• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How much influence does the media have on the political process

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How much influence does the media have on the political process The media is considered the fourth power in the modern democratic society. Its influence is undisputed, although it is hard to measure and to determine whether it is positive or negative. This essay will examine different theories related to the nature and the extent of the media influence on the political process. It will attempt to explain the trends in the development and the roles that different types of media play in the society. There are three basic theories approaching the subject. According to them the media reinforces the public opinion, it forms the public opinion or it does not affect it (Clark 1979). The first theory is based on the assumption that people have established opinions and political preferences and the exposure to the mass media is unlikely to change them, but only to reinforce them. This view is summarized by Joseph Klapper (as cited in Clark 1979: 72) "Persuasive communication functions far more frequently as an agent of reinforcement than as an agent of change". This observation aligns with the typical structure of a pluralist society in which different interest groups have different media representation and coverage. This outlines the characteristics of the most common relationship between the media and the society in which the audience is a customer with specific preferences and the media is a provider of information and analysis, that is designed to meet the needs of its customers and to keep their attention. ...read more.

Middle

News Corporation sued the author for "trademark infringement" over the using of Fox News slogan "fair and balanced" on the cover of the book. The judge ruled in favor of the author saying "Of course, it is ironic that a media company that should be fighting for the First Amendment is trying to undermine it."[8] These examples paint a dark picture of the media influence and the rationale that drives the minds of media personalities and moguls. It shows how the media is a tool for certain people for imposing their views and manipulating the public opinion. The predatory practices of Rupert Murdoch described in The Mass Media Power in modern Britain (Eldridge 1996) indicate that this person sees himself as a power superior than any government in the world and he is not hiding his intentions to use his power to affect national and foreign policy of many countries for personal gains and satisfaction, while crushing the competition. Murdoch openly argued for the war in Iraq and it appears that all of his 175 newspapers across the world have supported it too [9]. The article by Roy Greenslade suggests that "the leader-writers are attempting to break down stubborn public opinion". This shows that in this case and perhaps many others one person orchestrates the agenda setting of 175 newspapers with 40 million copies weekly, and through his media empire he makes the case for a war, that is widely opposed by the public opinion [9]. ...read more.

Conclusion

Second it is not in its agenda to increase its influence, because that would contradict its main purposes outlined in the Charter. And third if the government decides to remove the license fees and turn over the BBC to private hands it would be seen by the public as a sign of fear from scrutiny by journalists whose job is to work for the public interest. Or worse, the government that dares to abolish the license fee will remain in history as the government that gave up to the pressure from commercial interests and destroyed the most precious British institution. The above examples suggest that the media is a very powerful tool and left in the hands of people with no moral principles and positive ideas it could be destructive. The influence of the media is so great that media moguls enjoy power greater than the power of presidents and leaders of international institutions. They use this power to manipulate public opinion, to create chaos, to turn social groups into rivals, to provoke conflicts and they do that for the money and for fun. The hope is in institutions like the BBC that exist to serve the public interest and educate people that whenever someone is fighting, someone else is watching and making money. [1] http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1855330-1,00.html [2] http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article3497869.ece [3] Http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/time100walkup/article/0,28804,1611030_1610841_1609910,00.html [4] http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1555114,00.html [5] http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE7D61530F933A15752C0A9659C8B63&scp=14&sq=liberal%20media%20ideologies%20competing&st=cse [6] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1581320/Republican-votes-skew-Democrat-primaries.html [7] http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1044416,00.html [8] http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/23/nyregion/23FRAN.html?ex=1228712400 &en=fd1b2e748a874370&ei=5070 [9] http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2003/feb/17/mondaymediasection.iraq ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Compare and contrast the elitist and pluralist accounts of political power

    Barrie Axford et all, Politics an Introduction, 490. It seams clear that both theories would tend to agree that in large industrialised societies democracy in the traditional sense is almost impossible to achieve. On one hand pluralists would state that interests are represented by groups, rather than individuals, whom debate with others to decide policy outcomes.

  2. The development of political thought - John Locke

    They can then create a new government. Locke argued and the Founders agreed that if a government fails to protect the people's rights, the people have a right of revolution. Locke and the Founders said that the people have the right to make that decision. This position is in the following words from the Declaration of Independence:

  1. This assignment identifies and discusses the major social and political trends expected to affect ...

    (http://www.grida.no/geo2000/english/i61a.htm) The report also mentions that raw Industrial wastes are still discharged without treatment into rivers and lakes in most African countries, causing a major and persistent health problems. Saltwater intrusion into surface and groundwater sources is also a major issue.

  2. The Uk policy making process.

    by their name, so debates are littered by references to 'the honourable Member for Belfast South' or 'the Right Honourable Secretary of State for Health'. Speeches must be relevant and reasonably free from repetition, but they cannot be simply read from prepared notes because it is considered impolite for Members to lecture the House.

  1. Chartist aims and methods - Source related study.

    The dates are all set and times, 'MONDAY NEXT, APRIL 10', thus it seems like a well-planned and peaceful procession. Source J is a photograph of the Chartist demonstration on Kennington Common, thus it is a primary source, and cannot possibly show anything but the what is actually happening, thus it is not bias.

  2. How much power and influence does the civil service have?

    At no stage though should Civil Servants be responsible for decision making. There is a clear dividing line between the decision-making role of the minister and the supporting role of the Civil Servant. 'Civil Servants advise; ministers decide' - as Margaret Thatcher put it in 1989.

  1. Citizenship - participating in society

    and Frank (Helpline) The video was about 5-10 minutes and it was about a real life scenario. The real life scenario was a heavy smoking having difficulty in trying to breathe. The whole purpose was that the pupils in year 7 were aware and knew all the affects of what smoking can do to you.

  2. Prospects for India's development

    not met by the current rate of job creation (2.3%). While this gap seems small, there is a significant reason for concern for only now the labor market will feel the consequences of the population boom of the 60's and 70's (despite population growth of 1.9% on average between 94

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work