Normative/functionalist theories of press

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How Media function in a given situation

How Media function in a given situation

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  • 1. Normative TheoriesNormative Theories Of The PressOf The Press An IntroductionAn Introduction
  • 2. Normative TheoryNormative Theory  DescriptiveDescriptive statements are falsifiable statementsstatements are falsifiable statements that attempt to describe reality.that attempt to describe reality.  By contrast,By contrast, normativenormative statements affirm howstatements affirm how things should or ought to be, how to value them,things should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good or bad.which things are good or bad.  Normative theories of the press: Ideal views of howNormative theories of the press: Ideal views of how journalism/ media ought to, or are expected to,journalism/ media ought to, or are expected to, operate – what is desirable in relation to bothoperate – what is desirable in relation to both structure and performance): “Journalists/structure and performance): “Journalists/ journalism should or could do this or that.”journalism should or could do this or that.”
  • 3. Structure and PerformanceStructure and Performance  Structure – e.g. freedom from the state, multiplicityStructure – e.g. freedom from the state, multiplicity of different channels.of different channels.  Performance – e.g. how the media carry out theirPerformance – e.g. how the media carry out their chosen or allotted informative or entertainingchosen or allotted informative or entertaining tasks. Conventions, genres, professional guidelinestasks. Conventions, genres, professional guidelines and ethical rules, which apply to what the mediaand ethical rules, which apply to what the media do.do.
  • 4. Four Theories of the PressFour Theories of the Press The Four Theories of the PressThe Four Theories of the Press (Schramm,(Schramm, Siebert, Peterson. 1956)Siebert, Peterson. 1956) Basic theories:Basic theories:  Authoritarian TheoryAuthoritarian Theory  Libertarian TheoryLibertarian Theory Variations:Variations:  Social responsibility TheorySocial responsibility Theory  Soviet communist TheorySoviet communist Theory
  • 5. McQuail’s Addition In TheoriesMcQuail’s Addition In Theories Of The PressOf The Press Additions made by Denis McQuail. (Additions made by Denis McQuail. (MassMass Communication Theory: An IntroductionCommunication Theory: An Introduction):):  Development Media TheoryDevelopment Media Theory  Democratic-participant TheoryDemocratic-participant Theory
  • 6. Authoritarian TheoryAuthoritarian Theory  Applies to authoritarian societies, but canApplies to authoritarian societies, but can also be seen in less authoritarian societiesalso be seen in less authoritarian societies (particularly in times of war, terrorism)(particularly in times of war, terrorism)  Depends on the media forms specially PrintDepends on the media forms specially Print Journalism and TV - subject to greaterJournalism and TV - subject to greater control in some countriescontrol in some countries
  • 7. Authoritarian AssumptionsAuthoritarian Assumptions  Press should do nothing to undermine vestedPress should do nothing to undermine vested power and interests;power and interests;  Press should be subordinate to vested power andPress should be subordinate to vested power and authority;authority;  Press should avoid acting in contravention ofPress should avoid acting in contravention of prevailing moral and political values;prevailing moral and political values;  Censorship justified in the application of theseCensorship justified in the application of these principles;principles;  Criminalisation of editorial attacks on vestedCriminalisation of editorial attacks on vested power, deviations from official policy, violation ofpower, deviations from official policy, violation of moral codes.moral codes.
  • 8.  Media as instrument / mouthpiece to publicise andMedia as instrument / mouthpiece to publicise and propagandise government ideology and actions.propagandise government ideology and actions.  Absolute power of state versus subservience of theAbsolute power of state versus subservience of the individual – press ‘freedom’ a right vested in theindividual – press ‘freedom’ a right vested in the state.state.  Whatever the publications are, must to have aWhatever the publications are, must to have a license for all.license for all.  Examples: Fascist regimes, some African countries,Examples: Fascist regimes, some African countries, communist countriescommunist countries  Current example from the modern world; AlbaniaCurrent example from the modern world; Albania
  • 9. Libertarian TheoryLibertarian Theory AA Road to Modernised PressRoad to Modernised Press  Modernity: Rise of democracy, religious freedom,Modernity: Rise of democracy, religious freedom, expansion of economic freedom, philosophicalexpansion of economic freedom, philosophical climate of the Enlightenmentclimate of the Enlightenment  Undermined authoritarianism – emphasis onUndermined authoritarianism – emphasis on personal freedom and democracypersonal freedom and democracy  The idea that people are rational – can distinguishThe idea that people are rational – can distinguish between truth and falsehood, and between goodbetween truth and falsehood, and between good and evil.and evil.
