Chapter 5

Chapter 5
The News
• A constant since there were only two or
three. Now, there are many types of media
news that all effect one another and
eventually create a new “kind” of news
• What would you call today’s style of news
The Four Major Theories
of News
• Authoritarian
• Libertarian
• Soviet Communist
• Social Responsibility
• The government controls the media
• This led to (in U.S.) laws against treason
and sedition.
• Modern examples include Turkey, Iraq,
China, etc (imagine China’s view of the
worldwide coverage of SARS)
• Emerged from a premise that the
government should exist solely to serve the
interests of the individual.
• Media should serve the people not
government and the best way to find the
truth is to have many opinions aired.
• Came about during Age of Enlightenment
(15th to 18th centuries)
More Libertarian
• Jefferson, Franklin, James Madison and others
helped form the idea
• Freedom of the Press comes about; First
• Watchdog of the government
• Fourth Estate
• Fifth Estate –broadcast
• Sixth Estate--internet
• Obviously, we still have this form in U.S.
Soviet Communist
• Russian Revolution in 1917
• Modeled on Authoritarian Theory
• Added the agenda setting/news was to
communicate the doctrines of the state and
the Communist Party to the masses
• Authoritarian did not rely as heavily on use
as propaganda; less information in general
• Authoritarian—controlled system of news
• Soviet Communist—planned system of
Social Responsibility
• Evolution of media became more about profit
• More chains developed; so fewer ideas were
• Out of the criticism comes the Social
Responsibility Theory
• Offshoot of Libertarian that contends press is
socially responsible to keep a democratic nation
More Social Responsibility
• There was a clear need for some sort of
• Press could not be entirely free
• FCC formed for broadcasters but print is
still involved in self-regulation
• Some modern ideas like FOX New Network
deal with the idea of more opinions
Functions of Media
• 1)to inform
• 2)to entertain
• 3)to influence (through editorials)
• 4)to present advertisements
• 5)to transmit the culture
Common Faults/Problems
• Blaming the Messenger
• Watchdog Function
• Bad News Only Myth (selective retention)
• Myth of Media Truth
• Biases (Liberal Press)
Wire Services
AP Associated Press New York 1848
UPI United Press International 1907
Reuters 1850s London
AFP Agence France-Presse Paris 1945
Public service not for profits services
Radio News
Developed around World War II
Before, radio did limited news
We then heard from Edward R. Murrow
Live reports
First time we heard “actual” war sounds
Then followed development of radio
networks ABC, NBC (in coming chapters)
TV News
• The political conventions of 1948 broadcast by
CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) and NBC
(National Broadcasting Company)
• Later Vietnam War became first time we saw
“actual” war footage in 1960s
• The Space Race got many people hooked on TV
news as well
• Then, it gets out of hand
• Watergate, etc. (future chapters)
More TV News
CNN Cable News Network
Ted Turner early 1980s
First 24 hour news channel
Others follow but not for more than 10
• CNN encouraged camcorder use
• Rodney King in 1991
• Still not really developed as a news agency
• Currently, all other previous forms have
websites to help make news interactive
• Some news breaks on the internet but few
people use as major source of news
• What will the convergence bring?

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