Ownership and Control: Pluralism

Assumptions:

  • Pluralists believe the media should reflect a broad range of social interests.
  • Various media companies should compete for audiences rather than one company having a monopoly of power.
  • The media have to be responsive to consumer choice and their needs. If they don’t cater for their audience, then they could go out of business.
  • Media content is driven not by an ideology or the interests of owners but by audience figures and the search for profits
  • Owners do not have direct control over the media, but allow journalists and editors to report and print what they think the public want. Pluralists believe that journalists have some professional and editorial honesty, rather than just agreeing with their bosses.
  • Audiences have a ‘pic n mix’ approach whereby they can select from a wide range of media. They can agree or disagree with media content depending on their own views and beliefs.
  • The new globalised media have enabled a wide range of views to be represented- known as citizen journalism. People can publish their own opinion on events via Twitter or Facebook. This undermines the Marxist view of media control that owners dictate what stories we have access to.

The site below has some excellent material on Pluralist and Marxist views.

Earlham Sociology: Marxism & Pluralism

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