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Assess the Pluralist theory of the media and ownership

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Introduction

Wasim Mohammed 441588 Assess the Pluralist theory of the media and ownership The mass media is the means by which messages and images are communicated to a mass audience, it does this through its various Mass Communication Technologies (MCTs), for instance the Internet is a very powerful and influential MCT communicating worldwide. MCTs educate, persuade and inform as well as entertain their audience. Media is geographically dispersed and has no limits due to its global domination. It is also culturally diverse and socially mixed. Pluralists believe that the mass media is reflective of social reality, and acts as a 'mirror'. They state that it has a functional role in meeting the demands of its mass audience, and thus owes a duty to the people. ...read more.

Middle

Pluralists also share the view that media content is reflective of the audiences interests, an example of this is how coverage of 'immigrants' is often very negative in 'The Sun', a tabloid newspaper. Pluralists feel that media is responsive to both market and public demand. The audience is a dictator in terms of what it wants in media content. Burnham argued that the mergers and takeovers are irrelevant due to the emergence of Joint Stock Companies. His 'managerial thesis' also recognised that ownership and control is detached due to the fact it is impossible for individuals such as Rupert Murdoch to make every decision regarding media. ...read more.

Conclusion

The structuralist Marxists would state that there is an immense competition and a fierce rivalry within and between the mass media, as a result of which a conspiracy of the powerful can not exist. They would also declare that the personal influence of owners is diminished due to the pressure exerted by market forces. Thus overall, Pluralists main view regarding media and ownership is that there is no influence of owners, mainly due to the audiences role as a dictator and the fact that power is not concentrated and is dispersed allowing for different groups to become influential. There arguments can be subject to criticism as owners are a regulating authority with the possession of command, in other words they are highly involved in their business, and this may be due to competition as stated by Structuralist Marxists (above). [20] ...read more.

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