The guns must always be controlled by the Party". The People's Liberation Army Daily unquestionably stands on the side of the CCP. Under the guidance of The People's Liberation Army Daily, thirteen army regions also publish their own papers.

4. Mass Organisation Newspapers

Representing the group approach to the CCP strategy of social engineering, there are organisations of such social groups as youth, women, workers and intellectuals. The major papers of this type are:

Workers' Daily (Gongren ribao). Founded by the All China Workers Federation in 1949, this paper is mainly for the working class. Each copy has four pages and a daily circulation of more than 1 500 000.

 China Youth Daily (Zhongguo qingnian bao). Published by the Chinese Communist Youth League, this paper is mainly for the young people. Each copy has four pages and a daily circulation of two million.

Guangming Daily (Guangming ribao). Founded in 1949, this was originally an organ of the Democratic Alliance, formerly a coalition party of all the minor political parties in China. However, it soon changed direction after the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957 and became a paper concerned with education, culture, history and philosophy. Chinese intellectuals constitute the bulk of its readers.

A number of newspapers are run by group organisations but none can exist without the approval of the CCP. As Alan P. L. Liu has summarised the situation: "The substance of the mass media in China is determined by the Communist Party to serve its grand design of mobilising and transforming society.

Politics, economics, international news, culture and sport are the most regular themes in the content of the Chinese press. Political news always takes an important position. It normally consists of information about Party and state conferences, the reception of foreign guests by Party leaders, government policies and programs and announcements. The following is an outline of the front page of the People’s Daily of 10 September 1989, consisting of ten news items:

1. Deng Xiaoping talks about the principle of international relationships.

2. Jiang Zemin talks on the further development of the traditional friendship between China and Korea.

3. Sacred duty (editorial).

4. Jiang Zemin meets Professor Zhao Haosheng.

5. Li Ruihua meets representatives of Hong Kong for the National People's Congress while repudiating "bourgeois liberation".

6. The magnificent achievement of building the army for hard work for forty years.

7. More than 48 million people have become members of the CCP.

8. Not to be an official but an ordinary person.

9. Shenyan has been chosen as an economic experimental city.

10. A diplomat meets the French Ambassador to protest about the French police   insulting Chinese people who cross the border.

Of the ten items above, four are articles about the activities of Party leaders, one is an editorial, and another a political commentary. Items 6, 7 and 8 are also about the Party's activities. Only two items, 9 and 10 are familiar from a Western journalistic perspective. However, such news arrangements are common in Chinese newspapers. For a long time, reports about the Western world were limited and biased. News about the West always appeared as unsavoury: economic crises, workers on strike, race riots, crime and the aggressive nature of capitalism. This, of course, was an attempt to justify the Party's position, to persuade readers to believe that the Western world was self-destructive and that a socialist country is better. The situation changed considerably after 1978 when China adopted an open-door policy. More balanced reports on the West began to appear, although in most cases, they were still carefully scrutinised and selected.

Freedom of the press in China is still an unrealised dream. This goal has never been achieved in any period of China's history. Compared with the Western press, China has a long way to go. Freedom of the press, in the final analysis, is based on political democracy. A highly ideologically controlled political system cannot produce freedom of the press. However, economic changes are resulting in gradual social and political changes, and these changes are reflected in all forms of the media, including the press. The extent and nature of the change will, of course, as in the past, depend on the nature and extent of the political changes which are taking place.

 

 

 

 

Unit 10 Media Ethics and the Law

 

Ethics

The pen is mightier than the sword.

That was true when Edward Bulwer Lytton wrote those words in the 1800's. Words can have a powerful impact on other people.

However, with the World Wide Web, words are more powerful than ever. Someone can make a statement in India and it can be transmitted to New Brunswick in a matter of seconds.

If the statement is not correct, malicious or damaging, the impact is immediate and lasting.

That is why journalists must take their work seriously and recognize the impact they can have on their community. Many journalists have their own personal code of ethics -- a set of principles that guide the way they do their work. Their sense of ethics helps them determine what is fair when they write about others and sets standards for their own performance.

As reporters you must also follow a code of ethics.

Most newsrooms have a formal set of rules of conduct for their journalists.

For example:

Some newspapers and broadcasters will not allow their reporters to accept gifts, meals or free services from people they meet through reporting. That policy makes it clear that reporters cannot be influenced by others as they do their stories.

Other news outlets refuse to let their reporters quote any "off-the-record" or unnamed sources in their stories. They want to ensure that all quotes and information can be tracked back to a specific person and that gives the story credibility among the readers.

Other newsrooms have specific guidelines for staff when it comes to covering issues that they have a personal interest in. For example, a person whose spouse sits on the school board would not be permitted to do stories related to the board's work.

Journalists are constantly being forced to consider ethical issues during their work days. As a reporter you must always ask yourself if you are being fair and accurate in your reporting and if you are writing your stories in context.

It is important for you to set up a set of principles which can guide you in publishing your articles. Check out the Media Awareness website.

The Law: Libel and The Art of (not) Getting Sued

Libel is a published false statement that is damaging to a person's reputation. Like newspapers and magazines, the Internet is a permanent record and can be looked at over and over again. The key to avoiding a libel suit is to be able to prove anything you print in a court of law. 

TRUTH IS YOUR FIRST DEFENCE.

When reporting, you must remember not to use second-hand information. You can't get an accurate story from a friend of a friend of a guy who knows the guy who saw the accident they are reporting on. Get the facts from the source.

If you can't get an interview with a believable source, that's fine. You may have to go out and find a corroborating source to back up the previous person's comments. Even if he/she refuses to comment, the reporter can put it in the story. Make the refusal of a comment important.

CONSENT IS YOUR SECOND DEFENCE

Basically, when you are doing an interview, the person you are talking to will know that their comments are "on the record". That means that everything that they say is a source of information. He/she will ask to be "off the record" if they do not want their name associated with the information given. "Off the record" is a way of getting the information from the source, without letting the readers know it was him/her. You simply tell the information without attributing the source.

If the information was about the recent cuts to jobs in the government and the source was a minister in the cabinet, they could say "a source said that....."

If the source says to the reporter "I don't care what you print, I didn't do it", the source just told you that anything you print is all right with them, so print the story. You should record the date, time and place he/she said it, or tape record it.

Get information or facts from both sides of the story.

Balance your opinions in print. If you can, you should get a source who is an authority on the subject. That gives believability to your story.

FAIR COMMENT IS YOUR THIRD DEFENCE

Opinion is all right to use if it is not your opinion. You have to save personal opinion for an editorial or entertainment reviews. Another person's opinion on your topic is fine to use even if the comment is a bad one. That's called fair comment.

Example: If you interviewed someone protesting the prime minister's decision to cut 25% of all funding, the protestor could call the PM a "liar." You could print it under fair comment as it is not your opinion. But you have to make sure you attribute the statement.

PRIVILEGE IS YOUR FOURTH (and last) DEFENCE

If the information you are using is of public record, like a court case or a meeting of the government, all spoken words are of record and are written down, so you have a right to get information needed.

Copyright

Copyright is a law giving rightful ownership to an original piece of work. These works could be books, movies, songs, essays, articles, letters, or poems. In Canada, original works are usually copyrighted when they have been published, or put in a permanent form for people to see.

