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Media Studies
Ted Petit

CHAPTER 4 PRAGMATIC ANALYSIS Pragmatic approach to government regulation of the media - Consequences and contingencies o Consequences  Clear effects of a given regulation on society  Must be beneficialhum  Reflects the pragmatic focus on the tangible results of a belief that measures the truth o Contingencies  Factors that should address the result of a specific situation  Contingent factors that influence possible types of regulation o Social norms o Predominant mediums o All types of technology present o American media must respond to particular set of regular or contingencies unique to the American context  Government regulation must always respond to these particular factors.  Best regulations balance them o Set of regular contingencies  TENSION  Free speech vs. public interest  GOVERNMENT REGULATION AND MEDIA SELF REGUALTION Issues in the regulation of the American media (regulating media ownership) - Six themes in how to critically respond to the regulation of media from a pragmatic stance 1. Combating monopoly  Anti-monopoly regulation  Financial interest and syndication rules o Fear that three companies NBC ABC CBS (moving towards vertical integration) were gaining too much power so passed this fin-syn rules to correct this trend o Purpose was to break up perceived monopoly of the major networks by limiting the networks financial control over their programming o Syndication: process of producing and selling programming o They relaxed the fin-syn rules to allow cable companies to lease more channels to the viewers. This shows the deregulation, and increased self-media regulation. 2. Protecting intellectual property  Copyright  Granting exclusive control of a creative work to that work’s creator o Limited however  Small portions of work can be copied under the notion of fair use  Fair dealing vs. fair use o  Can only cover material expression of the idea not the idea itself  Digital rights management  Any number of diff software programs that media industries employ to control the distribution and use of intellectual property o These actually protect private corporate interests 3. Maintaining natural interests  Encryption  Scrambling important digital messages by software so only those who possess a complementary decoding program can read them  BALANCE: between a persons right to privacy and the governments ability to monitor hostile foreign governments, terrorists and criminals o However had to backlash it because of invasion of privacy  This pragmatic encryption thing was a failure because it failed to review the contingencies of the Americans right to privacy. 4. Promoting diversity  These regulations implement diversity because most of the people who own the media are wealthy privileged social groups and they have the most access to it  By integrating minority viewpoints and perspectives find a place on TV and radio this is regulating it  Example the fairness doctrine  Decreased amount of cultural controversial material on the air  This also dictated what material they had to cover and some felt it was a violation of the first amendment  Clear negative consequences o Reduced the amount of controversial issues on air and trampled over the contingency of free speech by stipulating content  Example equal time rule  Clearly outlines how stations must handle the broadcast of political advertisements for primary or general elections  Stations must charge all advertisers equally  Negative o No negative o Represents a flexible system of encouraging equality without specifying or restricting content 5. Managing mortality  Regulations concentrated on the management of mortality in the media  One cannot legislate morality without endangering free speech o Therefore they offer guidelines rather than definite understandings of issues related to mortality o Restrict access and consumption of questionable tests rather than their production o Three main types of regulated media content are  Obscenity  Obscene media content sexually explicit in nature  Content is considered obscene when it meets the following standards o The avg person applying contemporary community standards would find that the work taken as a whole appeals to prurient interest o The work depicts or describes in an offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state of law o The work as a whole lacks serious literary artistic political or scientifically value  Regulation of this is straight forward its illegal  The are not obscene until someone challenges it in the court of law  This way its informal  Indecency  Any material that is morally unfit for general distribution.  Often depicts sexual or excremental activities  Not illegal  Profanity  7 filthy words; shit piss fuck cunt cocksucker motherfucker ad tits  Foul language  Instead of censoring everything they created the rating system pg g pg- 13 r nc-17 o Maintains freedom of speech  Pragmatic perspective the regulation of mortality is more contigeient on socio-historical factors than any other form of regulation  in a pragmatic perspective the rating system is ill-conceived forms of regulation 6. Ensuring accuracy  Regulations concentrated on ensuring that journalists and new reporters use media forms of government to responsibly report the truth to the American public  Two forms  Slander: publicly spoken untrue defamatory statements  Libel: written statements which are defamatory o Both not protected under freedom of speech o If statement is true and is still damaging to a person reputation it is neither slander nor libel.  Media is allowed to comment on public figures under doctrine of fair comment  You can be defamatory under this without being charged libel  Code of ethics: self-imposed set of rules that outlines ethical strivings of a media outlet.  Explains how a media should handle conflict of interests, ethical dilemmas and other problems Violence in the media - Types of violence in media o Historical violence  The portrayal of actual historical events seen in films  Allows audience to think critically about the ay violence is connected to hatred and social injustice  This heightens social consciousness  Philosophical meanings about humanity and struggles o Ritualistic violence  Generates emotional excitement  Pure spectacle in form of superficial content  This serves the sole purpose of entertainment no educational purpose o Hyper-real violence  Blurs the boundaries between ritualistic violence and historical violence  Marked by technological over-simulation gritty dialogue dramatic story telling parody etc.  Extremely realistic and believable  Combines the look of historical violence with the feeling of ritualistic violence - Consequence of media violence o Aggressor effect: exposure to violence triggers arousal and promotes aggressive behavior  Three theories  Dis-inhibition o Consumption of media violence undermines social norms and sanctions against violence that individuals would otherwise abide by  Enculturation o Speculates that long term exposure constructs violence as norm and thereby encourages aggressive behaviors o Violence is an acceptable response in certain life situations  Imitation o Audience will mimic aggressive media o But there are different forms of media violence which does not take into account of, their contingencies o Victim effect  People develop a fear of violence  Individuals who consume heavy amount of violence undergo mainstreaming and they begin to actually think that things they see in the media will really happen  Exaggerated sense of danger o Bystander effect  Media violence fosters increased callousness and insensitivity towards violence directed at others  Desensitization is a cause. Reduction of emotional responses to violence which increases acceptance of violence o Catharsis effect  Reduce alleviate feelings of aggression  Pro social outcome  Reduction of real world violence CHAPTER 5 RHETORIC ANALYSIS - Media entertains and persuades us - Rhetoric: ancient art of oratory o Ability to see the available means of persuasion - All messages and symbolic creations are biased - Theories of the sign o Sign: something that invites someone to think of something other than itself o Shared meanings what makes human communication possible o No sign is interpreted the same way by a person - Ferdidnad de sassure o Founder of modern linguistics o His approach  Linguistics semiology: a science, which studies the roles of signs as a part of social life. Investigate nature of signs and laws that govern them o All linguistic signs are combo of signified and signifier  Signifier: sound or image refers to material form of a sign as perceived by the senses such as the word dog  Signified: a mental concept, is the idea evoked by the signifier  Together they construct a sign o Linguistic signs have two defining traits  Arbitrar
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