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Government And The Media Essay

2417 words - 10 pages

The government has always had close association with the media. We only have to consider the fact that in order to create any media, producers (at least those that want to be circulated legally) have to obtain a government license. This essay intends to delve into the question of media control by looking at examples form Broadcasting and the Press, first by considering who owns the media, and then considering whether the powers that be are in fact stronger and more influential in media than the government themselves.In today's society there are two main people who want to circulate media "“ those who want to educate their audiences and subsequently see them as the endpoint of their communication; and those that want to make money, and subsequently see their audience as a commodity to be sold to advertisers (Justin Lewis). The obvious question raised by this idea is of course which ideology is most powerful? Firstly we I will look at Broadcasting and more specifically at the Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) "“ those that want to produce a more educational/cultural style of programming in order to enhance its audience's knowledge.According to an interview with Jonathan Powell, Programme Controller of the BBC in 1989 the public service model can be defined as such: The broad commitment to provide and to protect mixed and complimentary programming schedules. It includes a commitment to certain minority programmes and to covering, as far as possible, different genres of programme making. Within each genre "“ whether within drama, current affairs, comedy, children's programmes or continuing education "“ there is a full range of programming, a demonstrably broad church. Public service broadcasting the attempt to make quality popular programmes. It does justice to human experience. It deals in more than stereotypes. It adds to the quality of people's lives. Its programme genres reflect the complexity of human beings. (John Keane, 1991 ) The Public Service model has close associations with the government and this is emphasised by its history. Since the emergence of a mass culture the effect that media has been able to have has been a major cause of concern for members of the government (Justin Lewis): As the potential of the wireless to extend information on all kinds of topics to all kinds of people became more apparent, official fears about the impact of wireless listening increased. Widespread unrest spread fear through Whitehall that the country was on the verge of revolution (Stanley Dangerfield, 1961) When the serious development of radio became apparent the government were quick to place the control of the airwaves in the hands of the Postmaster general whom they could control "“ with someone in charge of the airwaves the government could monitor who received frequencies and therefore controlled those who had the opportunity to reach the "˜masses'. The government were now policing the airwaves and effectively...

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