Examples:

Lucy Maud Montgomery's book, "Anne of Green Gables," or the song "Starseed," by Our Lady Peace.

As a reporter you must give a reference to people whose work you put in a story. Creative people want to see that their work is identified as theirs and not someone else's.

When giving reference to someone's work, you must include the following:

The name of the writer, composer, artist, or owner

The title of the article, album, picture, or other work

The publishing or production company, or record label

The year it was created or published (if available)

Copyright symbol (?) is optional.

For example:

I'm riding down the street / I see a girl I'd like to meet / She looks my way, and I almost fall off my bike.

"I Hit A Tree"

Dave & The Bike Spokes

RubberTire Records ?1996

When doing a review, you should only use what you need to make your point. It would be silly to write out an entire song or a whole paragraph of an article because it's just too long for people to read.

Copyright protects your published news stories, too, by preventing others from copying the writing or opinions in your article.

However, information or ideas cannot be copyrighted, so it does not stop anyone from ever using that idea for another story . Other reporters can write news stories with the same topic, except they get their own quotes from other sources, or even interview the same sources you used.

For example:

When the space shuttle, Challenger, exploded during takeoff, everyone did stories about it, because it was important news. Most stories had similar information, only written differently.

Copyright Issues

As in any research project, you must provide an online bibliography of the resources you use in creating homepages. It is too easy to copy material from the web and forget to respect the intellectual property of others whether it is an article, a graphic or an audio file. Credit must be given to the authors; permission must be requested to use material and links must be provided to other people's sites as a courtesy for materials used.

Rules for you to remember:

1.. If you use an image/audio file from a collection on the Internet, you should always link back to that site as a courtesy, proof of source and acknowledgment of credit.

2. If you use an image/audio file from a collection on the Internet, you should always link back to that site as a courtesy, proof of source and acknowledgment of credit.

You can make your own original pictures and avoid any copyright infringements.

3. If you find a graphic you really like, you need to read the fine print for copyright information and request permission to use it on your site.

4. Use established formats for citing Internet resources.

5. If you copy part of an article, use pictures, or download sound or video clips that you find on the Internet, you must e-mail the Web page owner and ask to use it. As a reporter, it would be smart for you to do this, just so you don't get into any trouble later. A page owner may have gotten an article from someone else, so you need to make sure you get the real owner of the article and the real page it came from. If you have your sources covered, you should be safe from most legal matters. 

6. Give credit where credit is due by providing a bibliography on their homepages.

7. Again, do not take every bit of news you get from the Net as the truth. Anyone could say that a buffalo ran through Main Street but it doesn't mean that it really happened. Check your facts and ask more people about it, so you get more than just one person telling you what happened but several sources giving a viewpoint. Readers will believe it if you back it up with truthful sources.

Permissions

To ensure safety on the Internet follow these 3 basic rules.

Follow your school's Acceptable User Policies for Internet use to ensure that you are protected and understand online safety. If your school does not have a policy yet, a basic guide can be found at Staying Street Smart on the Web! Be street smart on the Internet by following these rules of online safety!

Obtain parental permission to participate in Internet-based projects which use the World Wide Web both for research and the publishing work. Feel free to use or adapt the letters for your own needs.

- Parental permission for participation in a Web-Based project (view sample)

- Teacher Statement of Provision of Access to the Internet (view sample)

When publishing your work or pictures, do not use your full names. If an e-mail is included make sure it's a general e-mail for your school or class and not a personal address.

 

 

Unit 11 Audience study

 

In the past, readers of technical information were mainly professionals. However, since modern technology has been more and more integrated into people’s daily life and work, readers of technical information have become more miscellaneous

Any theory about the media is incomplete if it does not take audiences (or “readers”) into account. To fully assess the media’s role in society we need to study how people “read,” use, and respond to the media.

1 definition of audience

The audience is an ephemeral and inherently relational concept. Audiences are defined, at least initially, in relation to texts (films, news bulletins, soap operas) or objects (such as books, radio, or TV sets).

Researchers have to decide who constitute a meaningful group of research participants in the context of their particular research aims. The potential audience might include the whole population of a country (or even several countries) or everyone who owns a specific media technology. It might be people who watch a program genre (such as talk shows) or have watched a specific documentary or film. Researchers may opt for large-scale work that aims for a statistically representative sample (a scale of research often necessitating methods such as questionnaires), or they may opt to explore specific fan groups or communities .

 

Just as people as audiences cannot be separated from personal, social and cultural continuity, so texts cannot be isolated from their broader cultural significance, or from the history of that significance. The audience-text relation is a chimera, which can only ever be apprehended partially. We think we are seeing reality when what we see is more like a holographic reflection, changing as our own point of reference changes and dependent on our ability to see—on the quality of our vision. Audience is a shifty concept. “

------ Nightingale (1996):

 

2 Features of audience

Broadcasting media – television and radio – beam their programs into the air to be caught by anyone with a receiver who happens to be tuned in. One result of our increased ability to analyze the demographics of any audience has been mass media industry efforts to target their messages at special segments of the population.

The large nature of the audience of mass communication makes it very difficult to address mass communication messages to specific audience or group of people. This presupposes the fact that messages that undergo mass communication process must be directed to very many people, like the ones sent through mass media of radio, TV, newspapers etc.

Heterogeneous

By heterogeneous, we mean mass communication messages cannot be segregated. It cannot be directed towards certain people without others hearing it. Every human being, irrespective of age, creed, sex, wealth and affluence get the messages at the same time. mass communication message is not a respecter of any man. It does not have regard for positions, and class. It is for all.

Anonymity

Messages sent in mass communication are not to be received by a named receiver. It is addressed to whom it may concern. In other words, he who receives the messages is not known to the sender. It is assumed that messages in mass communication are sent to nobody, everybody and somebody.

Simultaneity

This holds that messages of mass communication are at the disposal of the audience at the same time or simultaneously, or instantly. The word ‘disposal’ is used because, even though the message is available to one, the audience might decide not to expose himself to the message almost immediately, the audience might delay his exposure to such messages for different reasons. This message is often associated with the print media of mass communication like newspapers, magazines and books. A reader might decide not to read the pages of a book almost immediately. The same way someone who got the delivery of fresh news on a daily newspaper early in the morning might delay reading such news till bed time.

 

Hence, the simultaneity in mass communication audience is mostly applicable to messages sent via the broadcast media, but the fact is that everybody is disposed to such message instantaneously.

3 audience research

Jenny Kitzinger hold that audience research is embedded in a web of processes involving the socioeconomic conditions of production, disciplinary divisions, academic routines, historical context, knowledge paradigms, and interrelated decisions about questions, foci, and methods of enquiry.

 

4 The Impetus for Audience Research: Four Spheres of Concern

The impetus for empirical research into audiences can be grouped under four broad spheres.

Market Imperatives

This research scrutinizes and seeks to manage audiences as consumers/ commodities. People are approached as commercial units to be delivered to businesses, advertisers, or media organizations (Ang, 1991). Such research is concerned primarily with measuring audiences, identifying their sociodemographic distribution, and tracking issues such as attention flow and channel loyalty. This often involves audience panels, surveys, and monitoring via electronic means such as the “people meter” or continuous response measurements via handsets (Millard, 1992).

