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" The media helps to advance public interest by publishing facts and opinions without which a democratic electorate cannot make responsible judgements." Explain this perspective and assess its effects on the audience.

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Introduction

Stephen Rooney " The media helps to advance public interest by publishing facts and opinions without which a democratic electorate cannot make responsible judgements." Explain this perspective and assess its effects on the audience. The question seems to be taken from a functionalist approach to the media and sees the media as non-problematic. It suggests a Pluralist perspective that we get the media we deserve. It shows the media as a helpful tool in which a person can vote without being influenced by bias or manipulation but can vote knowing both sides of the story and can make a responsible judgement. It does not take into account who owns the media or who controls it. ...read more.

Middle

A group of neo Marxists from the Frankfurt school suggests the ruling classes use mass media to pacify and manipulate creating a myth of freedom in the media. This view is known as a hypodermic syringe model. Referring back to the original quote the media is not to the advantage of the public interest so that the public can make responsible judgements but that the media is used to 'brainwash' the public with the same hegemonic view of either the owners of the media or the control. This Marxist theory suggesting that the media alienate the audience giving them no control and no freedom strongly contradicts that of a pluralist. This group of sociologists the audience is given a vast range of choice and therefore have the freedom to watch what they want, hence the audience gets the media it deserves. ...read more.

Conclusion

An advert for crisps may amuse one member of that audience due to it's comic value another member of that same audience may instantly want to purchase that product. This theory suggests that the audience do what the want with the message. So is the audience allowed to make their own responsible judgements or is the media biased to such an extent that the audience is brainwashed? Does it really matter? The media is there and therefore should be used to the audience's advantage. If the media is bias then the audience should take an active role and try to find out both sides of the story and form their own opinions e.g. papers are either in favour of one or the other political parties. If the audience reads through these papers and then filters through their own opinion they can make responsible judgements. ...read more.

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