Textbook Notes (369,035)
Canada (162,359)
MDSA01H3 (310)
Chapter 4

Textbook Chapter 4.docx

6 Pages
Unlock Document

Media Studies
Michael Petit

MDSA01 2012 - Critical Media Studies: An Introduction Chapter 4 Pragmatism: An Overview  Pragmatism – is the branch of philosophy that assesses truth in terms of effect, outcome, and practicality o Pragmatists claim that truth depends on the degree to which a concept or theory provides us with useful results in the process of solving problems o Truth becomes a sort of label, a quality that a thing can possess or lack, and it is always dependent on contextual factors o Allows us to judge the worth of regulation according to the perceived outcomes and effects of the regulation o Regulatory policy is “true”, worthy or good if it clearly benefits American society or helps to concretely correct social problems  William James (1842 – 1910) o Was among the first to stress the practical application of philosophy to one’s life o Focus on the consequences of individual belief o Belief that individuals could mature and grow by addressing personal problems though a Pragmatic lens, and he stressed a flexible moderation between extremes as the best way to achieve this goal  John Dewey (1859 – 1952) o Situated the process of knowing and learning within the field of human activity and experience  Asserted this though is the direct result of physical beings encountering difficulties in their daily lives and attempting to generate ways of overcoming those difficulties o We learn from past experiences in order to manage future ones o Claimed that educators should focus on training students to develop a variety of problem-solving skills in order to make them more productive and responsible citizens of a democratic society  Social problems would decrease as the populace became more educated in practical, flexible ways of improving the world.  Richard Rorty (1931 – 2007) o Scholar of analytic philosophy o Metaphysical philosophical approaches to life are uninspiring o Those who engage in Pragmatic approaches may give up the awesome search for some deeper, more complete meaning in life, but in turn they gain a more profound understanding of human systems and an appreciation for human agency o Overcame the key criticism of Pragmatism: Relativism which is the belief that diverse approaches and theories related to a given subject are all equally correct.  Pragmatists are relativistic when it comes to metaphysical theories, in the sense that all searches for essential truth are equally valid because none of them actually makes any real difference A Pragmatic Approach to the Government Regulation of Media  Consequences refer to the clear effects of a given regulation on a society at large o Must be beneficial to society if we are to deem the regulation a good one MDSA01 2012 - Critical Media Studies: An Introduction o Use of consequences as a standard of judgement reflects the Pragmatic focus on the tangible results of a belief as the measure of its truth  Contingencies – are the factors a regulation should address as a result of context and situation o the social norms of any given moment all form a group of contingent factors that influence the possible types of regulation o Example: prior to the invention of the internet, no one dreamed of debating the regulation of virtual or simulated child pornography. o Use of contingencies to complement our understanding of consequences mirrors the Pragmatist focus on considering and evaluating multiple options in the process of solving problems o First set of regular contingencies is the tension between free speech and public interest o Second set of regular contingencies is the interplay between government and media self-regulation Issues in the Regulation of American Media  Combating monopoly o Regulations designed to prevent media monopolies have focused historically on limiting the amount of a given market that any one company can own o The primary purpose if the Fin-Syn Rule was to break up the perceived monopoly of the major networks by limiting the networks’ financial control over their programming  Also forced major networks to purchase syndicated programming from other, smaller production companies o Syndication refers to the process of producing and selling programming o Broadcaster ownership is restricted to no more than 35% of the national audience for television and varies according to market size for radio o May be counterproductive as fewer restrictions on ownership result in more possibilities for more people, thereby increasing the potential for competition across all media markets  Protecting Intellectual Property o Deal with legally protecting the creative work of artists o Copyright – is the most familiar form of intellectual property protection; granting exclusive control of a creative work to that work’s creator  Theoretical purpose is to ensure that individuals will continue to generate innovative products  Contemporary copyright protection gives a work’s author/creator the exclusive control over the reproduction, dissemination, and sale of the work  Limited in certain ways  Small portions of a work can be copied under the notion of fair use  Copyright can only cover the material expression of an idea, not the idea itself o Digital Rights Management (DRM) – refers to any number of different software programs that media industries employ to control the distribution and use of digital intellectual property  Attempts to duplicate for the online/digital world the types of protection granted by copyright and medium in the real world o Some say the American system of copyright provides a fairly good way to ensure people are paid for their creative work, but they point out that contemporary copyright law often goes beyond its original, historical intention to unnecessarily hamper creativity and protect businesses. MDSA01 2012 - Critical Media Studies: An Introduction  Maintaining national interest o Media regulations with the goal of maintaining national interest are concerned primarily with American domestic infrastructure and global image o These regulations ensure that media technology and practices do not compromise national security and the government’s ability to protect the public o Encryption – is the process of scrambling important digital messages by software so only those who possess a complementary decoding program can read them  Government officials worried that such systems would hamper the government’s ability to intercept communications that undermine national security  The Escrow Encryption Standard was the only way the federal government has tried to regulate media in relation to foreign threats  Failed to gain public support because it neglected to adequately address the contingency of the American right to privacy  Was a pragmatic failure  Promoting Diversity o Regulations with the end goal of promoting diversity in media industries have attempted in some way to establish a sense of equality in media content o Motivated by the desire to ensure minority viewpoints and perspectives find a place on television and radio as well o Fairness Doctrine was a FCC policy that urged broadcasting stations to air programming on controversial issues and fairly represent both sides of the issues to viewers o Equal time rule – clearly outlines how stations must handle the broadcast of political advertisements for primary or general elections o The Fairness Doctrine had clear negative consequen
More Less

Related notes for MDSA01H3

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.