 Concerns about Morality and Sex ’n’ Violence

This research is concerned with the potential corrupting influence of the media. Much of this work is framed by psychological theories and relies on experimental laboratory-based studies. Such research is often conducted in response to long-running debates about copycat violence that have lasted from the first penny newspaper to the 1990s video nasties controversies.

Responses to Technological Developments

This research asks questions about the implications of new media and communication devices. In the first part of the 20th century, research focused on cinema or the radio; today, it is more likely to focus on the Internet and interactive digital TV. Although this can involve a very narrow technological focus, such research is often conducted under the broader auspices of anthropology, history, or the sociology of science and technology.

Questions about Culture, Politics, and Identity

 

The impetus for research inspired under this rubric is a concern with the media’s role in the public and domestic realm. It examines how the media might frame public understandings and citizenship and how people use media texts and objects in negotiating interpersonal power relations or developing identities, pleasures, and fantasies. Such work includes much of the sociological enquiry into media effects and the cultural studies tradition, as well as questions about the role of media objects as items of domestic technology.

 

The above categories should thus not be seen as cast in stone. In highlighting the different impetus behind research questions, the aim is to encourage reflective approaches to how research is framed and conducted. It would be a mistake to assume that certain areas of substantive enquiry are confined within one sphere.

5 Uses and gratifications theory

Uses and Gratifications Theory is an approach to understanding why people actively seek out specific media outlets and content for gratification purposes. The theory discusses how users proactively search for media that will not only meet a given need but enhance knowledge, social interactions and diversion.

The basic argument of this theory

1 The audience is active and its media use is goal oriented.

2 People have various uses (needs) they seek to satisfy through media.

3 Audience members take initiative to link need gratification to a specific media.

4 The media compete with other sources for need satisfaction.

5 People have enough self-awareness of their own media use, interests, and motives to be able to provide researchers with an accurate picture of that use.

6 Value judgments of media content can only be assessed by the audience.

 

This theory assumes that members of the audience are not passive but take an active role in interpreting and integrating media into their own lives. The theory also holds that audiences are responsible for choosing media to meet their needs. The approach suggests that people use the media to fulfill specific gratifications. This theory would then imply that the media compete against other information sources for viewers' gratification.

Simply say according to this theory, there are Active Audience (Blumler, 1979) in mass communication.

Jay Blumler presented a number of interesting points, as to why Uses and Gratifications cannot measure an active audience. He stated, “The issue to be considered here is whether what has been thought about Uses and Gratifications Theory has been an article of faith and if it could now be converted into an empirical question such as: How to measure an active audience?” (Blumler, 1979). Blumler then offered suggestions about the kinds of activity the audiences were engaging with in the different types of media.

Utility: media have uses for people and people can put media to those uses. “Using the media to accomplish specific tasks”

Intentionality: people's prior motivations determine their consumption of media content. “Occurs when people’s prior motive determine use of media”

Selectivity: individual audience members' use of media may reflect their existing interests and preference. “Audience members’ use of media reflect their existing interests”

Imperviousness to Influence: audience members construct their own meaning from content that then influences what they think and do. They can avoid certain types of media influence”Refers to audience members’ constructing their own meaning from media content”

Uses and gratifications also distinguishes between activity and activeness to better understand the audience.

Activity refers to what the media consumer does.

Activeness refers to the audience's freedom and autonomy in the mass communication situation.

Activeness is relative: some people are more active, others more passive.

Activeness varies within individuals: activeness often varies by time of day and type of content

 

 Typologies of Media Use (Consumer Needs)

The Uses and Gratifications Theory was developed from a number of prior communication theories and research conducted by fellow theorists.

Beginning in the 1940’s, researchers began seeing patterns under the perspective of the uses and gratifications theory in radio listeners. Early research was concerned with topics such as children's use of comics and the absence of newspapers during a newspaper strike. An interest in more psychological interpretations emerged during this time period.

 One:

In 1944 Herta Herzog began to look at the earliest forms of uses and gratifications with her work classifying the reasons why people chose specific types of media. For her study, Herzog interviewed soap opera fans and was able to identify three types of gratifications. The three gratifications categories, based on why people listened to soap operas, were emotional, wishful thinking, and learning.

In 1970 Abraham Maslow suggested that Uses and Gratifications Theory was an extension of the Needs and Motivation Theory. The basis for his argument was that people actively looked to satisfy their needs based on a hierarchy. The pyramid hierarchy began on the bottom with Biological/Physical, Security/Safety, Social/Belonging, Ego/Self-Respect and Self-actualization at the top.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory was developed by Abraham Maslow. It is a theory that is widely known and recognized and follows a five-level hierarchy format:

Physiological. Basic needs that include the need for food, water and shelter

Safety. These needs are the desire to feel safe, secure and free from threats.

Belonging. This is the need to feel that you are affiliated with other people and accepted by them.

Esteem. A desire to have a positive self-image and to be appreciated and valued by other people.

Self-actualization. The need to develop our skills and capabilities in order to reach our full potential.

 

 

Two:

McQuail, Blumler & Brown’s Typology of Needs (1972):

In 1969 Jay Blumler and Denis McQuail began to study why people watched political program on television. The motive they were able to identify helped lay the groundwork for their research in 1972 and eventually the Uses and Gratifications Theory.

In 1972 Denis McQuail, Jay Blumler and Joseph Brown suggested that the uses of different types of media could be grouped into 4 categories. The four categories were: diversion, personal relationships, personal identity and surveillance.

Diversion: escape from daily routines or daily problems

Personal relationship: substituting the media for companionship.

Personal identity/individual psychology: seeking media to reinforce an individual’s values.

Surveillance: seeking information to help an individual accomplish something

 

Three:

Katz, Gurevitch, and Haas (1973) Need Categories

Katz, Gurevitch and Haas (1973) saw mass media as a means by which individuals connect or disconnect themselves with others. They developed 35 needs taken from the largely speculative literature on the social and psychological functions of the mass media and put them into five categories:

   Cognitive Needs: Acquiring information, knowledge and understanding

            Media Examples: Television (news), video (how-to), movies (documentaries or based on history)

   Affective Needs: Emotion, pleasure, feelings

           Media Examples: Movies, television (soap operas, sitcoms)

   Personal Integrative Needs: Credibility, stability, status

         Media Examples: Video

   Social Integrative Needs: Family and friends

            Media Examples: Internet (e-mail, instant messaging, chat rooms, social media)

   Tension Release Needs: Escape and diversion

           Media Examples: Television, movies, video, radio, internet

 

Four:

Rubin’s (1981) motivations for viewing television:

Alan M. Rubin studies and teaches media uses and effects, political communication, communication in an information society, and research methods and measurement. His work has focused on media news and entertainment, and personal involvement and parasocial interaction with media and media personalities, audience aggression and newer communication technologies. Besides authoring/editing books on communication research, he has published more than 70 chapters and journal articles, and has been identified as a prolific researcher in communication and mass communication. He is past editor of the Journal of Communication and Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media.

