Liberal pluralism def

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Liberal pluralism def

  1. 1. Liberal Pluralism Media Theory
  2. 2. RECAP: Marxist view of media <ul><li>• The media are a major tool in this constant power contest </li></ul><ul><li>• Media are more than just channels for </li></ul><ul><li>communication, media are ideological agencies </li></ul><ul><li>– they play a central role in maintaining class domination </li></ul><ul><li>– they reinforce the dominant social norms and values </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Marxist perspectives on the media centre on the belief that the mass media are a tool used by ruling bodies to maintain control over the masses. </li></ul><ul><li>Pluralists take a more flexible view arguing that the media is merely responding to the demands of the audience. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Liberal Pluralism: Let’s break it down... <ul><li>The dominant perspective associated with contemporary capitalism. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Liberal ’ – individual choice and freedom are seen as a crucial human right. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Pluralist ’ – democratic societies allow a range of political views and opinions and a range of political parties between which the population choose in free elections. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Liberal Pluralism <ul><li>Liberal pluralists DEFEND the role of the mass media against the charges brought by Marxist critics. </li></ul><ul><li>They see the mass media as having a generally positive and beneficial role in contemporary society. </li></ul><ul><li>This does NOT mean that they believe the media are beyond criticism. </li></ul><ul><li>On the contrary, they would expect the media to be the subject of healthy debate and criticism. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The media as the fourth estate <ul><li>The three estates of our society are seen to be the government, the legal system and the church. </li></ul><ul><li>Each has some form of power within our society. </li></ul><ul><li>Pluralists argue that the media is seen as the fourth estate in order to keep the public informed about what is happening in the other three. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Government Legal System Media? Church
  8. 8. <ul><li>The media fulfil this role by reporting on political events and producing documentaries on key events, amongst other methods. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><li>Question Time </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The mass media are often seen as fulfilling the vitally important role of fourth estate, the guardians of democracy and defenders of the public interest. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Liberal Pluralists believe… <ul><li>The media are completely free to express themselves in any way they see fit. </li></ul><ul><li>The media (especially the press) serve an important democratic function by monitoring the activities of politicians and powerful institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Even the most powerful can be scrutinised and brought down. </li></ul>
  11. 11. http://mps-expenses.guardian.co.uk/
  12. 12. Liberal Pluralists believe… <ul><li>A democratic society needs an educated, well informed electorate – </li></ul><ul><li>the mass media can help ensure that people have a good understanding of the issues when they vote. </li></ul><ul><li>The logic of the market place controls quality and value in the mass media just as it does in any other industry. </li></ul><ul><li>If we’re not satisfied with a media product, we ‘vote with our wallets’ and spend our money elsewhere. </li></ul><ul><li>Media companies are constantly on the lookout for gaps in the market – </li></ul><ul><li>as soon as a new area of demand is identified, a new product will be launched to meet that demand. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Liberal Pluralists believe… <ul><li>The government has the power to intervene to address any problems which might arise in the free market. </li></ul><ul><li>They can prevent very powerful companies from wiping out the opposition. </li></ul><ul><li>They also invest in public sector companies such as the BBC, therefore priorities can be set and decisions made which are not purely based on making profit. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Your task: <ul><li>Research this a TV schedule from recent weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Consider how a pluralist may interpret the range of programmes on offer? </li></ul><ul><li>What evidence is there of the media acting as the fourth estate? </li></ul>

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