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Assess the pluralist view of media ownership

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Introduction

PLURALISM on media ownership Pluralists hold a positive view of the media ownership, arguing the media owners are impartial due to economic reasons and reflecting audience?s demand. Pluralists also argue it is practically impossible for the owners to interfere with the media content to impose their bias. Instead, media owners reflect the interests of the audiences, who actively shape the media output by demanding certain content. However, Marxists note that in reality the media content reflects capitalist values of the media owners who come from the ruling class background and use the media to promote their ideology, which according to Neo-Marxists comes naturally to owners and editors who are educated into acceptance of a particular set of values. Pluralism argues that media operates in free market societies, thus its output is subject to competition and audience needs rather than values of the owners of the media companies. BLONDEL argues that the media is constrained by the market in which no single group had a monopoly of power, thus its content is dictated by the economic reality. ...read more.

Middle

Murdoch arguing in favour of the Iraq war and all of his newspapers around the world backing his views proves this point. Neo-Marxists have a slightly different explanation to why such interference occurs, citing similar educational backgrounds of journalists and editors that naturally force them into acceptance of hegemonic values of the ruling class without necessarily making them actively wanting to impose their ideology onto the audiences. Nonetheless, people like Murdoch are not representative of all media owners, who in fact do not take such a prominent role in determining the media output; some media are owned by trusts (eg. The Guardian), which diminishes the possibility of the owners? intervention. Pluralism argues the media owners want to satisfy and maintain the audiences, and they try to do so by producing a diverse range of media content with a wide representation of views. Pluralists thus argue the media companies producing niche material merely do so according the audience demands, not in an attempt to exclude some audiences. ...read more.

Conclusion

Representation of the views of active audiences, who, according to Pluralists, shape the media output, is the key element of upholding democracy. Even though Murdoch?s influence on his media may be seen as undemocratic, it can alternatively be considered democratic, according to WHALE. He argues that by transforming the Sun, Murdoch gave the consumers what they wanted, thus represented their views. However, it does not outweigh the significance of close cooperation between Murdoch and high profile politicians, which inevitably leads to some views being more prioritised. Nonetheless, Pluralists note the importance of investigative journalism in preventing the dominance of the powerful. The importance of Washington Post journalists in the Watergate scandal proves this power. In conclusion, Pluralists view of the media ownership is rather too positive. While focusing on how the media represents a plurality of views due to economic importance of audience demand, Pluralists overlook the importance of concentration of media ownership. Given the Marxist and Neo-Marxist take on the negative consequences of concentration of media ownership, the main Pluralist arguments about representativeness and impartiality do not stand up to scrutiny. ...read more.

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