 

To pass time                     For companionship

For excitement                     To escape

For enjoyment                     For social interaction

For relaxation                      For information

To learn about specific content

 

Five:

Lull’s (1990) Typology of Media Use

Structural

Environmental (background, companionship: background noise; companionship; entertainment)

Regulative (punctuation of time and activity; talk patterns)

Relational

Communication Facilitation (something to talk about: Experience illustration; common ground; conversational entrance; anxiety reduction; agenda for talk; value clarification)

Affiliation/Avoidance (something to do together: Physical, verbal contact/neglect; family solidarity; family relaxant; conflict reduction; relationship maintenance)

Social Learning (aid in decisions, problems, models: Decision-making; behaviour modelling; problem-solving; value transmission; legitimization; information dissemination; substitute schooling)

Competence/Dominance (role aid, authorization: Role enactment; role reinforcement; substitute role portrayal; intellectual validation; authority exercise; gatekeeping; argument facilitation)

 

New Media

The application of New Media to the Uses and Gratifications Theory has been positive. The introduction of the Internet, social media and technological advances has provided another outlet for people to use and seek gratification through those sources. Based on the models developed by Katz, Blumler, Gurevitch and Lasswell, individuals can choose to seek out media in one outlet, all falling within the proscribed categories of need. The only difference now, is that the audience does not have to go to multiple media outlets to fulfill each of their needs. The Internet has created a digital library, allowing individuals to have access to all content from various mass medium outlets.

 

New Media Example of Uses and Gratifications Theory

In 2007 a study was conducted to examine the Facebook groups users gratifications in relation to their civic participation offline. The Web survey polled 1,715 college students, ranging in age from 18-29, who were members of Facebook groups. The respondents were given 16 statement through an electronic survey and asked “to rate their level of agreement with specific reasons for using Facebook groups, including information acquisition about campus/community, entertainment/recreation, social interaction with friends and family, and peer pressure/self satisfaction.”The Likert scale indicated the 1 was strongly agree and 6 was strongly disagree. To ensure those results were not skewed, the respondents were also asked to complete a set of level of agreement questions to properly gauge their level of life satisfaction.

The study ultimately yielded results through principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation. The results showed that there were four needs for using Facebook groups, “socializing, entertainment, self-status seeking, and information.”

Socializing: Students interested in talking and meeting with others to achieve a sense of community and peer support on the particular topic of the group

    Entertainment: Students engaged with the groups to amuse themselves

    Self-Seeking: Students maintain and seek out their personal status, as well as those of their friends, through the online group participation

    Information: Students used the group to receive information about related events going on and off campus

 

Uses and Gratifications Model

 

According to Katz, Blumler and Gurevitch's research there were 5 components comprising the Uses and Gratifications Model. The components are:

    “The audience is conceived as active.”

“In the mass communication process much initiative in linking gratification and media choice lies with the audience member.” [11]

    “The media compete with other sources of satisfaction.”

“Methodologically speaking, many of the goals of mass media use can be derived from data supplied by individual audience members themselves.” [13]

“Value judgments about the cultural significance of mass communication should be suspended while audience orientations are explored on their own terms.”

 

Theory Criticism

Some mass communications scholars have contended that uses and gratifications is not a rigorous social science theory.

The data behind the theory is hard to extrapolate and at times is not found. How each audience, individual and group perceives a given media outlet is extremely difficult to gauge. A main argument lies in how the media, producers and editors want the material to be interpreted.

Morley (1992) says that “creators of media content have a preferred reading that they would like the audience to take out of the text. However, the audience might reject it, or negotiate some comprise interpretation between what they think and what they text is saying, or contest what the text says with some alternative interpretation” . The biggest issue for the Uses and Gratifications Theory is its being non-theoretical, vague in key concepts, and nothing more than a data-collecting strategy.

Using this sociologically-based theory has little to no link to the benefit of psychology due to its weakness in operational definitions and weak analytical mode. It also is focused too narrowly on the individual and neglects the social structure and place of the media in that structure.

Due to the individualistic nature of Uses and Gratification theory, it is difficult to take the information that is collected in studies. Most research relies on pure recollection of memory rather than data. This makes self-reports complicated and immeasurable.

Audiences interpret the media in their own terms and any debate for or against this can be argued, and depending on the circumstances, won by either side. Each individuals’ actions and effects on those actions will depend solely on the situation. The Uses and Gratifications theory does not properly account for these natural occurrences but does hold a valid argument that each individual has unique uses to which the media attempts to meet their gratifications.

 

Criticisms of early U&G research focus on the fact that it (a) relied heavily on self-reports, (b) was unsophisticated about the social origin of the needs that audiences bring to the media, (c) was too uncritical of the possible dysfunction both for self and society of certain kinds of audience satisfaction, and (d) was too captivated by the inventive diversity of audiences used to pay attention to the constraints of the text (Katz, 1987).

 

Theorist Explanation

“The nature of the theory underlying Uses and Gratifications research is not totally clear,” (Blumler, 1979) This makes the line between gratification and satisfaction blurred, calling into question whether or not we only seek what we desire or actually enjoy it. (Palmgreen,P., and Rayburn,J.D., 1985)

 

 

 

Unit 12 Communication effects analysis

Warm up

What are your favorite media? Why are those your favorites?

••What are your favorite types of messages (news, action/adventure movies, situation comedies, games, vampire stories, romances, reality competitions, sports, or others)? Why are these your favorites?

••How much time do you spend with all the media on an average week?

 

Introduction

For many years empirical research in communication was almost synonymous with the media effects paradigm, the media effects paradigm was concerned not with larger media structures but with the effects of particular messages on individual attitudes and beliefs. “comparing media systems three models of media and politics” by Daniel C. Hallin Paolo Mancini

The media always takes on the form and coloration of the social and political structures within the social and political structures, media operates, especially, it reflects the system of social control

 

What is effect?

Defining Media Effects

Most people accept the idea that the media can influence people. But the degree of that influence, as well as who is most-impacted, when, how and why, have been the subjects of great debate among communication scholars for nearly a century. Media effects refers to the many ways individuals and society may be influenced by both news and entertainment mass media, including film, television, radio, newspapers, books, magazines, websites, video games, and music.

Media effects have been studied by scholars in communication, psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, and education, among other fields. Many early communication models designed to explain the process of message dissemination were simple, one-way, and linear (Shannon & Weaver, 1949), positioning the medium or message as the cause and the behavioral, emotional, or psychological response as the effect (Bryant & Thompson, 2002, pp. 4–5). Modern conceptualizations, however, typically illustrate a two-way process that is more transactional or interactive in nature, in which the message or the medium affects the recipient(s), but the audience, in turn, influences and shapes the sender(s).

Why study media effect?

1 Media Message Saturation

Our culture is saturated with information. And much of that information comes to us through a flood of messages from the media. With personal computers, we have access to even more information than ever when we connect to the Internet.

