COMM 1F90 Oct 21/2013
Main Points (Week 6)
Language constructs social reality
Language is not natural or neutral, it is a changing site of power struggles
Language and media are forms of social construction.
Language, news and objectivity
Production and distribution contexts
Approaches to audience analysis
Representation and Social Position
There is no ‘unmediated’ reality
Representation: * to look like or resemble, *to stand in or speak for
something or someone, *to present a second time, re-present.
Representations are shaped by social position of those producing them.
There is no one truth out there we all share on representations, it is all
biased, the problem is the biased are not always explicit. Position is not
always made clear so we don’t know how those representations are being
‘Bias’ is inherent in all representation.
Can there be unbiased, objective, true representations of the world?
It is to suggest that some things are truer then other things.
Language in news: objectivity
Myth of objectivity: *news is reported by the omniscient writer, never in
the first person, *news is always a neutral collection of facts.
But we know journalists write from a specific social position; they may
select some facts, ignore or distort others (not deliberate).
‘Bias’ may be unconscious and unintentional.
Language in news: balance
Myth of balance: * News presents both sides of the argument. *Reports