  • 10.  Classical Liberal Perspective:Classical Liberal Perspective:  Free market as foundation of free media;Free market as foundation of free media;  Freedom to publish without prior restriction –Freedom to publish without prior restriction – independence from government;independence from government;  Public has access to wide diversity of opinionPublic has access to wide diversity of opinion (only limitation on freedom to publish is public(only limitation on freedom to publish is public willingness to pay);willingness to pay);  Market-based diversity promotes publicMarket-based diversity promotes public rationality – free marketplace of ideas andrationality – free marketplace of ideas and information as a self-righting mechanism,information as a self-righting mechanism, minimises bias and exposes weak argumentsminimises bias and exposes weak arguments and evidence.and evidence.
  • 11.  Another Strand in Liberal Tradition:Another Strand in Liberal Tradition:  Media as representative agency (‘Fourth Estate’Media as representative agency (‘Fourth Estate’ alongside executive, legislative and judicial authorities))alongside executive, legislative and judicial authorities)) or as a watchdog protecting the public (individualsor as a watchdog protecting the public (individuals rights), overseeing the state.rights), overseeing the state.  Watchdog reveals abuses in the exercise of stateWatchdog reveals abuses in the exercise of state authority… this role overrides all other functions of theauthority… this role overrides all other functions of the media and dictates the form in which the media shouldmedia and dictates the form in which the media should be organised, i.e. the free market.be organised, i.e. the free market.  ““The best stories are those that afflict the comfortableThe best stories are those that afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, the ones that the people ofand comfort the afflicted, the ones that the people of power do not want told.” Peter Beaumont and Johnpower do not want told.” Peter Beaumont and John Sweeney,Sweeney, The ObserverThe Observer  But, can muckraking journalism co-exist with objectiveBut, can muckraking journalism co-exist with objective journalism?journalism?
  • 12.  Objectivity: As newspapers gradually lost their partyObjectivity: As newspapers gradually lost their party affiliations, journalists worked to establish theiraffiliations, journalists worked to establish their independence as searchers after “objective truth”.independence as searchers after “objective truth”.  Independence from government control andIndependence from government control and influence – if media is subject to public regulationinfluence – if media is subject to public regulation it will lose its bite as a watchdog.it will lose its bite as a watchdog.  Press is source of information and platform forPress is source of information and platform for expression of a range of divergent opinions;expression of a range of divergent opinions; enables people to monitor government and formenables people to monitor government and form ideas about policy.ideas about policy.
  • 13.  Curran: Society seen as an aggregation ofCurran: Society seen as an aggregation of individuals – media’s representative role conceivedindividuals – media’s representative role conceived primarily in terms of articulating public opinion,primarily in terms of articulating public opinion, which is the sum of individual opinion. How shouldwhich is the sum of individual opinion. How should media relate to representative structures asmedia relate to representative structures as distinct from individuals – role of media indistinct from individuals – role of media in mediating class and other conflict in society? Also,mediating class and other conflict in society? Also, little account of how power is exercised throughlittle account of how power is exercised through non-state structures, like property and patriarchy.non-state structures, like property and patriarchy.  Is a free press and end in itself, a means to an end,Is a free press and end in itself, a means to an end, or an absolute right?or an absolute right?  Freedom can be abused. Absolute freedom isFreedom can be abused. Absolute freedom is anarchy. Mill: The freedom of the individualanarchy. Mill: The freedom of the individual constrained by the freedom of other individuals.constrained by the freedom of other individuals. (My freedom ends where yours begins).(My freedom ends where yours begins).
  • 14.  Boundaries of freedom defined in such a way thatBoundaries of freedom defined in such a way that they do not infringe the rights of the individual.they do not infringe the rights of the individual.  Abolition of censorship; but, also the introductionAbolition of censorship; but, also the introduction of press laws designed to protect individual rightsof press laws designed to protect individual rights (protection of reputation, privacy, moral(protection of reputation, privacy, moral development of individuals or groups, security ofdevelopment of individuals or groups, security of the state) – could override the right of the press’sthe state) – could override the right of the press’s freedom to publishfreedom to publish..
  • 15.  Assumptions:Assumptions:  Press should be free from any externalPress should be free from any external censorship;censorship;  Publication and distribution should bePublication and distribution should be accessible to any individual or group with aaccessible to any individual or group with a permit or license;permit or license;  Attacks on governments or parties should not beAttacks on governments or parties should not be punishable;punishable;  No coercion to publish anything;No coercion to publish anything;  Freedom of access to information.Freedom of access to information.
