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Authoritarian Theory

By amabalele Mar 25, 2011 390 Words
Authoritarian Theory
According to this theory, mass media, though not under the direct control of the State, had to follow its bidding. Under an Authoritarian approach in Western Europe, freedom of thought was jealously guarded by a few people (ruling classes), who were concerned with the emergence of a new middle class and were worried about the effects of printed matter on their thought process. Steps were taken to control the freedom of expression. The result was advocacy of complete dictatorship. The theory promoted zealous obedience to a hierarchical superior and reliance on threat and punishment to those who did not follow the censorship rules or did not respect authority. Censorship of the press was justified on the ground that the State always took precedence over the individual's right to freedom of expression. Modern com was born in 1450 into an authoritarian society. A few essential characteristics of this theory is that the states ranked higher than the individual in the scale of the social values. Only through subordinating himself to the state can the individuals achieve his goals and develop his attributes as a civilized citizen or man. As an individual, he can do little, as a member of an organized society, his potential is enormously increased. This means not only that the state ranks higher than an individual, but also that the state has a caretaker function and the individual, a dependant status.

The press belonged to the King/Emperor/ Pope, or in some cases, to private individuals who favored and were favored by royalty and authority. The press was the servant of the state. The world has been witness to authoritarian means of control over media by both dictatorial and democratic governments. Brief Overview :

Developed in – In 16th and 17th century England, widely adopted and still practiced in many places.

Out of – philosophy of absolute power of monarch, his govt. , or both

Chief purpose – to support and advance the policies of the government in power and to service the state.

Who has the right to use the media – whoever gets a royal patent or a similar permission.

How is media controlled – government patents, guilds, licensing, sometimes censorship.

Whats forbidden – criticism of political mechanism an officials in power.

Ownership – private or public

Essential difference from others – instrument to affect government policies, though not necessarily government owned.

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