News and Journalism in the UK: A Textbook (Communication and by Brian McNair

By Brian McNair

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Extra resources for News and Journalism in the UK: A Textbook (Communication and Society)

Example text

From this basic drive for power developed the political theory of liberalism and the bourgeois ideological concept of freedom: economic freedom, political freedom and intellectual freedom, advanced in opposition to medieval absolutism as the precondition for the ascendancy of the bourgeoisie as a ruling class. John Milton articulated the concept of press freedom as early as 1644, and pioneered the concept of ‘the open market of ideas’, which played an important part in the rise of bourgeois economic and political power.

Conclusion The effects issue is one of the most difficult and contentious in media studies, despite the vast resources and energies which have been expended in trying to resolve it. This is no less true for journalism than for any other category of media output. In the end, it can be stated with certainty only that journalism matters because we believe it to do so. Whether or not the news and information media do indeed have the power to set agendas for the public at large, to reproduce ideology, to create moral panics, or to influence what we think, the fact that politicians, trade unionists, and other social actors think that they do some or all of these things means that they increasingly tailor their ‘performances’ to suit what their public relations and media advisers tell them are the requirements of the journalists.

Western news media, by contrast, are required to win audiences with entertainment as well as information. Entertainment is often about drama, and drama is, more often than not, about conflict and negativity. Soviet socialism and Western capitalism represented two different political cultures, where different economic and ideological forces were at play, and where two very different concepts of what was newsworthy predominated.

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