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Theories and Models of Journalism - Essay Example

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Theories and Models of Journalism

The theory of the spiral of silence was proposed by Neumann in 1974 (Spiral of silence, 2010). Through this theory, she attempted to examine the reasons for the misjudgment of the Germans towards their political leaders and political positions, and felt she could find a reason for the support of the Germans for such political positions as would result in their social degradation and humiliation (Spiral of silence, 2010). This theory essentially concerns itself with public opinion and the expression of that opinion. It claims that the expression of public opinion is dependent on three factors, which basically form the psychological basis of the general public: the public has a sixth sense about popular beliefs and the direction of opinion without having access to any official reports (Spiral of silence, 2010); they are fearful of being neglected and socially isolated (Spiral of silence, 2010); and due to this fear, they are very reserved when it comes to expressing minority beliefs and opinions, choosing rather to remain quiet or change their opinion towards the popular form than to adhere to their minority opinions (Spiral of silence, 2010). Banking on these three factors, the mass media tends to direct the public opinion towards a specific direction, favoring a specific side to an issue. Therefore, it is not necessary that whatever the media depicts is true of the general opinion. Moreover, some people might actually base their opinions on what the mass media is projecting (Spiral of silence, 2010). The other theory to be considered is the theory of political economy, or as it is more recently known, the International Political Economy (Timimi, 2010). This theory basically explains the relationship between economics and politics, and the way economics is handled across borders on an international level between states and nations in terms of trade and social sciences (Timimi, 2010). However, recently, this theory has also been applied to the mass media and journalism when it was felt that the mass media was playing a very important role, and somewhat beyond its perceived area of operation, in portraying the interests and supporting the cause of a certain group in the national politics (McChesney, 1989). Although it is believed that the media is supposed to be autonomous and unbiased, depicting the truth as it is, it is often felt that the actual case is somewhat different, in that the media is inclined towards the ruling elite, and favors their agenda (McChesney, 1989). This is in no way an accusation of a conspiracy theory being played by the media (McChesney, 1989); it is just an analysis of the bias and inclination that the media tends to have towards a certain agenda or political party, and therefore, influences the public opinion by projecting in favor of that party (McChesney, 1989). For the purpose of analysis and application of these theories, the online version of the Daily Times has been discussed in light of these two theories. First the homepage will be analyzed, and then two articles linked to the homepage will be examined. The homepage of the Daily Times, dated January 4, 2012, contains the headlines about the decision of the Prime Minister of Pakistan regarding the creation of new provinces. It also has links to articles that fuel the current and ongoing struggle between the three main political parties of the region for the upcoming elections (Daily Times, 2012). The spiral of silence theorists might object to ...Show more

Summary

Harris Kamran Journalism and Mass Media Analytical Paper 17 January 2012 Theories and models of journalism and mass communication The paper purports to discuss two theories related to journalism and mass media, namely the theory of the spiral of silence, and the political-economic theory…
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