Olly's Essay - The foundation of a democratic government is...

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The foundation of a democratic government is created by the publics needs, demands and opinions. In ancient civilizations, the public voice was communicated directly to the government, however in the modern democratic society direct communication between social orders is not feasible. The role of mass media serves as the channelling forum between public and politics. c The shape of news and media throughout history has been determined by many variables, such as the political scope of a specific era s economic and social status, and all in accordance with technological advancements. These variables are in no way mutually exclusive where change in one will often lead to change in another. Therefore in investigating how each of these variables has helped to determine and shape the twentieth century news media, rather than looking at each separately, I will be looking at their influence within the context of the two components of the news media; content and infrastructure. c News media content, or what is reported on, is an area that has changed greatly. The major factors affecting this change are social attitude, journalistic ethics,l censorship and government policy, all of which influenced what is deemed news worthy . w What is deemed news worthy continually changes with the social attitude and thus the journalistic ethics/practices of the tiem. The tendency of this change is that the line between the taboo and what is deemed socially acceptable is continuously being pushed back. In 1997 journalist Alistair Cooke made a comparison on his radio program letter from America between the Clinton sex scandal and the lack of similar scandal surrounding the former president John F.Kenney, a known philanderer, he writes in those days one of the taboos that was observed and never discussed was against writing about the sexual peccadilloes of the president, if any . Oscar Wilde is quoted as saying journalism justifies its own existence by the great Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarist . When looking at the ratings wars between Austrlaian evening news programs during the 90 s one would tend to agree. During this time it became common practice to create the news people wanted to see or human interest stories , a clear example of how social attitude has shaped one aspect of the news media. s In the modern democratic state censorship and its effect on the twentieth century news media can best be viewed during times of war and the subsequent press controls. Press control during war time has changed dramatically throughout the twentieth century, from outright restriction such as the United States espionage act of 1917 banning the publishing of anything deemed disparaging to the war cause. Then later during the second World War with the use of
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Olly's Essay - The foundation of a democratic government is...

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