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Is News Created or Reported by the Media?

“News is not simply reported by the media, it is created by the media.” Discuss.

"The 'content' of the newspapers is not fact about the world, but in a very general sense 'ideas'." Fowler

(Roger Folwer - Language in the News - Routledge - 1991 - Pg.1)

In today's society it would be naïve to assume that the news we receive is unbiased. It is safe to say the facts are reported if someone is murdered, the story maybe covered in the news, but the placement of the piece, emotive language used, duration or any other factors involved would immediately inform the audience to the merit of the story. In effect dictating to the viewer the version of reality 'they.,' the media/government want us, the audience to see. The factors that govern what is reported are news valves and as it is recognised that this code of conduct exists we can, I personally feel, say that the media can, and does, reflect the political agenda or climate.

The question of the news being created has been a topic of discussion since the dawn of media studies. There are several different political theories or traditions of thought. The three I have chosen to concentrate on are the liberal, Marxist and pluralist theories. All to some extent see society as maintainable, they agree that the structure of society can be altered not by personal level events but by major structures, such as legalisation and reform. To understand each theory better we must first look at how each theory or idea is applied to our society and in this case the construction of the news, starting first with liberalism. This body of thought was established by the end of the eighteenth-century. It's economic theories favour the development of capitalism, seeing society as a group of 'rational individuals in pursuit of their self-interest.' Direction from the state is not needed, it's job is merely to provide 'external defence and internal order'. James Curran wrote:

"A view of society as a system of class exploitation gave way to a new definition of reality in which different sections of the community were portrayed as being independent, with shared interest in common. The portrayal of labour as the source of wealth was replaced by the portrayal; of 'profit' as the mainspring of the economy."
( Ed. James Curran - Mass Communication as a social force, in the media: Context of Study - Open...

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