 

Number of media vehicles

Medium

United States

World

Book (titles per year)

175,000

968,735

Radio station

13,261

47,776

Tv broadcast stations

1,884

33,071

Newspapers

2,386

22,643

Mass market periodicals

20,000

80,000

Scholarly journal

10,500

40,000

Newsletters

10,000

40,000

Archived office pages

3x109

7.5x109

Source : adapted from Potter 2011,       Source: ©iStockphoto.com/fotosipsak

According to http://worldwidewebsize.com/The Indexed Web contains at least 8.66 billion pages (Saturday, 15 December, 2012)

 

1.1High Degree of Exposure

We love our media, as evidenced by how much time we spend with them. A recent comprehensive study of media use found that by the end of 2010, the average American was spending 11 hours with the media each and every day—and this figure continues to grow (Phillips, 2010). Of this total time, television and video (not including online video) accounted for about 40% while Internet and mobile accounted for an additional 31%. The increase in media use is driven by younger people who are shifting away from traditional media (such as newspapers, magazines, and books that use print on paper) and toward electronic forms of media. A report generated by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2005 characterized your generation (people 8 to 18 years old) as the “M Generation” for your focus so strongly on media use. This report found that children and adolescents were spending 49 minutes per day with video games and another 62 minutes with the computer. Furthermore, most of your generation frequently multitasks by exposing yourselves to several media at a time (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005). Also, computer use is especially high among college students. In the United States there are now 17.4 million college students, and more than half of you arrive on campus as freshmen with laptop computers. The typical college student has been found to spend more than 3.5 hours a day on the computer e-mailing, instant messaging, and Web surfing. And you likely spend an additional 7.5 hours every day engaged with other media, such as books, magazines, recordings, radio, film, and television (Siebert, 2006)

It is clear that the media are an extremely important part of everyone’s lives, especially people in your generation. The media organizations themselves realize this and continue to provide more and more messages in a wider range of channels with each new year.

 

1.2Accelerating Production of Information

Not only is information easily available to almost anyone today, but information also keeps getting produced at an ever-increasing rate.

How much information is produced each year? In 2002, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley conducted a huge project that resulted in the estimate that in that single year, 2002, there were 5 exabytes of information produced worldwide (Lyman & Varian, 2003). This means that the amount of information produced in 2002 was 500,000 times the amount of all the holdings in the Library of Congress. As if that is not scary enough, Lyman and Varian estimated that the rate of growth of information increases at 30% each year. However, Lyman and Varian were wrong—they greatly underestimated the amount of information produced. Infoniac.com (2008, March 13) estimated that in 2007, there were 281 exabytes of information produced in that one year. The biggest drivers of this accelerating increase in information are the growing popularity of social networking and digital television and cameras that are not only used by hobbyists by in surveillance of public places.

 

1.3 Impossible to Keep Up

There is now so much information already in our culture that it is impossible to keep up with all of it. For example: In the early 1300s, the Sorbonne Library in Paris contained only 1,338 books and yet was thought to be the largest library in Europe. Only elites had access to those books. Today, there are many libraries with more than 8 million books, and they lend out their books to millions of people every year.

We live in an environment that is far different from any environment humans have ever experienced. And the environment changes at an ever-increasing pace. This is due to the accelerating generation of information and the sharing of that information through the increasing number of media channels and the heavy traffic of media vehicles traversing those channels. Messages are being delivered to everyone, everywhere, continually. We are all saturated with information, and each year the media are more aggressive in seeking our attention. It is a hopeless expectation to keep up with all the available information. The most important challenge now lies in making good selections when the media are continually offering us thousands of messages on any given topic.

2 The Challenge of Coping

How do we meet the challenge of making selections from among the overwhelming number of messages in the constantly increasing flood of information? The answer to this question is, We put our minds on “automatic pilot” where our minds automatically filter out almost all message options. We cannot possibly think about every available message and consciously decide whether to pay attention to each one. There are too many messages to consider. So our minds have developed routines that guide this filtering process very quickly and efficiently so we don’t have to spend much, if any, mental effort.

For example, we buy something in market, we did not consider each product, weigh its merits relative to other products, and pick the best option. Instead, we relied on automatic programs running in our minds that guided us to certain products and brands while ignoring all others. These automatic programs are what enable our minds to work so quickly and efficiently.

Our culture is a grand supermarket of media messages. Those messages are everywhere whether we realize it or not, In our everyday lives, the media offer us thousands of choices for exposures. With automatic processing, we experience a great deal of media messages without paying much attention to them.

The huge advantage of automatic processing of information is that it helps us get through a great many decisions with almost no effort. However, there are some serious disadvantages. When our minds are on automatic pilot, we may be missing a lot of messages that might be helpful or enjoyable to us

3 Media Influence Is Pervasive and Constant

    Because we spend so much of our time with automatic processing of media messages, the media exert a continual influence on us without our conscious realization.

Our parents, our friends, society in general with its social norms, the educational system, along with a variety of other institutions (such as religion, politics, criminal justice system, government, and so on), and the media, Each of these is continually exerting an influence on how we think, how we feel, and how we behave. Some of this influence is obvious and easy to notice, but most of it occurs subtly and shapes our mental codes unconsciously. When we are not consciously paying attention to these influences, they quietly shape our mental codes without our being aware of it. This is especially the case with the media, because there are so many messages and because we open ourselves up to so much media exposure. Over time, this exposure becomes a habit that we never think about consciously. For many of us, we turn on the radio every time we get in our cars, turn on the television as soon as we get home, and turn on our computers when we get up in the morning. Once we open these channels—the radio, the television, the computer—storytellers pump messages into our subconscious.

The media are continually programming and re-programming our mental codes. They are adding information, altering our existing information structures, stimulating responses, and reinforcing certain patterns of thinking and acting. The media are thus exerting an influence on us whether we are aware of it or not.

Furthermore, media influence is constant. The media influence on us does not stop when we stop exposing ourselves to media messages. As long as the media have an influence on programming our mental codes, their influence shapes how we think and act any time those mental codes are automatically running in our conscious or unconscious minds.

4 Huge Knowledge Base About Media Effects

    Scholars have generated a very large number or research studies that examine media effects. Estimates place the number of published studies in communication journals at about 6,200 (Potter & Riddle, 2006). There are also likely to be media effects studies published in scholarly journals outside of communication, such as in social science (psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics), as well as humanistic (film studies, English, comparative literature) and applied fields (such as education, business, law, and health). Furthermore there are likely to be many books and governmental reports published on this popular topic.

All of this careful research activity has generated a very long list of media effects. This literature is now so large that many scholars have a difficult time organizing it all, so they often focus only on a small handful of more visible effects, such as the effect of violence on unstable people or the effect of sexual portrayals on impressionable teenagers. While these two effects are important, it is a serious mistake to limit our examination of media effects to a small number. Instead, we need to develop an appreciation for the wide range of effects that show up in the full spectrum of the population. Many of these effects are subtle to observe at any given time, but this does not make them unimportant. To the contrary, many of the most influential effects on each of us are those that occur during our everyday lives and sneak in “under the radar” so that we are unaware of how they are changing our habits and the way we think until someone points it out.

    summary

1 There is a great deal of information being produced each year and that production of new information continues to grow at an accelerating rate. We cannot avoid massive exposure to media messages in our information-saturated culture,

2 this continual flood of information influences us whether we pay conscious attention to it or not.

