Chapter 03.pdf

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Ted Petit

Media Studies Chapter 3 Organizational Analysis Logic of Safety ‐ desire to guarentee success (profits) my minimizing risk Organizational Perspective ‐ seek to understand: why media organizations (a medium) & the mass media produces the kinds of content it does ‐ the manner in which media industries and institutions arrange themselves directly influences the kinds of content they produce Organizational Theory: An Overview Organizations ‐ a system (network) of ordered relationships and coordinated activities directed towards specific goals ‐ Two Basic Dimensions o Organizational Approach: interested in the ways that structure and process mutually influence one another o 1. Structure  underlying framework that shapes an organization over time  Professionals: possess expertise in a particular area or field that allows them to accomplish tasks  Heirarchy: arrangement of job roles & positions based upon authority  Differentation & Specialization: division of a company into departments & positions which perform specific tasks  Formalization: degree to which specific tasks practices must conform to accepted organizational / professional conventions o 2. Process  actual substance built upon structure (underlying framework that shapes an organization over time)  unique behaviours and actions of organizational members (that are constrained by structure: heirarchy, differentation & specialization, formalization) Assessing Communicative Practices Organizational Culture ‐ set of norms and customs, artifacts and events, and values and assumptions that emerge as a consequence of organizational members’ communicative practices ‐ unique to specific organizations + its practices Professional Cultures ‐ set of: norms / customs /artifacts / events / values / assumptions ‐ emerge as a consequence of: formal training (education / apprenticeships / internships) + membership / participation (conferences / workshops/ licenses) + recognition (awards/ honors) Ways To Study Organizational Culture ‐ 1. Performance o Expressive (productive/purposeful) displays (process/product) that carry symbolic significance (meanings/implication) in a particular context o Ritual: routine/expected behaviors (weekly facility meetings) o Sociality: codes of etiquette (small talk, friendliness, joking, privacy) o Politics: influence independence, negotiating, coalition building that is accepted o Enculturation: socialization process (newcomer learns about the organizations culture) ‐ 2. Narratives o stories members tell about their workplace experiences (affirm / discourage certain attitudes/ activities within a culture)  story that: glorifies success: invite emulation  story that: recounts a failure: sound a cautionary tone o Personal Stories: convey individual subjective experiences o Collegial Stories: told about other organizational members o Corporate Stories: told about the organization itself ‐ 3. Textual o written / electronic documents o company bylaws, policy manuals, office memos, newsletters, mission statements, repots o purpose: identify acceptable / unacceptable actions o formal texts: support the managerial / company “line” o informal texts: views of those in the “trenches” (graffiti, private emails, personal notes) ‐ 4. Management o managerial perspective: managers develop culture to improve efficiencies, create satisfied customers o management structures (hierarchy) + practices (hiring/assessment/promotion) influence: products produced + quality of employees lives (pay, benefits, respect, voice, support, working conditions) ‐ 5. Technology o how technology: structures work activities + roles + relationships + alters skills required to perform tasks Characteristics of Conventions Conventions ‐ norms ‐ govern the technical / creative choices made by workers in the execution of their duties ‐ driven by: profit motive (desire to produce the news cheaply + efficiently while appealing to the largest audience possible) Characteristics of Conventions ‐ 1. Motivated o conventions are created through motivation for: efficiency / desire for sense of community + belonging + cohesion o belonging is created through exclusion (of those who don’t belonging) o i.e. professors call each other “professor” ‐ 2. Shared o in order to become a conventions, a norm must be “shared” by other employees ‐ 3. Naturalized o conventions are: naturalized + invisible (practiced unconsciously) o i.e. raising hand to ask a question ‐ 4. Resilient o conventions are: stable + vary as demands change o i.e. design + structure of news media (stable but variable over time) ‐ 5. Directive o conventions: unspoken guidelines / rules for correct / appropriate actions o sanction / authorize practices + behaviors / discourage + disapprove others Professionalization Professionalization ‐ internalization of professional conventions ‐ process: individual with free will / choice  transformed + socialized  into an ideal subject (professional) whose actions reconfirm one’s status as a professional ‐  conformity to professional conventions =  rewards (money + promotions + responsibilities + recognition) The News Media: an In-Depth Case Study Broadsides ‐ first newspapers (late 1600s) ‐ large / one sided / single sheets 1765 Stamp Act ‐ required all colonial newspapers to carry a stamp tax ‐ designed to generate revenue for British government Yellow Journalism ‐ style that lacked any sense of social responsibility ‐ included sensational / fabricated stories + photos Objectivity ‐ journalistic standard ‐ reporting of facts in an impartial manner News Organizations and Journalistic Standards News ‐ objective: provide public with accurate + reliable information that assists them in better exercising their civic duties in a democratic society ‐ produced (like any other commodity + product) not discovered (like knowledge): manufactured for maximum profitability ‐ Newsworthiness: social + informational value to the public Situational Constraints on News Gathering ‐ News Hole: “fill the hole” the necessity to deliver news every day at the same time (heavy burden) ‐ News Whole: the specific amount of time or space allocated for reporting news each day o News Package: 60-90 seconds long (short, simple, dramatic, narrative format) Standardized Practices for Collecting News ‐ journalists rely upon to overcome situational constraints on news gathering (News Hole + New Whole) ‐ Journalistic Beats o Places / institutions where news is expected to occur (reliable sources of news) o News Organizations: assign reporters to these beats (why media is dominated by these stories) o Criminal / Legal Beat: courthouses + police stations o Five Beats: incumbent presidents, presidential candidates, leading federal officials, state + local officials, alleged + actual violators of laws o Non-Events: events that are systematically excluded from public view (result of news-gathering conventions) ‐ New
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