Journalism Essahe

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Critically evaluate the extent to which the key economic/technological challenges facing political journalism in the UK democracy are undermining the ability of the quality news media to play the role demanded of them within competitive and participatory democracies (as defined by Strömbäck).

The quality of the Uk’s new’s media is often scrutinised and mocked for their unashamed bias political opinions, going back to the fundamentals of journalism and the diversion of right and left wing politics, it was inevitable that quality news would disintegrate into a playing field for them to dig the opposition. However, the cause of this could be down to economical and technological challenges facing the news media today, along with the decrease in political interest came the rise in commercialisation. Competitive and participatory democracies include a range of requirements from journalists to act a certain role in society. As described in The Future of Journalism in Advanced Democracies “a competitive democracy requires of journalism the following: it should act as a watchdog or burglar alarm” giving the public the honest and truths within politics for them then to make and adequate decision based on sufficient information. A participatory democracy “requires that journalism should mobilise the citizen’s interest and participation in public life” it also states that journalism should “focus on the solving of problems and not just the problems themselves.” (Anderson & Ward, 2006: 47) There are a range of economical factors, which have affected the quality of news and the role in which they are depicted to play in competitive and participatory democracies, as defined by Strömbäck, therefore, these have effected the roles in which journalists play in society. Increased Leisure has become a challenging factor in competing with other entertainment provisions; the various opportunities such as Sunday shopping have proven a negative impact on Sunday newspapers. Sunday has always been a day of rest, therefore before technology had evolved people would spend this time reading newspapers and conforming an opinion based on the quality news provided, “if we are to understand what media communications people are actually exposed to and what message content they actually receive, it makes sense to ask how people come to pay attention to a particular medium; in short, why are people moved to watch, listen to, or read a particular program or story?” (Alger, 1995: 33) since this as drastically changed it has resulted in the commodification of news media and undermining the quality of news by selecting stories and information which attract the public’s interest and not necessarily stories of important and prominence. “Journalism has always entertained and as well as informed. Had it not done so, it would not have reached a mass audience. But today, say journalism’s critics, the instinct amuse is driving out the will, and depleting the resource, to report and analyse in depth.” (Hagreaves, 2003: 104) In addition to this, social fragmentation has multiplied and caused a decline in cohesion; at one time it was clear that there was only a limited number of views, which brought together a large number of people who had the same ideologies and preference. Now, due the increased number of major media corporation and accessibility to over-seas news there has been a massive break down in social groups. This gives the market only to options, to either supply to a niche market, targeting a particular social clad which would cause a massive loss in profit and interest for the media corporation or, to continue to target the mass market and conform to commercialization and sensationalism to attract the reader. Large corporations need the funds to run the ‘business’ and without this would simply mean a decline and eventually a complete collapse and therefore they have to rely on either readers or sponsor each wanting a certain type on context. Further...
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