Censorship and regulation<br />Media is regulated as a regulated as a result of concerns about the potential power of the media to influence its audience, as well as the way in which media effects theories have, to a significant degree, become accepted by many people and politicians in the UK. The media is regulated positively by obligations being placed on media institutions, for example, radio stations must regularly broadcast news. Alternatively negative regulation prevents or censors certain media content. <br />
The race relations act (1976) makes it illegal to broadcast or publish material that could be deemed offensive to ethnic or racial groups<br />The official secrets act (1989) prevents those in the military, government or police from speaking to the press without permission<br />Libel laws state that if a media institution publishes anything that is considered to be harmful and untrue, the victim can sue for libel and make a claim for financial compensation of their damage<br />
Three inter-related areas of media regulation<br />Economic regulation – where economically powerful groups, advertisers and sponsors exert pressure to limit the content of media texts<br />Cultural regulation – where the cultural attitudes and values of the audience limit the content of media texts<br />Legal regulation – where acts of Parliament or governmental organisations or government approved industry institutions regulate media content, such as the Video Recordings Act (1984) or the British Board of Film Censors.<br />
Self-regulation<br />Many media industries try to avoid governmental regulation and censorship by regulating themselves. <br />‘9 O’Clock watershed’ before which time in the evening terrestrial television broadcasters avoid broadcasting certain swear words and sensitive material. <br />Press Complaints Commission, set up in the 1900s to oversee the regulation of newspaper content in Britain. Code of Conduct to which newspapers content in Britain. <br />
Government regulation of media<br />2003, Communications Act created Ofcom (Office of Communications)<br />Ofcom regulates the content of radio, television and wireless telecommunications and regulates the operation of these industries. As televisions has gone from a scarce, to a mass, to a saturation medium, it has become impossible for Ofcom to review all material before it is shown to the general public<br />
In 1951 there were only three-quarters of a million TV licences<br />In 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, the number of TV licences overtook the number of radio licences<br />In 1958 there were 9 million TV licences<br />In December 1980 there were approximately 300 hours of TV programming available per week<br />In 2000 there were 40,000 hours of TV programming available per week<br />
Ofcom advisory code suggests that the following must be considered:<br />Degree of offence likely to cause offence<br />The likely size and composition of audience<br />Likelihood of people being unintentionally exposed to material<br />Responsibility with regard to religious programming <br />
Protection of the minority perspective<br />The perspective argues for control of media content to protect the rights of individuals, minority groups ad those who may be harmed by the media. <br />It assumes that the media has an effect either on the behaviour of values and ideologies of the general public.<br />May argue against Page 3 girls/internet pornography<br />
Freedom of speech perspective<br />Argues that freedom of expression is paramount and that criticising the government and those who are powerful in the media is important to ensure that democracy works.<br />This view stresses that even if, at times, harm is done by material in the media this is better than allowing governments to censor media content<br />
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