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Week 2 - Reflective Response to Reading
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Week 2 - Reflective Response to Reading


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  • 1. Student no: s13161812 Reflective Response to Reading – Week 2 MED4105 1 | P a g e Gemma Harris Within week two’s reading the key argument of the author is that Journalists are not independent enough and rely upon other sources resulting in PR and other agencies influencing news stories. An important point is that Journalism’s ‘apparent’ reliance on PR is affecting factual reporting “The line between journalism and PR*between factual reporting and partisan narrative*becomes blurred”. This relates to last week’s reading along with another point about Journalism and PR having a “‘‘trading’’ relationship” and being “inextricably linked’’ suggesting they mutually need one another but can have a relationship that is too close. (Lewis and Williams et al., 2008, p. 2). Two key theories that convey the subject under discussion are by Herbert Gans stating “sources do the leading” and Tom Baistow claiming “journalists must establish their independence of sources or risk the fourth estate being driven by the fifth” together implying that journalists depend upon PR; they also suggest that PR is becoming more powerful. The increase of PR is a growing concept “As journalism flounders, public relations continues to thrive.” This suggests whilst the future for journalism isn’t looking good, public relations is dominating. However, it is also stated “public relations courses on offer need journalism as their stablemate”, (Evans, 2010, p. 31), when discussing studying PR and journalism. This implies no matter how superior either industry is they will always need each other to survive. Another reading explores not just the power of PR but power and the media. It discusses 2 aspects of power: the power of control and the power of self-determination. Power is then related to the media by three aspects: there can be powerful media by it impacting on something, media can make people powerful, for example, when people own media
  • 2. Student no: s13161812 Reflective Response to Reading – Week 2 MED4105 2 | P a g e Gemma Harris organisations or media can ‘act’ as an agent of power instead of the power originating in the media. Two methods in which power is exercised are also mentioned: a physical force or the force of ideas. The force of ideas relates to Karl Marx’s theory of ideology; ideas construct perceptions of society. A real example of this is the stereotype that youths are violent, sometimes expressed within media. Therefore, this idea is presented as a truth; it is ‘common sense’. Marx’s theory of ideology challenges common sense thinking. Further investigation could be “How do new media platforms have an effect on the influence that PR has on journalists through media ‘acting’ as an agent of power?” A suitable methodology would be an ethnography of new media. In conclusion, I gained the understanding and knowledge that most news stories are influenced by other sources but it’s not always their fault. It can be due to time constraints. This has resulted in the decreasing independence of journalists and the increasing Power of PR and other agencies. Overall, meaning that media is perhaps influencing audiences falsely through its power.
  • 3. Student no: s13161812 Reflective Response to Reading – Week 2 MED4105 3 | P a g e Gemma Harris Bibliography: Evans, T. 2010. We are all in PR now. British Journalism Review, 21 (2), p. 31. Lewis, J., Williams, A. and Franklin, B. 2008. A compromised fourth estate? UK news journalism, public relations and news sources. Journalism Studies, 9 (1), p. 2.