  • 16. Social Responsibility TheorySocial Responsibility Theory  Hutchins Commission, 1947 – reaffirmed the principles ofHutchins Commission, 1947 – reaffirmed the principles of freedom/ independence but added to them the notion offreedom/ independence but added to them the notion of social responsibility.social responsibility.  Media operate in capitalist economy, but some believe theMedia operate in capitalist economy, but some believe the market can function benignly (not just in the interests ofmarket can function benignly (not just in the interests of shareholders but of all people).shareholders but of all people).  Premises (McQuail):Premises (McQuail):  Media have important function to fulfil in society (supportMedia have important function to fulfil in society (support democratic political principles);democratic political principles);  Media are under obligation to fulfil their social functionsMedia are under obligation to fulfil their social functions (transmission of information and creation of a forum for different(transmission of information and creation of a forum for different viewpoints);viewpoints);  Independence of media emphasised in relation to theirIndependence of media emphasised in relation to their responsibility towards society;responsibility towards society;  Media should meet certain standards.Media should meet certain standards.
  • 17.  Solutions to the Problem (of ReconcilingSolutions to the Problem (of Reconciling Freedom With Responsibility):Freedom With Responsibility):  RegulationRegulation  Promotion of political and cultural pluralism –Promotion of political and cultural pluralism – independent public institutions for control ofindependent public institutions for control of broadcastingbroadcasting  Balance of public and private ownershipBalance of public and private ownership  Professionalism:Professionalism:  Codes of conductCodes of conduct  Training and continuing development ofTraining and continuing development of professionalism, to advance and nurture balancedprofessionalism, to advance and nurture balanced and impartial news presentation.and impartial news presentation.
  • 18.  More Principles (McQuail):More Principles (McQuail):  Media should accept responsibilities towards societyMedia should accept responsibilities towards society  Media should fulfil responsibilities by settingMedia should fulfil responsibilities by setting professional standards with regards to the supply ofprofessional standards with regards to the supply of information and the truth, accuracy, objectivity andinformation and the truth, accuracy, objectivity and balance of their reportingbalance of their reporting  Media should apply self-regulationMedia should apply self-regulation  Media should avoid publicising information that can leadMedia should avoid publicising information that can lead to crime, violence or social disruption, as well asto crime, violence or social disruption, as well as information that can offend ethnic or religious minoritiesinformation that can offend ethnic or religious minorities  Media collectively should represent all social groups andMedia collectively should represent all social groups and reflect the diversity of society by giving people access toreflect the diversity of society by giving people access to a variety of viewpoints and opportunity to react to them.a variety of viewpoints and opportunity to react to them.  Society entitled to high standards and interventionSociety entitled to high standards and intervention justifiable if the media fail to meet these standards.justifiable if the media fail to meet these standards.
  • 19. Soviet Communist PressSoviet Communist Press TheoryTheory  Western notions of freedom of press rejected byWestern notions of freedom of press rejected by Soviet block as being fundamentally ‘unfree’Soviet block as being fundamentally ‘unfree’ because Western media are controlled by capitalistbecause Western media are controlled by capitalist economic interests (prevent them from publishingeconomic interests (prevent them from publishing the Marxist truth).the Marxist truth).  Communist press – no profit motive. It means thatCommunist press – no profit motive. It means that it did not foreground special, elite interests init did not foreground special, elite interests in Soviet societySoviet society
  • 20.  Assumptions:Assumptions:  Media should act in the interests of and beMedia should act in the interests of and be controlled by the working classcontrolled by the working class  Media should not be under private controlMedia should not be under private control  Media should perform positive functions forMedia should perform positive functions for society, such as socialisation (to make peoplesociety, such as socialisation (to make people conform to desirable norms), education, theconform to desirable norms), education, the supply of information, motivation andsupply of information, motivation and mobilisation of the massesmobilisation of the masses  Media should respond to the desire and needsMedia should respond to the desire and needs of their recipientsof their recipients
  • 21.  More Assumptions:More Assumptions:  Society has right to use censorship and otherSociety has right to use censorship and other legal measures to prevent and punish anti-sociallegal measures to prevent and punish anti-social publicationpublication  Media should reflect complete and objectiveMedia should reflect complete and objective view of world and society in terms of Marxist-view of world and society in terms of Marxist- Leninist principlesLeninist principles  Media should support communist movementsMedia should support communist movements everywhereeverywhere
  • 22. A Brief Critique Of LibertarianA Brief Critique Of Libertarian And Social ResponsibilityAnd Social Responsibility TheoriesTheories A political critique:A political critique:  Journalism in capitalist societies functions in the interestsJournalism in capitalist societies functions in the interests not of society as a whole, but of dominant groups andnot of society as a whole, but of dominant groups and classesclasses  Concepts like free press, democracy, the public interest,Concepts like free press, democracy, the public interest, objectivity, neutrality seen as usual traditionobjectivity, neutrality seen as usual tradition  All research processes – including journalism – seen asAll research processes – including journalism – seen as value-laden and methodological decisions political.value-laden and methodological decisions political.  ““Washing one’s hands of the conflict between theWashing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with thepowerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”powerful, not to be neutral.” Paulo FreirePaulo Freire
  • 23.  Other Problems With Modern Media:Other Problems With Modern Media:  Lack of democracy within media organisations;Lack of democracy within media organisations;  Governmental secrecy;Governmental secrecy;  Institutionalised racist and patriarchal codes;Institutionalised racist and patriarchal codes;  Commodification of culture:Commodification of culture:  Are we being addressed as citizens or as consumers?Are we being addressed as citizens or as consumers? Shift away from involving people in societies asShift away from involving people in societies as political citizens of nation states towards involvingpolitical citizens of nation states towards involving them as consumption units in a globalized corporatethem as consumption units in a globalized corporate world.world.
