Table of Contents
The theory on the manufacturing of media content features two main issues on structure and content. First, there is the question of the extent of freedom within the media organization. Then, there is the issue of due process, and daily work routines, as upheld by the media practitioners. From these two issues, the bias predicted in this theory is with regards to the processes and routines, as implemented within the organization. If freedom is limited or abused, or the processes altered, the information may fail to be objective in one way or another.
The society, as a social force, exerts pressure on the media organizations in that they have to operate within the law without compromising their organizational goals or expectations of the people in terms of their objectivity. The clients and owners also exert pressure on the media organizations given that these are business minded groups that are all about profitability.
Journalists are in the same category as most of other professionals in that they expect to know better than their clients, who in this case are the audience. Thus, as such, they may know what the audience wants but they set out to give them what they think they need instead. The ‘autistic’ comparison relates to the fact that the audience may try to say what they want, but the journalists will not respond to their demands implying restricted, repetitive behavior, as in the case of someone with autism.
Selection entails choosing the news ideas that are followed up on and then presented in the media, while processing is about refining the media product to make it suitable for release to the public. During selection, a hierarchical system is often followed meaning personal opinion at the power centers is influential as is during processing, too.
News Selection Factors determine, which events get featured as stories in the media, meaning its sender oriented, while Factors Predictive of Coverage determine whether the event or incident can interest the audience, thus qualifying as a news item.
Location determines the relation of the audience to the news feature in that if they know the area or live close by they are likely to be more interested. Proximity also implies that if the audience knows the people or event in the news they are likely to be interested. The timeliness of the event also makes it relevant to the audience.
The meaning of the given information is relative, depending on the context of the sender and the receiver. It means that a text must be understood through its prevalent culture context that may establish the hidden meanings embedded in it.
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One motive of content analysis is to understand the cultural context of a society, for example, by looking at how gender roles are portrayed in the media. Another motive is to evaluate performance of the media, for example, by determining the effects of the media on the social practices of the population. Also, content analysis allows for a clearer comparison between the media and the society.
By allowing for freedom and diversity, the internet allows the audience to choose the kind of content that they get. Also, the internet has opened up the media for input by a wide variety of people. It extensively widens the range of genres available amongst them blogging, commentaries and personal letters.
A closed text limits the reader to one meaning or interpretation thus implying that there is not much to analyze. Basically, the discourse in a closed text is rather straight forward with only one accurate outcome, thus making it much simpler to decipher. The open text, on the other hand, holds a myriad of options and there may be no particular right answer, thus making it harder to analyze than the closed text.
News is unexpected if it was not being waited upon by the public, and it is predictable if there are historical indicators of its occurrence. It is often achieved by presenting news with references to the earlier reports and features that may be related in one way or another, thus creating a sense of familiarity with an unexpected incident.
Framing implies relating a given news subject to another, thus playing the role of an interpreter with regards to that particular news story. As a concept in journalism, framing often depends on the motives of the presenter or producer in connecting different, often unrelated, pieces of information. In the event of war, it can be used to rally support for the home troops. In a consumerist culture, framing can be used to set consumers up for a given product, or in an environmentally conscious setting farming can be employed to spread fear and call the masses to action with regards to the nature conservation and green initiatives.
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Newspapers are generally inclined towards transmission, where they release information to the masses as they see fit. The websites, however, allow the audience to select the news articles that they consider interesting or relevant to them. The TV stations also limit themselves to airing programs that they think their audiences need to see, while on their websites they allow the audience to select the programs that they want to see, while also interacting with the staff in real time. New media allows for more interaction between the audience and the media practitioners, and it is basically the only thing that is new. Also, the audience has more control over what they read or watch.