8 media - Media concentration and communication of a few...

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“Media concentration and communication of a few issues and subjects leads the pubic to perceive those issues a more important than other issues”. DISCUSS INTRODUCTION As political scientist Bernard Cohen puts it, “the media don’t tell just what to think but rather what to think about”. In short, the mass media “may not be successful much of the time in telling the people what to think, but are stunningly (really) successful in telling its readers what to think about”. This impact of the mass media - the ability to effect keen (sensitive) change among individuals, to structure their thinking –asserts (emphasizes) the priorities of the media to some degree become the priorities of the public. What the press emphasizes is in turn emphasized privately and publicly by the audiences of the press. In this way, media coverage not only creates public awareness but it also can trigger (cause, start) dramatic shifts in opinion. The question focuses on issues that media reports more and how they are communicated. It seeks to show that the media plays a big role in influencing public discourse and occasionally what people will believe. Society experiences newsworthy information every day. However, not every event or occurrence makes it to the media. And even from the very information selected, particular texts are given more concentration than others. It is from this perspective that we critically examine how media concentration and communication of a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than others. To support our argument, we use examples of various topical issues that have dominated the media, various theories that explain why media concentrate on those issues and the news values which make media decide on those issues as more important. MAIN ARGUMENTS The gatekeeping theory It begins with the Gatekeeping theory, where news churned out to the public goes through several check points - including reporters, editors and media owners – before they concentrate on a particular news agenda to go to the public.
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