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Chapter 5 The Media and Claims

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Nini Salazar

on 19 March 2013

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Transcript of Chapter 5 The Media and Claims

Joel Best. (2013). “The Media and Claims.” Social Problems, Second Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Pp. 127-159. Chapter 5: The Media and Claims The Media and Claim - Some Terms What’s the News? Changing the Media Is It Just Entertainment? Changing the Media The Media’s Impact The Media in the Social Problems Process News Work: the job of locating and presenting news to the larger public Audience Segmentation: targeting media presentations for a particular audience The Dominance of Landmark Narratives
Landmark/Iconic Narratives: a typifying example that dominates news coverage of a troubling condition, shaping the terms in which the problem is covered and how the news audience understands the problem

Constructing Packages
Package: a familiar construction of a particular troubling condition, including specifications of its causes and solutions
Condensing Symbol: a shorthand element that evokes a package, such as a landmark narrative, typifying example, slogan, or visual image Popular Culture: commercial entertainment

Sociological Imagination: the ability to see private troubles in term of larger public issues (connecting the individual and society) Agenda Setting: choosing which claims will receive the attention of media or policymakers

Who sets agendas?
Who and what is affected by agenda setting?
Why do the public and policymakers pay attention to the media? Refer to Figure 5.1 The Media’s Role in the Social Problems Process (p. 155)
What are the main components?
~What concepts/components have we already covered?
~What concepts/components are new?
What are the various relationships among these components?

Any suggested additions or changes to the model? Media Coverage: attention from mass media outlets, such as newspapers and television, that can bring claims to the attention of a wide audience

Arenas: a public venue where social problems claims can be presented

Carrying Capacity: the number of issues that can receive attention in an arena Terms Continued… Primary/Initial Claims: one of the initial claims, usually presented by activists or experts, that begin the social problems process

Secondary Claims: the media’s transformation of a primary claims, usually shorter and more dramatic than primary claims

Bias: a tendency for media workers’ personal beliefs and views on an issue to interfere with balanced and impartial coverage Box 5.1 Turning Events into News News reporting as Social Construction, using events to establish social problems

Many stories follow familiar, routine patterns

Others construct amid confusion Box 5.2 When Do Reporters Find Activists Newsworthy? Media coverage – attention and bias

Favor disorderly demonstrations, outrage, drama

Coverage emphasizes drama and constricts/neglects claims

Favor narrowly focused causes over broad and abstract Box 5.3 How New Are New Media Internet - infinite carrying capacity for claims

Popular vs. Elite Blogs

The importance and influence of Blogs ~The Advantages of Issues Ownership Box 5.4 Covering Conditions, Rather Than Problems Coverage on personal/individual problems rather than public issues/structural conditions in society (e.g. lack of jobs)

Rarely imply or explicate public policy to address homelessness

Audience segmentation, coverage is shaped by reporters and editors for their readers Box 5.5 Crimes Become Iconic Landmark narratives – more than just a typifying example

Symbolizes all the ways people can understand the problem

Sensational, dramatic, new developments and angles

Contradictory constructions different lessons and possible solutions

Iconic narratives are touchstones invoked by competing claimsmakers Box 5.6 Infotainment and Shame Media uses a dramatic popular culture formula featuring an emotional payoff

Media constructions are often inconsistent with the research and claims of experts (and activists) Case Study: Reporting About Risk Risk Society: society in which social problems are often constructed in terms of risk

1. How do the needs of claimsmakers and the media combine to shape coverage of risks?
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of reporting on a study that finds a new risk?
3. Why do claims regarding technological innovations and natural disasters often focus on risks? Reflections on Ch. 5 General reflections
Questions ??
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