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GCSE Sociology: Mass Media - Ownership and control Mr. Tanvir

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Abu Tanvir

on 13 October 2014

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Transcript of GCSE Sociology: Mass Media - Ownership and control Mr. Tanvir

Mass Media:
The report shows internet use has risen:
15% in 2008
34% in 2011,
Prediction: more 50% by 2014.

De Lanerolle (2013) says: “Our results show there is a new Wave of users who have come online in the last few years. Their presence is something that business, government, political parties and civil society should be responding to.”
Ownership and control
Mr. Tanvir

(Ensure participants are not re-identifiable by analysis and comparing of data sets -

this have been done by amateurs

(Information in both the recruitment materials and any subsequent consent documents).

Informed Consent
(Voluntarily, adequate knowledge of relevant risks and benefits).

Cloud Computing and Research Ethics
(Information is distributed across a global network of users, crowdsourcing presents ethical concerns over trust and validity of the research process itself, crowdsourcing involve ethical issues such as labor management and authorship.
Question to think about
Can you describe one way in which politicians use the mass media to get their message across and explain why this media coverage might lead people to lose faith in the main political parties.

To identify how private ownership of the media gives control.
To understand and explain issues such as bias, propaganda and censorship
Think about Marxist theory...
Who do Marxists believe own the media? Why do the owners of the media have power?

Isn’t the news just the news?
Watch the following video and in your own words, explain what is happening in
this scene of The Newsroom
Times readers run the country,
Telegraph readers think they run the country,
Guardian readers wish they ran the country,
Mirror readers would run the country if the Times readers didn't run it already,
Mail readers don't know who runs the country,
Express readers don't care who runs the country,
and Sun readers don't give a damn who runs the country as long as her measurements exceed 38-24-36.

This was quoted as an analysis by MPs of the readerships of UK newspapers in a Guardian diary piece in the early 1980s. There have been many variants of it (including 'FT readers pay to run the country', 'Mail readers know who should be running the country' and 'Mirror readers will run the country once the revolution comes'), but all tend to agree about Sun readers (though many in cruder terms).

There are two types of approaches in
understanding the media, its ownership and
thus control...

The conflict approach
the pluralist approach

What might these be?
How might the clip from 'The Newsroom' fit in
with these theories?


The conflict approach theory states that the content of the newspapers is controlled by the powerful and wealthy owners (gatekeepers).
They can decide what is said in the newspapers and how it is said.

Followers of the conflict approach believe that there is no longer free press, which means that the newspapers are now controlled by few huge multimedia conglomerates such as News Corp, which is run by Rupert Murdoch, rather than lots of smaller newspapers expressing their views.

Additionally, more and more it is the people who fund the media who have control.


Pluralists believe that we do have free press, which means that the newspapers are not controlled by their owners, but by the people who read them. Readers use their market power to determine what is written in newspapers because if they don’t like what is written, they won’t buy the newspaper. For example, the Sun newspaper does not contain international news because it’s readers wouldn’t want to read it.

The public can also express their views through writing to the newspaper editors and telling them what content they would like included.

Pluralists believe that the day to day control over the content of newspapers lies with the editors and journalists, not the owners
Are we best served by private enterprise?
We are best served by allowing the market to have the maximum amount of freedom with the minimum of government control.
George Monbiot, 2007

This is a neo-liberal point of view.
What are the benefits of a neo-liberal point of view?
What are the risks of a neo-liberal point of view?
Does this fit best with the conflict approach or pluralist approach?

“we want to work on people until they have capitulated to us, until they grasp ideologically that what is happening in Germany today not only must be accepted but also can be accepted “
Joseph Goebbels press conference, March 1933

Nazi Propaganda and censorship

Joseph Goebbels served as
Hitlers Minister of Propaganda
Watch the clip and summarise the main points.
Think about …
how the media was controlled?
What messages were they trying to portray to people

– the selection and control of information usually for political ends
– preventing certain information from becoming public knowledge

we want to work on people until they have capitulated to us, until they grasp ideologically that what is happening in Germany today not only must be accepted but also can be accepted “

Joseph Goebbels press conference, March 1933

Goebbels controlled the content of newspapers, radio and film. He championed issues including, dictatorship, war and genocide. Through the control of film content he was able to
take a subtle approach to propaganda. His films were aimed at entertaining people and did not contain obvious political content. He encouraged films that took a sympathetic view to euthanasia( mercy killing) for those
with terminal illnesses or physical disabilities. He cast villains as Jewish and they would always receive the death penalty.

How did he get his point across to people through his choice of film content and characters?

Do you think its right for a newspaper to support a particular political party?


If the media is influenced by politicians or
those with power can there really be freedom of speech and free press?

Freedom of speech
– the democratic principle that protects legitimate comment regarding the actions of the government or matters of public interest
– preventing certain information from becoming public knowledge
– not taking a neutral view but favouring one side of an argument or debate.
– one who has editorial control over the media content
– managing the message to influence the way in which events are reported

You will be divided into two halves each side will need to p
ut together an argument either agreeing that that there is such a thing as free press or not. Ỳou could use the articles to help you. Try and include words such as bias, censorship and gatekeepers


media are one of the
agencies of socialisation. They are part of the way
learn about the social world beyond the immediate (primary) influence of the

The mass media can offer alternative answers to some of the questions that we may ask ourselves beyond the immediate circle of our family and friends. What does it mean to be a
or a
in the modern world? How should we
towards others? What can we
to achieve?

Obviously our
, our peer groups, our
or college will all have a powerful formative influence on our aspirations and our behavior. However, above and beyond this the mass media present us with
images that dominate our waking moments.

Some people argue that the media have a
to represent the social world in such a way that they avoid biased or
representations of reality. However, it is still the case that much of what we see in the media, particularly on
or in films, relies heavily on stereotypes and exaggerated representations of the

Complete the gap
fill exercise
# Agenda setting
# Gate keeping
# Norm setting

What might these be?
even if you don't believe the media tells
us what to think, it does tell us what to think about
the media's refusal to cover some issues is called gate-keeping, any examples?
where the mass media emphasises & reinforces conformity to social norms and seeks to isolate those who do not conform bymaking them the victims of unfavorable opinion
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