6/16/09

Four Theories Four Theories of the of the Press Press

Mass media do not operate in a vacuum *The press always takes on the form and coloration of the social and political structures within which it operates.

The Authoritarian Theory
Frederick S. Siebert in 1963 presented the Four Theories of the Press to clarify the link between mass media and the political society These theories ought to illustrate the press' position in relation to its political environment

•  direct governmental control of the mass media •  government consists of a very limited and small ruling-class •  media are not allowed to print or broadcast anything which could undermine the established authority; any offense to the existing political values is avoided •  government may punish anyone who questions the state's ideology

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6/16/09 •  government is infallible •  Media professionals are therefore not allowed to have any independence within the media organization •  foreign media are subordinate to the established authority. in that all imported media products are controlled by the state The Libertarian Theory •  libertarian view rests on the idea that the individual should be free to publish whatever he or she likes •  attacks on the government's policies are fully accepted and even encouraged •  no restrictions on import or export of media messages across the national frontiers •  journalists and media professionals have full autonomy within the media organization. The Soviet Theory •  closely tied to a specific ideology—the communist •  media organizations in this system are not intended to be privately owned and are to serve the interests of the working class •  both the soviet and the authoritarian acknowledge the government as superior to the media institutions but •  The mass media in the Soviet model are expected to be self-regulatory with regard to the content of their messages •  the Soviet theory differs from the authoritarian theory in that the media organizations have a certain responsibility to meet the wishes of their audience 2 .

and balance“ •  media as a whole is pluralized. objectivity. accuracy.6/16/09 The Social Responsibility Theory •  media has certain obligations to society •  "informativeness. indicating "a reflection of the diversity of society as well as access to various points of view” *provide an entrance to different mass media for minority groups *journalist is accountable to his audience as well as to the government How do you apply these to the Philippine political context? 3 . truth.

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