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Theories of the media. AUTHORITARIAN THEORY. Developed in 16th & 17th century England The function of the press is to support the policies and actions of the state, and its authorities.

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authoritarian theory
AUTHORITARIAN THEORY

Developed in 16th & 17th century England

The function of the press is to support the policies and actions of the state, and its authorities.

The press should foster social solidarity and national unity. The state has the right to control the press for the overall public good

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

slide3

In many cases, controlling the press means preventing the press from embarrassing the existing government, to repress criticism and protest, and to severely restrict press freedom.

  • The authoritarian view was prevalent in 17th century Europe where publishing came under the prerogative and censorship powers of the monarch and church.
  • The authoritarian theory is embraced today by many leaders of non-democratic states. 

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

libertarian or liberal theory of the press
Libertarian (or liberal) theory of the press
  • Adopted in England after 1688, and in the U.S
  • An individual is born with certain natural rights – freedom of expression
  • The function of the press is to protect the people’s liberties and rights, and to inform the public so they can participate as citizens in democratic self-government.

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

slide5

The liberal theory prefers a privately owned news media that is maximally free to inform citizens and criticize public policy, as well as act as a watchdog on authorities.

  • The liberal theory argues that a free marketplace of ideas, while it may cause harm over the short term, is the best safeguard in the long run for a free and liberal society. 

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

slide6

The right to publish and express oneself freely is not a prerogative of the state or a government. It is a fundamental right of free individuals.

  • Market competition promotes diversity
  • “The truth” will always win over lies. The correct or best idea will prevail. (John Milton)

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

slide7

This theory takes the philosophical view that man is rational and able to discern between truth and falsehood and, therefore, can choose between a better and worse alternative. Man is capable of determining his own destiny, and given all the facts will make the right choice.

  • Rooted in this theory is the belief held by Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, that if man exercised reason, the majority, as a group, would make sound decisions, even if individual citizens might not.

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

the social responsibility theory
. The social responsibility theory:
  • Social responsibility theory is seen as a 20th century development and critique of libertarian theory. Practiced in the US in the 20th century
  • It attempts to balance the liberal stress on the freedom of the press. It argues that such freedoms of a powerful news media must be balanced by social responsibilities. Journalists have a duty to provide well-contextualized news in a comprehensive manner.

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

slide9

They have a duty to provide a diverse forum of views and values. They have a duty to go beyond entertaining news consumers and to provide a core of in-depth analysis on the most serious issues.

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

slide10

The social responsibility theory is an outgrowth of the libertarian theory. However, social responsibility goes beyond "objective" reporting to "interpretive" reporting.

  • A truthful, complete account of the news is not necessarily enough today .Today's complex world often necessitates analysis, explanation, and interpretation.
  • For example, it would not be socially responsible to report how the terrorist, using some new method, evaded security measures and smuggled a bomb onto a commercial airline.

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

soviet totalitarian
Soviet-Totalitarian
  • Developed in the Soviet Union, although some of the same things were done by Nazis
  • Purpose was to contribute to the success and continuance of the Soviet socialist system, and especially to the dictatorship of the party
  • even though the ownership was public as well as state owned it functioned as a closely controlled media existing solely as the arm of the state

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College

slide12

Any criticism of party or party objectives was forbidden

  • Most of the practioners were loyal party members

Seema Narendran, Ramnarain Ruia College