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Mass Media and Politics.docx

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David Young

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Mass Media and Politics: Studying the Impact on Media A) Some issues in Critical Political Economy 1) Major Areas of Analysis  The capitalist state  Broadcasting legislation & regulation  Neo-liberalism 2) The Concept of the State  Different from the concept of the gov’t  The state a more broader concept because it includes the gov’t  The state includes: all levels of gov’t, legislation, courts, regulatory agencies  Media organizations under public ownership  The gov’t will pass broadcasting legislation B) Marx’s Ideas About the Capitalist State 1) The Communist Manifesto  Written by Marx with his friend Friedrich Engels – 1848  Encourage workers to challenge capitalism  “The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the affairs of the whole bourgeoisie”  Suggests that the state simply reflects the interests of the capitalist class 2) The 18 Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte  Published in 1852  Title a reference to a famous coup in France  Gave us some additional important ideas about the state  The state seen as the site of class conflict  Conflict between the proletariat, working class, & bourgeoisie  State may make concessions to the working class  The state does not always reflect the interests of the capitalist class C) Neo-Marxism and Theories of the Capitalist State  Tries to build on, modify, and update Marx’s ideas so that they better explain contemporary capitalist society 1) Instrumentalist theory  Suggests that the state acts at the behest of the capitalist class  Acts under the command of the capitalist class  Directly manipulated by the capitalist class in two ways  1 – because capitalists may have personal linkages with state personnel  Capitalists may be friends with the head of gov’t  Can tell them what they would like them to do in terms of policy  2 – capitalists may hold positions within the state  Capitalists may be the heads of gov’t 2) Structuralist Theory  State acts on behalf of the capitalist class  State is not directly manipulated by the capitalist class  State assists the capitalist class  Helps to foster accumulation and legitimation  Enables capitalists to make money  Cut corporate taxes  Legitimation: state will pass legislation that makes concessions to workers  To discourage workers from resisting & trying to start a revolution  If considerable pressure from workers and their allies, gov’t will use legitimation The State and Broadcasting in Canada A) Conflict Over Public Broadcasting in Canada  Dallas Smythe – communication scholar  Argued that 1930 – 1936 was marked by a “struggle between the popular forces in Canada struggling for public service broadcasting and those seeking private profit  Organized around CRL (Canadian Radio League)  Trade unions, nationalist groups, women’s organization, other groups  Represented the existing private radio broadcasters  State largely sided with the CRL and agreed with the need for public radio broadcasting  Laid the foundation for everything B) Broadcasting Legislation in Canada  Structural constraints on media organizations  Public broadcasting organizations were dominant  Private organizations shifted to dominance 1) 1932 Canadian Radio Broadcasting Act  Created the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (CRBC)  First public broadcaster – responsible for undertaking broadcasting  Setting up & operating public broadcasting stations  Power to take over the private radio stations, but that
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