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Two topics to choose from - Research Paper Example

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The Mass Media and an Enlightened Public Institution Date As defined in the question provided, the right to an expectation to Americans of a free press is one of the fundamental aspects of the American democratic system. The framers of the Constitution believed that this right to be so fundamental to the American society that it was denoted in the First Amendment; guaranteeing citizens the ability to organize a free and unimpeded press…
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Download file to see previous pages However, although each of these factors are salient and must be considered, the fact of the matter is that the degree and extent to which media consolidation has taken place within the past several decades is, at least within the mind of this author, the greater threat. Moreover, media consolidation cannot be understood merely through the lens of but a few news organizations representing the news to the citizen; rather, it must be understood as but a handful of media moguls controlling any and all information concerning global and/or regional politics. Such a situation is necessarily dangerous and diminishes the degree and extent to which the citizen is able to make an informed decision concerning the events that are taking place in the world around them. Further, it is the belief of this author that the narrowing of the media and the consolidation that has taken place within this past several decades has created situation by which but a few media conglomerates control upwards of 85% of newsprint and television media within the nation. When one considers the case of radio, the percentage is somewhat smaller; however, massive media firms such as Clear Channel are not far behind this troubling figure. Beyond merely creating a situation in which corporate interests are directly translated to the viewer by powerful companies, this narrowing and consolidation of the media also presents a situation by which the government could potentially find it quite easy to influence upon the way that a particular story and/or stories are related to the viewer/listener/reader (Stoll, 2006). Due to the fact that powerful corporations operate in close cooperation with the government (seeking to leverage tax breaks, contracts, and further competitiveness), the ease by which the government could offer a particular benefit to one of these firms and present the news in a particular way is profound and troubling. Evidence of this has recently been noted by the way in which the New York Times has reported on a litany of different stories and oftentimes briefs the administration prior to printing any of these scoops (Kawashima, 2011). Although it is unfair to target the New York Times alone, such a practice is not constrained to this media entity. Naturally, the call of national security is oftentimes leveraged as a means of stating why the press should confer with the administration and/or government prior to reporting on a particular story, a situation by which the press and the media operates in direct conjunction and cooperation with the government is the complete inverse of what the founding fathers initially prescribed within the First Amendment. A host of recent studies indicates that the American populace is becoming less and less informed with regards to global issues. Although it is not fair to blame been narrowing of media and/or the consolidation that is been experienced over the past several decades, it is fair to state that these realities have not helped to broaden the understanding that Americans have with regards to a particular news story or item of importance. In short, what can be understood by the reader is the fact that a free press ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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