  • 24. Additions of Denis McquailAdditions of Denis Mcquail Development Media TheoryDevelopment Media Theory  This theory is related to Media operationsThis theory is related to Media operations and development in the third world countriesand development in the third world countries  Media are seen as struggling to fulfil socialMedia are seen as struggling to fulfil social and Political duties in these statesand Political duties in these states  In this theory it is considered that “BADIn this theory it is considered that “BAD NEWS IS GOOD NEWS” because itNEWS IS GOOD NEWS” because it commands bigger headlinescommands bigger headlines (Watson; 2003)(Watson; 2003)
  • 25.  The theory illustrates that the bad newsThe theory illustrates that the bad news story must be treated very carefully as it canstory must be treated very carefully as it can be damaging for the nations; speciallybe damaging for the nations; specially economical growtheconomical growth  It also explains the importance of cultures ofIt also explains the importance of cultures of different culture of third worlddifferent culture of third world  It can be said that this theory is both; TheIt can be said that this theory is both; The Theory of State Support and ResistanceTheory of State Support and Resistance
  • 26. Democratic-Participant TheoryDemocratic-Participant Theory This theory tells about;This theory tells about;  The new media trends and developmentsThe new media trends and developments in the worldin the world  Criticism on the private and publicCriticism on the private and public monopoly in mass mediamonopoly in mass media  Democratic Participant Theory doesn’tDemocratic Participant Theory doesn’t warrant a separate normative classificationwarrant a separate normative classification (Mcquail)(Mcquail)  About the new focus towards positiveAbout the new focus towards positive strategy of media institutionsstrategy of media institutions
  • 27.  It stands for defence against commercializationIt stands for defence against commercialization and monopolyand monopoly  Resistant to centralism and bureaucracyResistant to centralism and bureaucracy watson; 2003watson; 2003  The role of receiver in the process ofThe role of receiver in the process of communication and incorporated receiver’s rightscommunication and incorporated receiver’s rights  To receive the relevant informationTo receive the relevant information  To replyTo reply  To be informed on the local issuesTo be informed on the local issues  To use the new means of communication forTo use the new means of communication for interaction and social setting of community, interestinteraction and social setting of community, interest group or sub-culturegroup or sub-culture
  • 28. ConclusionConclusion  The Authoritarian and Libertarian Theories are theThe Authoritarian and Libertarian Theories are the basic theories while others are related to these twobasic theories while others are related to these two  The Authoritarian theory is the ancient form of theThe Authoritarian theory is the ancient form of the Soviet Theory; the difference is only that the pressSoviet Theory; the difference is only that the press under authoritarian system can be private owned whileunder authoritarian system can be private owned while in Soviet Theory it is public owned propertyin Soviet Theory it is public owned property  In other words the Soviet Authoritarian system can alsoIn other words the Soviet Authoritarian system can also be called the totalitarian systembe called the totalitarian system  The authoritarian theory has least similarities with restThe authoritarian theory has least similarities with rest of the theories; especially Libertarian Theoriesof the theories; especially Libertarian Theories  The libertarian theory promotes the doctrine ofThe libertarian theory promotes the doctrine of “FREEDOM OF PRESS”“FREEDOM OF PRESS”
  • 29.  The Libertarian Theory flourishes in democraticThe Libertarian Theory flourishes in democratic societies that is why it has maximum similarities withsocieties that is why it has maximum similarities with Social Responsibility, Democratic participant TheorySocial Responsibility, Democratic participant Theory and even with Development Media Theoryand even with Development Media Theory  All these inter-related theories ensure the protection ofAll these inter-related theories ensure the protection of individual rightsindividual rights  However; these related theories have far less faith in theHowever; these related theories have far less faith in the protection of individual rights than Libertarian theoryprotection of individual rights than Libertarian theory  In modern world the systems of states differ a lot; soIn modern world the systems of states differ a lot; so we can say that the implementation of these theorieswe can say that the implementation of these theories may not be correlated with the systemmay not be correlated with the system THANK YOU VERY MUCHTHANK YOU VERY MUCH