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Today’s Topics

Today’s Topics

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Today’s Topics

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  1. Today’s Topics Review of Media and Markets Truthtelling Reporters and sources Social Justice Invasions of Privacy

  2. Key Elements of Propaganda • Size, concentrated ownership, wealth & power of owners of mass media • Advertising as the primary source of income • A culture of ‘experts’ • ‘Flak’ as a tool of discipline • ‘Civic religion’ of anti-communism and free markets

  3. Media Concentration • The dangers of concentration (CJR) • The Big Six, an American keiretsu • Consolidation of service and content providers • Add internet access to the new mix

  4. Advertising as the Primary Source of Income • The problem with advertising revenue—MS and ‘complementary copy’ • Subscription funded media can’t compete despite superior products and higher customer satisfaction • Delivering targeted audiences • Killing stories (PEW study)

  5. A Culture of Experts • Talking heads and the ‘punditocracy’ • Small cadre of mediagenic quasi-experts

  6. “Flak” as a Tool of Discipline • Press attacks government, right attacks press • Conservative ‘media watchdog’ groups

  7. The Religion of the Market • John Stossel quote in McChesney p. 44 • The rhetoric of free markets is one thing, the reality of markets is quite another

  8. Markets, Market Assumptions, And The Invisible Hand

  9. The Market Society (17th Century) • Emphasis of individualism (autonomy) • The sovereign consumer • The law of supply and demand • Markets, essentially unregulated businesses, benefit society

  10. Business is to be considered as an autonomous and independent activity because it will then serve society • Robert Solomon

  11. Market Assumptions • Perfect Information • Perfect Competition

  12. Competitive Markets are Characterized By: • Low costs of entry • Low costs of exit • Absence of monopolies

  13. Market Assumptions • Perfect Information • Perfect Competition • Mobility Factors • Firms Maximize Profits, Consumers Maximize Utility • Consumer Preferences are Exogenous • Few, If Any, Externalities

  14. Markets, Market Assumptions, And The Invisible Hand • Individuals, seeking their own self interest, providing good products at a fair price, are guided by an invisible hand to promote the public interest

  15. BUT, Historically markets produce tremendous inequality • ‘Free trade’ advocates rarely want free trade • Markets deal poorly with values that are hard to monetize—Richard Cory

  16. Truthtelling • Pontius Pilate asked “What is Truth?” • To say of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not is true; but to say of what is not that it is, or of what is that it is not is false. Aristotle • Partial and misleading truths

  17. The Truth About Victims • Worthy and unworthy victims • “The deserving poor” • Relative coverage • Plane downings • Israel and a Libyan civilian jetliner • KAL flight 007 • USS Vincennes and the Iranian Airbus • Pan AM 00 • Economic truths

  18. Difficult Cases for Truthtelling • Unabomber • Deceptive news gathering techniques • ABC and Food Lion • Sexism and powerful women • Digital alteration of news photos

  19. Reporters and Sources • The importance of trustworthy sources • Janet Smith and Jimmy’s world • Plagiarism and the Press • Secret or stolen sources • Confidentiality and concealing important information—2 lawyers from Syracuse • Reliable sources—Hollywood personalities as experts

  20. Social Justice • Selective news that suits audience profile preferences • The press as a partisan agent • Avoiding difficult, complex, or unpleasant topics

  21. Problem Cases for Social Justice Issues • The information super-highway • The Charles Stuart and Susan Smith murder cases • Homelessness • Social Security reform • Economic issues

  22. Invasions of Privacy • The right to privacy • Peace and solitude • Embarrassing private affairs • False light publicity • Appropriation of image for profit • The public’s right to know • Privacy does not apply to public figures

  23. Problem Cases for Privacy • Sensitive jobs • Embarrassing facts • Intrusions on grief • Presumed confidences