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News Assignment

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News Assignment 1. How does the use of a 'news diary' demonstrate that news is not a spontaneous response to world events? The 'news diary' is a record of forthcoming events which the media intends to cover. It may consist of items purchased from press companies, or press releases purchased from pressure groups, government agencies and private companies who wish to publicise their activities. News information in this format may be held by broadcast and print media prior to its release to the public and is therefore not a spontaneous response to world events. Reports held in the news diary are planned well in advance, both for strategic and practical reasons. An example of this is the newspaper coverage of Queen Elizabeth's and Prince Philip's royal visit to Australia. 2. Give two examples of the impact of financial factors on news production. The cost of producing national news, in particular broadcast news filmed on location is immense. As a result, financial constraints are placed on media companies which have a great influence on news production. For example, if a company has devoted financial resources (crew, flights and expenses of anchor women, satellite links) to an international news story, it may continue to get coverage even if very little has happened. i.e. the media must remain cost effective often at the expense of genuine news items. An example of this is the continued coverage on GMTV from Afghanistan during periods when progress was distinctly tenuous. Available financial resources may also have an impact on how news stories are presented and selected. A large media company, for example the BBC or ITV, may have funding to film international news events on location. However a smaller news company on a cable network with a smaller budget may have to substitute live footage with in-studio discussion and archive images. This may reduce the perceived grandeur of a particular news story. ...read more.


The next story explored by both 5 News Update and BBC News was the halt in the cease fire between Palestine and Israel. Again, this story is high in news value as it has links with the Anglo-American 'war against terror' and an increasing fear towards Islamic militancy. However, it does not achieve the perceived importance of previous stories as it is of a highly complex nature which may alienate the selected target audience of both shows. Both shown in the afternoon daytime slot, the target audiences are largely inclusive and indiscriminate, aiming to attract as many viewers from the wide social spectrum as possible. The ongoing land dispute between Israel and Palestine holds little importance with the average Briton and is difficult to understand, therefore in terms of selection processes this is identified in both broadcasts as a less important story. Similarly, neither Israel nor Palestine is particularly allied with Britain, the story is depicted superficially in both broadcasts to maintain objectivity and avoid the alienation of the large Jewish and Islamic communities in Britain. The final story on 5 News Update is the report on Liza Minelli's latest wedding. This is probably a result of the likely audience and an attempt to lighten the tone of the broadcast. The program 5 News Update precedes Exclusive, a magazine show with a show business content. Consequently it is probable that those viewers watching the broadcast will be interested in news stories of this nature. Similarly this story is high in news value as it contains elements of human interest and celebrity. The story has positive emotional impact as it details Liza Minelli's 'happy ending'- combating an addiction to pain killers in order to marry her 4th husband David Gest. Similarly the story may have been subject to the news diary, Liza Minelli's wedding received press coverage long before the event itself. It is therefore likely that channel 5 allocated broadcast time for this story in advance on the assumption that no breaking news occurred. ...read more.


As a celebrity icon, Nicole Kidman has high status and her behaviour, ideas and attitudes are deemed significant by the mass media. From a Marxist point of view, this story is an attempt to manipulate readers into holding a materialistic view point, encouraging them to emulate Nicole Kidman and buy 'designer glasses'. Alternatively, this could be viewed as an attempt by the media to create false consciousness. The perpetual preoccupation with the flamboyant life style of stars such as Joan Collins in the media is an attempt to trivialise more important societal issues such as the failure of the NHS. Consequently, emphasis on materialism and celebrity distracts readers from issues which may cause anger and disenchantment towards the ruling class. Similarly, from a feminist point of view the stories involving Nicole Kidman and Joan Collins would be interpreted disparagingly. The fact that the central aspect of both stories is a photograph and there is little text would be argued as indicative of the marginalisation of women in the media. Women, particularly 'beautiful' celebrities such as Nicole Kidman and Joan Collins, are exploited by the media for there ability to sell papers. Feminists would argue that the mass media is a patriarchal institution, consequently the opinions of Kidman and Collins are not sought, they are presented purely in terms of their attractiveness. Similarly, feminists may argue that Nicole Kidman is being exploited by the media to indirectly publicise the release of Moulin Rouge on video and DVD. This story appeared in the paper the day after its release and feminists would argue that Kidman's looks are exploited to increase sales, both of the paper and the video. In conclusion, the interpretation of news paper content is subjective and the identification of any ideology dependent upon the views of the reader. It is difficult to determine whether or not the public are manipulated by the mass media as, even if this is the case, the public would be ignorant towards such socialisation as they would already have internalised the ideas of the ruling class. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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