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Lecture 4

Week 4 - Mayer Anderson.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
Philosophy 2730F/G
Professor
Ryan Robb
Semester
Fall

Description
Mayer and Anderson 10/2/2012 3:08:00 PM Lecture 4 McLuhan Review  Argued that we need to pay more attention to the way technological innovations change the conditions of human life, we need to understand the significance of those innovations and the ways in which they could be dangerous Chomsky Review  Two possible ways to understand the manner in which the modern mass media has changed human nature o Classical/mainstream view – mass journalism allows for the possibility of democracy by informing citizens about the actions of their government and with enough information, citizens can fulfill the participatory role required in a democratic state o Propaganda model – meant to reveal the extent to which mass journalism provides a new mechanism for social control, the media helps to manufacture consent of the governed, who accept the status quo as inevitable  Pick one of the 5 filters, and identify whether or not it does what Chomsky thinks it does Mayer  Most people seem to believe that the mass media is biased to the left of the political spectrum  Amongst scholars, the media is biased right  The goal of Mayer’s piece is to show neither work provides sufficient evidence to support either Gans’ or Bagdikian’s articles  Gans o Book was a participant-observer study where he was able to go into the news rooms of CBS, NBC, Newsweek and Time o 8 enduring values (pg 57)  Ethnocentrism  The significance of the enduring values is that they are not subject to challenge, the media emphasizes stories that support those ideas and ignore ones that challenge them o Problems with Gans’ enduring values:  A wide variety of obviously corrupt corporate actions could still be perceived as “responsible capitalism”, Gans did a poor job at describing what “responsible capitalism” is, to broad of a definition  They are not supported by empirical (testable) data, Gans admits that his identification of these values is “impressionistic”, he assumed all journalists shared these views but he only visited four news rooms  Most problematic is the existence of empirical data that contradicts Gans’ view o Journalists were actually seen to lean to the left side of the spectrum  Gans said that most journalists were right leaning and the values of journalists will influence what they will write – if they were left leaning, their writing would reflect those ideas, but most of the writing was right leaning  This conflicts with the ideas of Chomsky (manufacturing consent) and that journalists are right leaning; he has contradicted himself  Bagdikian o Argues that the claim that there are positive values and images of corporations and the corporate elite is not justified Anderson  Says that media is undermining democracy and dumbing everyone down (mainly during elections) o The problem he finds is that we expect too much from citizens o The more media we consume, the less intelligent we become o Could be seen as him speaking from an elitist view  His arguments are saying that the media hurts democracy because: o Democracy requires deliberation o Deliberation requires information o Information provided by the mass media is irrelevant inasmuch as it focuses on “the horse race” and personal characteristics  The media fails democracy because the media doesn’t provide relevant information – too much personal information and not enough about the actual elections and what the people will do in office o (essay) People do want to know if the leaders are good people or not, having a heart, dealing with the touchy issues, compassionate o (essay) There is not as much political info, but it is easily available to those who want it, they aren’t hiding anything  Citizens are influenced
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