Do The Media ‘Construct’ Social Reality, Or Does It Simply Report On It?

2575 words - 10 pages

It is often suggested by scholars that the world and in all its content is ambiguous, there is no universal meaning, nothing can be interpreted the same way. Opinions are constantly clashing and facts somehow constructed, or tempered during the processes of news production. News becomes the fictions of reality; it becomes a way of story telling, made to the taste of the viewer, depending on the society of course. The same stories carry different values depending where when and how the stories are broadcasted, I will be talking about this in this essay. There are two approaches to report a piece of news; the realist, purely factual no interpretations given and very clear in usage of language. This method differs to that of the constructionist, in which events or situations are carefully analysed, and I will be talking about the implication of media “constructed” social reality.

“Leaders who disillusion their followers live shorter politician lives than who learn to represent situations to their best political advantage”; (Bennett, 2007: p.111) here Bennett is almost suggesting that audience prefer to consume politically incorrectness over the truth, which could be troubling. It is true in terms of politics that politician are not always completely faithful to their promises

Scheufele sited Entman’s definition of framing as ‘a scatter of conceptualization’ (1999), Conceptualization is the process of “inventing or contriving an idea or explanation and formulating it mentally” or “an elaborated concept” “framing is an extension of agenda setting” it set up a specific idea for an audience to believe in, audience is somewhat fooled into accepting one side of the story, and usually, they are unable or find it difficult to accept any other framings; this perhaps, is also the reason behind; why certain readers fixate themselves onto one particular news paper title or television broadcast and struggles to take belief in any other reports, they become narrow minded toward news view points, or “dumbed-down” in some senses. Our ability to choose what news is significant, is “culturally determined” (Galtung and Ruge in Cohen and Young, 1981: p.52), this meant that we are as a society will receive reports the same events. Although the process of this “choosing” is questioned, as majority of the time, audience do not get to choose what they read, hear or watch about the world. This procedure is done through the structuring and the selection of news before it reached to them.

Galtung and Ruge suggested a number of hypothesises that interrelate the value of news to, metaphorically speaking, that of the radio wave signals. (in Cohen and Young, 1981: p.52) the factors that measures news value are as follows; ‘frequency’ the time it will take between the happening to reporting to interpretation of a specific event. For example the death of Baby Peter on August 2007 , several months after the death of Peter, the process of ‘interpreting’ who is to blame,...

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