Introduction to Theory

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Overview of the We Media & Democracy course and some theorists we will study.

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Introduction to Theory

  1. 1. We Media & Democracy
  2. 2. Topic ObjectivesFor this topic you need to learn about the following, in relation to at least two areas of the media:• What are ‘We Media’?• Where / how has ‘We Media’ emerged?• In what way are the contemporary media more democratic than before?• In what ways are the contemporary media less democratic than before?
  3. 3. Today’s Aims• To think about how Web 2.0 has changed the media and the way we interact with it• To understand Gramsci’s theory of hegemony
  4. 4. • Work in groups to discuss the way Web 2.0 has changed the media that you use every day.• Note down your ideas• Production• Distribution• Consumption
  5. 5. Sheep!
  6. 6. An Overview • David Gauntlett • Find him and follow him on Twitter!
  7. 7. Cultural Theorists and Theories• Marxist ideology• Gramsci, cultural hegemony• Chomsky, media control• Fourth Estate of democracy
  8. 8. Cultural Hegemony• Denotes the predominance of one class over another• This represents not only political and economic control, but also the ability of the dominant class to project its own way of seeing the world so that those who are subordinated by it accept it as common sense and natural.
  9. 9. Karl Marx• 1818-1883• Philosopher, political economist, theorist, revolutionary, exile• Published Capital (1867), and The Communist Manifesto (1984)
  10. 10. Capitalism• A social &
  11. 11. • Why might the news media be considered to be an important part of a democratic society?• What evidence is there to suggest that the news media are not as democratic as we think?
  12. 12. Fourth Estate• For years, the media has been known as the Fourth Estate of democracy, working as a channel of independent communication between the Government and society – being the watchdogs of a representative country• According to Goodwin’s Low Conspiracy – Government interference in the BBC (2005), when the BBC once indicated they were broadcasting potentially controversial material, the government quietly recommended those programmes be scrapped.
  13. 13. Fourth Estate• Many people generally agree that the fourth estate has immense political and social power, thanks to the fact that the press can be used to shape societies while imparting news of note and commentary of interest.• Because the fourth estate is recognised as such an important body, many nations have laws which protect the rights of the press, ensuring that citizens have access to reporting on matters of interest and of note.
  14. 14. Fourth Estate• Many journalists attempt to cultivate an air of neutrality, focusing on reporting of the issues as they are so that people can judge the facts for themselves, while others focus on offering commentary and analysis from the perspective of a particular position.
  15. 15. Chomsky : Media Control• People have to be atomised and segregated and alone.• Theyre not supposed to organise, because then they might be something beyond spectators of action. They might actually be participants if many people with limited resources could get together to enter the political arena. Thats really threatening.• Democracy was regarded as entering into a crisis in the 1960s. The crisis was that large segments of the population were becoming organised and active and trying to participate in the political arena.
  16. 16. Focus Task• How has the internet allowed the ‘bewildered herd’ (Chomsky) to take some control?• Create a fact page about Noam Chomsky’s theories on the media and democracy• Use bullet points and ensure that your info is clear for others

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