3 there is a large base of knowledge that clearly demonstrates that there is a wide range of media effects that are continually occurring in all kinds of people across the full span of our population

 

Media effect theories

The Six-Stage Model of Media Effects Theory Clusters

 

The Magic Bullet Theory

The magic bullet theory also known as the hypodermic needle model, suggesting that an intended message is directly received and wholly accepted by the receiver. The model is rooted in 1930s behaviorism and is largely considered obsolete today

The magic bullet theory was not based on empirical findings from research but rather on assumptions of the time about human nature. This theory based on Stimulus - response theory People were assumed to be "uniformly controlled by their biologically based 'instincts' and that they react more or less uniformly to whatever 'stimuli' came along" (Lowery & De Fleur, 1995, p. 400). The "Magic Bullet" theory graphically assumes that the media's message is a bullet fired from the "media gun" into the viewer's "head" (Berger 1995). Similarly, the "Hypodermic Needle Model" uses the same idea of the "shooting" paradigm. It suggests that the media injects its messages straight into the passive audience (Croteau, Hoynes 1997). This passive audience is immediately affected by these messages. The public essentially cannot escape from the media's influence, and is therefore considered a "sitting duck" (Croteau, Hoynes 1997). Both models suggest that the public is vulnerable to the messages shot at them because of the limited communication tools and the studies of the media's effects on the masses at the time (Davis, Baron 1981).panic buying, Hitler

in mid-March,2011 panicking shoppers in many parts of China rushed to buy iodized salt due to rumors that iodine in salt could protect against radiation and fears that seawaters that produce salt would become contaminated due to radiation

The phrasing "hypodermic needle" is meant to give a mental image of the direct, strategic, and planned infusion of a message into an individual. But as research methodology became more highly developed, it became apparent that the media had selective influences on people.

The most famous incident often cited as an example for the hypodermic needle model was the 1938 broadcast of The War of the Worlds and the subsequent reaction of widespread panic among its American mass audience. However, this incident actually sparked the research movement, led by Paul Lazarsfeld and Herta Herzog, that would disprove the magic bullet or hypodermic needle theory, as Hadley Cantril managed to show that reactions to the broadcast were, in fact, diverse, and were largely determined by situational and attitudinal attributes of the listeners.

Lazarsfeld disproved the "Magic Bullet" theory and "Hypodermic Needle Model Theory" through elections studies in "The People's Choice" (Lazarsfeld, Berelson, Gaudet 1944/1968). Lazarsfeld and colleagues executed the study by gathering research during the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. The study was conducted to determine voting patterns and the relationship between the media and political power. Lazarsfeld discovered that the majority of the public remained unfazed by propaganda surrounding Roosevelt's campaign. Instead, interpersonal outlets proved more influential than the media. Therefore, Lazarsfeld concluded that the effects of the campaign were not all powerful to the point where they completely persuaded "helpless audiences", a claim that the Magic Bullet, Hypodermic Needle Model, and Lasswell asserted. These new findings also suggested that the public can select which messages affect and don't affect them.

Lazarsfeld introduced the idea of the two step flow model [1] of communication in 1944.Thus, the two step flow model and other communication theories suggest that the media does not directly have an influence on viewers anymore. Instead, interpersonal connections and even selective exposure play a larger role in influencing the public in the modern age (Severin, Tankard 1979).

    The "Magic Bullet" holds that mass media direct influence their audience, but this was not widely accepted by scholars.

 

Agenda-setting theory

The things we see in newspapers and the things we hear on the radio are things that people all over the country are talking about. As members of this society, we read these stories and then go about our lives to discuss them with our friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. Sometimes, we talk about the same story day after day not realizing that the reason it is still a hot topic of conversation is because it was once again on the front page of the paper. We don’t talk about nuclear crisis in Japan any longer, it is doesn’t mean that it was over, but it is nor on the page of paper, TV or Radio.

Agenda-setting theory formally developed by Prof. Maxwell McCombs and Prof. Donald Shaw in a study on the 1968 presidential election. In the 1968 "Chapel Hill study," McCombs and Shaw demonstrated a strong correlation (r > .9) between what 100 residents of Chapel Hill, North Carolina thought was the most important election issue and what the local and national news media reported was the most important issue. By comparing the salience of issues in news content with the public's perceptions of the most important election issue, McCombs and Shaw were able to determine the degree to which the media determines public opinion. Since the 1968 study, published in a 1972 edition of Public Opinion Quarterly, more than 400 studies have been published on the agenda-setting function of the mass media, and the theory continues to be regarded as relevant.

Core Assumptions and Statements

Core: Agenda-setting is the creation of public awareness and concern of salient issues by the news media. Two basis assumptions underlie most research on agenda-setting: (1) the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it; (2) media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues. One of the most critical aspects in the concept of an agenda-setting role of mass communication is the time frame for this phenomenon. In addition, different media have different agenda-setting potential. Agenda-setting theory seems quite appropriate to help us understand the pervasive role of the media (for example on political communication systems).【三人成虎Three people spreading reports of a tiger make you believe there is one around. A lie, if repeated often enough, will be accepted as truth.

Agenda-setting theory describes the "ability [of the news media] to influence the salience of topics on the public agenda." That is, if a news item is covered frequently and prominently the audience will regard the issue as more important. Mass media only shows you what they want you to see. They are very successful at telling you what to think about. Print or broadcast news will then take away the audiences ability to think for themselves. “The press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about.”—Bernard C. Cohen, 1963

Various Levels of Agenda Setting

 

First-level agenda setting This is the level that is most traditionally studied by researchers. In this level the media use objects or issues to influence the public. In this level the media suggest what the public should think about (amount of coverage).

Second-level agenda setting. In this level the media focuses on the characteristics of the objects or issues. In this level the media suggest how the people should think about the issue.

“readers learn not only about a given issue, but also how much importance to attach to that issue from the amount of information in a news story and its position.”--- Prof. Maxwell McCombs and Prof. Donald Shaw

 

Important Concepts

 

Gatekeeping – Control over the selection of content discussed in the media; what the public know and care about at any given time is mostly a product of media gatekeeping.

Priming – Effects of particular, prior context on retrieval and interpretation of information. The media’s content will provide a lot of time and space to certain issues, making these issues more accessible and vivid in the public’s mind (Miller, 2005).

Framing – Framing is a process of selective control over media content or public communication. Framing defines how a certain piece of media content is packaged so it will influence particular interpretations. This is accomplished through the use of selection, emphasis, exclusion, and elaboration. This is central to second-level agenda setting.

 

Conclusion

The media does set the agenda of what is discussed around the world on a daily basis. The media chooses the stories and the public reviews them on a regular basis. It doesn’t seem that many people really are aware that there is someone picking out our information for us, but that is exactly what goes on every single day. There are pros and cons to someone selecting the stories we receive for processing. That is why some scholar believed that this agenda-setting is a function of the media not a theory

 

The spiral of silence

    

Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, the German political scientist contributes the famous model called “Spiral of Silence”. In 1947 Neumann and her husband found “Public Opinion Organization” in German and also she was a President of “World Association for Public Opinion Research” in 1978 to 1980. Spiral of Silence Introduced in 1974, the Spiral of Silence Theory is one that explores hypotheses to determine why some groups remain silent while others are more vocal in forums of public disclosure.

Description

    People will be unwilling to publicly express their opinion if they believe they are in the minority. They will also be more vocal if they believe they are a part of the majority. Thus, the more marginalized you become, the less you speak and so spiral into a fully marginal position. This works because we fear social rejection. and that when a person appears to be rejected, others will back away from them, fearing being rejected because they associate with the rejected person. It also makes marginalization a powerful way of eliminating political and social competition.

The spiral of silence theory based on few assumptions:

1. Spiral of silence theory describe as a dynamic process, the predication about public opinion in mass media which gives more coverage for the majorities in the society and gives very less coverage for minorities.

