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MDSA01H3 (310)

pragmatic analysis

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Media Studies
Michael Petit

4 Pragmatic analysis Pragmatism: an overview - Pragmatism: the branch of philosophy that assesses truth in terms of effect, outcome, and practicality - Claim that truth depends on the degree to which a concept or theory provides us with useful results in the process of solving problems - Argue that believing or not believing in them has no real bearing on one’s daily life, instead the truth of an idea or course of action should be based on tangible results and the possible consequences of supporting or disregarding it - The only significant American contribution to world philosophy, and the connections between pragmatism’s emphasis on practicality and the American protestant work ethic are not difficult to see - Charles saunders peirce ` William james and john dewey Richard rorty - Relativism: the belief that diverse approaches and theories related to a given subject are all equally correct - No consistent truth to act upon A pragmatic approach to the government regulation of media - Standards for evaluation within a pragmatic approach to media- consequences and contingencies - Consequences: the clear effects of a given regulation on society at large - Consequences must be beneficial to society if we are to deem the regulation a good one - The fact that we only make judgements about consequences as historical individuals speak to the second standard, contingencies, or the factors a regulation should address as a result of context and situation - Contingencies: the unique and historical factors that influence regulatory decisions - A quality regulation must adequately take into account and respond to the socio historical factors in play during its creation - The best regulatory solutions are those that have beneficial consequences according to the contingencies of their historical moment - Regular in their presence but contingent upon one another at any given time (government regulation must always respond to these particular factors, and the best regulations balance them, but the degree to which one is valued over the other varies from moment to historical moment - Second set of regular contingencies is the interplay between government regulation and media self regulation, and extension of the public interest focus Issues in the regulation of American media - The six themes are combating monopoly, protecting intellectual property, maintaining national interest, promoting diversity, managing morality, and ensuring accuracy Combating monopoly - Focused historically on limiting the amount of a given market that any one company can own - Work toward the practical goal of ensuring that healthy competition remains a vital part of the American media landscape - Financial interest and syndication rule - To break the perceived monopoly of the major networks by limiting the networks financial control over their programming - Syndication, generally speaking, refers to the process of producing and selling programming - Decreasing ownership barriers would in fact spur competition, increase content quality and lower prices for consumers - Free market approach to the media is often used to justify acts of deregulation in the American context Protecting intellectual property - Policies and technologies in this area establish clear parameters regarding what work can be protected, how it should be protected, and any limits placed on that protection - Stipulate the ways in which creative work can be legally disseminated and used in the media - Copyright: the granting of exclusive control of a creative work to that work’s creator - Lifetime of creator plus 70 years - Fair use, material expression - Digital rights management: any number of different software programs that media industries employ to control the distribution and use of digital intellectual property - Both copyrights and DRM work toward correcting issues of free speech and the public interest Maintaining national interest - Media regulations with the goal of maintaining national interest are concerned primarily with American domestic infrastructure and global image - These regulations ensure that media technology and practices do not compromise national security and the government’s ability to protect the public - Encryption: the process of scrambling important digital messages by software so only those who possess a complementary decoding program can read them - Escrow encryption standard to provide the federal government with a way of gaining access to encrypted messages sent over telephone wires that they felt posed a national
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