2. In this social environment, People have fear of rejection to express their opinion or views and they known well what behaviors will make a better likelihood. It’s called “fear of Isolation”. Noelle-Neumann believed that the “fear of isolation is the engine that drives the spiral of silence.”

3. Being the part of Minority. People loss their confidence and silent or mute to express their views because of the fear of isolation or they feel alone or unsupported.

4. Sometimes the minorities withdraw their expressed opinion from public debates to secure themselves from the majority.

5. Maximum numbers get more vocal space in the society and lesser number become less vocal space or become silent.

 

Important Concepts

Public opinion is the “Attitudes one can express without running the danger of isolating oneself; a tangible force that keeps people in line.”

But Scholars have long argued over the concept public within "public opinion"

The use of "public" and "the public" betrays multiple competing meanings There are three meanings of public. One meaning is the legal sense of public that focuses on openness. For example, a public place or path. A second meaning for the term emphasizes public rights. Lastly, within the phrase public opinion, public is said to have a related but different definition. Public, in this sense, could be characterized as social psychology. Scholars have marveled in amazement at the power public opinion has in making regulations, norms, and moral rules triumph over the individual self without ever troubling legislators governments or courts for assistance.

Opinion

"Common Opinion" is what the English Social philosopher David Hume called it in his 1739 published work. Agreement and a sense of the common is what lay behind the English and French "opinion." [2] In researching the term opinion, which is pronounced meinung in German, researchers were led back to Plato's Republic. In Plato's Republic, a quote from Socrates conclude that opinion takes the middle position. Kantt (1893,411)considered opinion to be an "insufficient judgement, subjectively as well as objectively." How valuable opinion may be was left out, however, the fact that it is suggested to be unified agreement of a population, or segment of the population, was still considered.

Criticisms

The critics of this theory most often claim that individuals have different influences that affect whether they speak out or not. Critics believe that there are three potential influences besides the fear of isolation that could cause the spiral of silence.

    Research indicates that people fear isolation in their small social circles more than they do in the population at large. Within a large nation, one can always find a group of people who share one's opinions, however people fear isolation from their close family and friends more in theory. Research has demonstrated that this fear of isolation is stronger than the fear of being isolated from the entire public, as it is typically measured

    Scholars have also questioned whether personal characteristics have an influence on whether a person will willingly speak out. “Naturally, if one has a positive self-concept and lacks a sense of shame, that person will speak out regardless of how she or he perceives the climate of public opinion.”

    Another influence critics give for people choosing not to speak out against public opinion is culture. The culture that a person lives in greatly affects their willingness to speak out. “Not every culture holds freedom of speech in as high regard as the United States, and in some cultures, open expression of ideas is forbidden. “  Some cultures are more individualistic, which would support more of an individual’s own opinion, while collectivist cultures support the overall groups opinion and needs. Cultural factors could also be gender. “Perhaps another explanation for why individuals do not express minority opinions can be made: that women’s perception of language, not public opinion, forces them to remain quiet.”  Scheufele & Moy, further assert that certain conflict styles and cultural indicators should be used to understand these differences

    Further, Scheufele & Moy [50] find problems in the operationalization of key terms, including willingness to speak out. This construct should be measured in terms of actually speaking out, not voting or other conceptually similar constructs.

    Conformity experiments have no moral component, yet morality is a key construct in the model. These conformity experiments, particularly those by Asch form part of the base of the theory. Scholars question whether these conformity experiments are relevant to the development of SOS

Cultivation theory

The Cultivation theory attempts to measure the cultural effects on society from long term exposure to the similar characteristics present in television programming. Developed by George Gerbner and Larry Gross of the University of Pennsylvania.

A Few Words From The Founder:

"Most of what we know, or think we know, we have never personally experienced. We live in a world erected by stories. Stories socialize us into roles of gender, age, class, vocation, and lifestyle, and offer models of conformity or targets for rebellion. They weave the seamless web of our cultural environment. Our stories used to be hand crafted, home made, community inspired. Now they are mostly mass-produced and policy driven, the result of a complex manufacturing and marketing process we know as the mass media. This situation calls for a new diagnosis and a new prescription." (Gerbner, 1999)

Origins of Cultivation Theory

As a perspective, cultivation developed in the context of the increasing growth of television. Gerbner established the “Cultural Indicators” research project, to study whether and how watching television may influence viewers' ideas of what the everyday world is like.

In history, cultural and societal values were once based on face to face sharing of stories and personal experiences. These stories were constructed from all viewpoints of members of society. Since the industrial revolution, the society's stories are no longer shared in this way.

The stories are manufactured from a marketing standpoint and distributed through mainstream television. Society is now in a time where most of our waking hours are spent ingesting information through media. Television is the medium through which majority of these mass-produced messages are broadcast to communities, distributing more than any other medium in history. In an average American household the television is in use for somewhere around 7 hours per day. Gerbner's cultivation theory focuses on the system of television broadcasting and patterns within, not just particular programs and themes.

Studies of cultivation not only measure types of programming watched, but also the amount of television viewing done by the prospects that are being surveyed. Those prospects may be any in a span of ages, including children, young adults, and mature adults. Studies have found that children of young ages are most susceptible to cultivation of knowledge through the television medium.

 

The following images illustrate exactly how much we relyon mass media and the amount of time we spend using it.

 

The United States is not the only country where cultivation is present. There have also been studies done in other countries such as the Soviet Union, England, and the Netherlands. In these studies, the relationship between heavy viewing and understanding of violence in society were weaker than in the U.S, but programming is also differentiated as well. Areas where more programming is imported from the United States may show more cultivation of these ideas present in American television.

Gerbener’s research

To analyze the effects of the violence, Gerbner correlated the data from his content analysis of television with survey data from people who were classified based on the amount of time they spent watching television and questioned about their views on violence in the world. Gerbner classified people into two groups:

Heavy watchers (over 4 hours per day)

Light Watchers (less than 2 hours per day)

He predicted that heavy viewers saw the world as more dangerous than light viewers.

Using a survey, he targeted four attitudes

1 Chances of Involvement with violence. Light viewers predicted their weekly odds of being involved in violence were 1 in 100 while heavy viewers said it they were 1 in 10.

2. Fear of walking alone at night. Women were more afraid than men, but both sexes who were heavy viewers, overestimated criminal activity, believing it to be ten times more than figures indicate.

3. Perceived activity of police. Heavy viewers believed that about 5% of society is involved with law enforcement. In comparison, light viewers estimated 1 %.

4. General mistrust of people. People who were heavy viewers tended to see other people’s actions and motives more negatively. Gerbner called this “the mean world syndrome”

Based on this research, Gerbner sought to quantify in percentage terms the differences in the answers of  light and heavy television viewers about  violence in the world. He called this “the cultivation differential.” The Cultural Indicators research thus indicated that heavy viewers were susceptible to a perception that the world was a dangerous place. 

 

       Important Concepts

The Cultivation Theory Consists of 5 Main Concepts

    The heavier the media usage the more it effects the viewer's reality.

    The younger the consumer the greater effect media consumption has on them.

    What you watch on TV influences your values and beliefs.

    Personal experiences and values influence what you choose to watch on TV.

    First hand experiences help defend against misinformation spurred from television.

 

Change Over Time

As technology is changing in society, so does the cultivation theory. Changes in the way we communicate such as the emergence of social networks like Facebook, Twitter youtube, also have and effect on what/how we cultivate the information we receive. Another media factor that influences society is video games and on-line game and the content within them. Many of today’s most popular games are rated “Mature” due to graphic scenes of sex, drugs, and violence.

A longitudinal, controlled experiment conducted by Dmitri Williams, in 2006, examined the presence of cultivation effects in the playing of an online game. Over the course of playing the video game for one month, participants changed their perceptions of real world dangers. However, these dangers only corresponded to events and situations present in the game world, not other real-world crimes.

 

 

knowledge gap theory

 

    The knowledge gap theory or The Knowledge Gap Hypothesis is concerned mainly with “information” and “knowledge” and emphasizes that knowledge is not distributed equally throughout society. There are haves and have-nots with regard to information just as material wealth Information is very important in our society because any developed country depends on well-informed citizens. It appears certain that information will be even more important in the future as we move into an increasingly technological age. Many contemporary issues will require information and an informed public for the solutions for such issues.

 

The authors of Knowledge Gap Hypothesis:

   The Knowledge Gap Hypothesis was first proposed in 1970 by Tichenor, Donohue and OLien. three University of Minnesota researchers.

   “As the infusion of mass media information into a social system increases, segments of the population with higher socio-economic status tend to acquire this information at a faster rate than the lower status segments, so that the gap in knowledge between these two segments tend to increase rather than decrease”.

    The Knowledge Gap Hypothesis predicts that: People of both high and low socioeconomic status will gain in knowledge because of the additional information, but that persons of higher socioeconomic status will gain more. This would mean that the relative gap in knowledge between the well-to-do and less well-off would increase.

Additionally, Tichenor, Donohue, and Olien suggest 5 reasons why the knowledge gap should exist:

    Communication skills - higher status people generally have more education, which improves their reading, comprehension, and memory skills;

    Stored information - higher status people are more likely to already know of topics in the news through pervious media exposure or through formal education;

    Relevant social contact - higher status people generally have a broader sphere of activity, greater number of reference groups, and interpersonal contacts and are thus more likely to discuss news topics with others;

    Selective exposure - lower status people may be less interested, and therefore less likely to expose themselves to certain news topics;

    Media target markets - media outlets tailor their content to the tastes and interests of their audience.

Given the preceding information, the knowledge gap hypothesis can be expressed using the following set of related propositions:

    People in a society exhibit great psychological diversity due to their psychological makeup, learned experiences, social relationships, and social category memberships.

    Despite these differences, people with more education tend to have better developed cognitive and communication skills, broader social spheres with more and more diverse social contacts, and a greater amount of stored information than their counterparts with less education.

    People with greater education also tend express interest in, and expose themselves to, a broader range of topics, including serious topics like public affairs, science, and health news.

 

Therefore, as the infusion of mass media information into a social system increases, segments of the population with higher socioeconomic status tend to acquire this information at a faster rate than the lower status segments so that the gap in knowledge between these segments tends to increase rather than decrease.

 

Factors that might reduce or widen the Gap:

Widening knowledge gaps are more likely to occur in communities with numerous sources of information (Pluralistic communities) than with informal but communication channels (Homogeneous communities). 

When an issue has immediate and strong local impact, the knowledge gap is likely to decline.

   A well-known celebrity involved in the dissemination of information could help achieve wider visibility for and acceptance of the information.

   When an issue arouses basic social concerns, the knowledge gap is likely to be reduced or eliminated.

 

   Researches found that television may have a special power to close knowledge gaps or, if not to close them, at least to keep them from widening.

 

The KG and the New Technology:

   It is not clear what are the effects of the new technologies will be on level of information held by the public. Many of the new technologies are expensive. Because of the cost, these technologies may be more available to the well-to-do than to less –well-off.

   For this and other reasons, the effect of the technological revolution in communication could be a further widening of the KG. So, availability of the new technology may affect the KG.

   If the access to these information services is not universally available throughout the society, then those already “information-rich” may reap the benefits while the “information-poor” get relatively poorer. A widening of this “information gap” may lead to increase tension.

Knowledge, however, is expensive and not everyone has equal access to it. This is especially true as we live more of our lives in cyberspace. The new communication technologies—computers, CD ROMS, the Internet, satellite and cable television, for example—are major ways for gaining information. The better educated have the money to own and the skills to master the new technologies and thus acquire more information. The less educated don’t have the money to own or the skills to master the new technologies and thus cannot as easily acquire more information, creating and expanding the knowledge gap, the “digital divide” (Severin & Tankard, 2001). A particularly clear example of this is seen in the educational level of Internet users (UCLA Internet Report, 2000):

 

    31% of those with less than a high school education use the Internet

    53% of high school graduates use the Internet

    70% of those with some college education use the Internet

    86% of college graduates and those with advanced degrees use the Internet

 

Criticism of the Knowledge Gap Hypothesis:

   Dervin (1980) criticized the KG for being based on the traditional source-sending-messages –to-receiver paradigm of communication. She recommended that communication campaigns and researchers be more user-based and user-constructed information.

  Evatt (1998) argued that researchers should be sure that the information they are testing is useful and relevant for the audience being tested. (factual versus conceptual knowledge)

 

   You can also see the knowledge gap when you compare cultures. Developed countries, for example, have the new technologies in their schools and offices and many people can afford to buy their own computers and satellite systems. Access to the new technologies helps these countries develop even further. Undeveloped countries, with little or no access to such technologies, cannot experience the same gain in knowledge and information as those who have this technological access.

 

In the early part of the 20th century, concerns about political propaganda, manipulation by the elite and the rising popularity of electronic media led to the so-called “hypodermic needle” or “bullet” theories, which envisaged media messages as strong drugs or potent weapons that would have powerful effects on a helpless audience (Lasswell, 1927; Lippmann, 1922). However, while these theories explained some behavior, they did not account for the different responses individuals may have to the same media source. In the 1950’s and 60’s, empirical research began to uncover the moderating power of predispositions and peer groups, concluding that the media’s impact was small – often referred to as “limited effects” theory (Klapper, 1960; Lazarsfeld, Berelson, & Gaudet, 1944). In the 1970’s and 80’s, prominent scholars began to look more closely again at the media’s relationship to knowledge, opinion, attitudes, and levels of violence, concluding that media effects could be significant in some cases, even if not “all powerful.” Scholars also came to agree that some vulnerable groups, such as children, may be more heavily influenced by media than others (Bryant & Thompson, 2002; McCombs & Shaw, 1972; McLuhan, 1964).

 One great difficulty for researchers is how to measure media effects. Media consumption may affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, or behaviors in ways that could be direct or indirect, immediate or delayed, fleeting or lasting. It is impossible for scientists to control for all of the mediating factors, from levels of media consumption to demographics such as age, race, and socioeconomic status to harder-to-measure variables like environment, upbringing, values and previous experience. A researcher would not be able to prove, for example, that playing a violent video game caused a person to commit a violent crime, even if an association existed between the two behaviors. Did playing the game lead to the violent behavior, or did a propensity toward violence encourage use of the game? Why didn’t all individuals who played the game commit acts of violence? Traditional methods of research such as surveys, experiments, and panel studies cannot adequately solve this cause-and-effect dilemma.

 

 

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