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Thursday, 19 September 2019

Understanding Media for Democratization (Rest Unit)

Unit II Media for Dialogue
 
Media and democratic process

Debate, Assent and Dissent Public journalism, Multi-layered process; Empowerment; Local
values; MacBride recommendations.
The MacBride Report with the title Many Voices, One World (MacBride & al., 1980) was
published in 1980, and it immediately became a classic in international media studies. But soon
its profile began to decline, mainly because its main sponsor UNESCO turned its attention to
other topics and let it go out of print.
The MacBride Report stands as a milestone of history. It was not primarily a scientific exercise
of discovering the state of communication in the world but first and foremost a political exercise
in taking stock of the socio-economic forces in the world at that time. The Report in the context
of what is known as the "global media debate" (Gerbner & al., 1993). Actually the debate got at
times so political and high profile that it is justified to call it "great media debate". The debate
was simultaneously on several topics, including the worldwide imbalance of media facilities
and flows as well as on the lack of accuracy and fairness in international news reporting,
particularly concerning the developing countries in the Western media. The concept of a New
World Information and Communication Order, NWICO, became the most central element in
this debate.
The MacBride Commission also ended up with its report Many Voices, One World promoting
the overall approach "towards a new, more just and more efficient world information and
communication order", to use the words of its subtitle.
Multi-layered process (p.95, Media for Participatory Democracy by P.Kharel): In order to pave
the way for Informed Decision, we need to have a well-informed initiator of a communication programme. Such programme can generate an extensive discussion that does not deviate from
the central issue.
Empowerment (p.100, Media for Participatory Democracy by P.Kharel) : A message from news
media could be repressive or expressive statement. In order to become a tool for public
empowerment, media engagement with the contemporary world must have all-embracing and
relevant contents, reflecting and echoing the overall composition of society...Fair and democratic
political systems are based on trusted channels of communication and credible watchdog.
Local values (p.112, Media for Participatory Democracy by P.Kharel): "Democracy demands a
tack to put the dialogue process on track, and decentralization is an approach to narrowcast focus
on micro-management. Decentralization is closely linked with the democratic functioning fo a
political system."
Narrowcasting is about precisely delivering the right tailored content to the right people, at the
right time, and at the right place.Also called niche marketing or target
marketing, narrowcasting involves aiming media messages at specific segments of the public
defined by values, preferences, demographic attributes, and/or subscription. Narrowcasting is
based on the postmodern idea that mass audiences do not exist.

Unit III Inclusiveness in Messages and Media Channels

Channel choices and participatory voices (print, radio, TV, online); Staggered loss of voice
(the village loses to urban centres, the average individual loses to the elite, the small loses to
the big, and small states lose out to big states); Diversity and reach; Heterogeneous societies.
Channel choices and participatory voices (p.193, Media for Participatory Democracy by
P.Kharel): First there should be multiple channels of communication. Second, the channels
should ensure diversity of opinions and issues covered.

Heterogeneous societies (p.149, Media for Participatory Democracy by P.Kharel): A multi-
ethnic society is a composite of distinctive and definable communities. They are together and

equal.
Diversity denotes plurality and co-existence.
Diversity in political formations and equations enables citizens empowerment, giving a hearing
and space to different groups and strands of thoughts. Divergant views in society are natural.
Intolerance creates conflict, disharmony and violence in the absence of efforts to discuss.

Unit IV Media in Political Campaigning and Agenda Setting


Role of media in political/advocacy campaigning; Chequebook/paid journalism and politics;
Who sets agenda – media or political actors?; Impact of media strategies by political actors on
democratic institutions.
Communicating to voters and potential supporters through the media is a challenge for every
campaign, especially in areas where the media might be controlled by other parties or interests.
But working strategically with the media can really pay off for your campaign, allowing you to
reach more voters and persuade them with your message.
A strategic communications plan will help ensure that we are maximizing every opportunity to
inform, inspire and motivate our supporters through the media. This module covers the tools and
skills needed to build this communications plan, which will attract attention to your campaign
from both traditional (television, radio and newspaper) and new (Internet, blogs and social
media) media. Topics covered include:
1. Developing a Strategic Communications Plan
2. Working with the Media
3. Organizing Effective Media Events
4. The Media Toolkit
5. New Media Communication
A strategic communications plan, or media strategy, is a plan for getting positive coverage of the
campaign through the media that our target voters use the most, in order to communicate our
message to these voters. Political campaigns benefit greatly from a well-run media outreach
programme.
The steps involved in developing a strategic communications plan are similar to those for other
aspects of campaign planning. They are to:
Determine the objective(s);
Define the key audiences;
Identify the most important media outlets for the campaign;
and, Create a tactical outreach plan of events and activities designed to generate the coverage we
want and on the platforms we need in order to reach our key audiences.
Agenda setting
Is attention for issues initiated by political elites and do the media follow suit, or are the media
the ones who initiate issue attention and is it the political elites that react afterwards?
The growing literature on the agenda-setting influence of the media points to a number of
patterns. A long series of single-country studies suggests that the media may set the agenda of
politics more than the other way around (using Danish data); that the media matter more for
symbolic than for substantial political initiatives,(using Belgian data);that negative news sparks
more political reaction than positive news ,(using Danish data) ;that the agenda of opposition
parties is more determined by the media than that of government parties, (using Danish data);
that politics is more reactive to media coverage when it comes to foreign policy issues, (with American data); or that, more generally, the media‘s agenda-setting influence varies across issue
types,(with Canadian data).Some of these single-country findings have been confirmed through
other country studies, but most have not.
The power of the news media to set a nation’s agenda, to focus public attention on a few key
public issues, is an immense and well-documented influence. Not only do people acquire factual
information about public affairs from the news media, readers and viewers also learn how much
importance to attach to a topic on the basis of the emphasis placed on it in the news. Newspapers
provide a host of cues about the salience of the topics in the daily news – lead story on page one,
other front page display, large headlines, etc. Television news also offers numerous cues about
salience – the opening story on the newscast, length of time devoted to the story, etc. These cues
repeated day after day effectively communicate the importance of each topic. In other words, the
news media can set the agenda for the public‘s attention to that small group of issues around
which public opinion forms.
The media agenda presented to the public results from countless dayto-day decisions by many
different journalists and their supervisors about the news of the moment. The public agenda – the
focus of public attention – is commonly assessed by public opinion polls that ask some variation
of the long-standing Gallup Poll question, ―What is the most important problem facing this
country today?‖. Comparisons of the media agenda in the weeks preceding these opinion polls
measuring the public agenda yield significant evidence of the agenda-setting role of the news
media.
In particular, the people are quite able to determine the basic relevance – to themselves and to the
larger public arena – of the topics and attributes advanced by the news media. The media set the
agenda only when citizens perceive their news stories as relevant.

Unit V Politics and Propaganda

Political actors and media factors; Statement in content; Mouthpieces and manipulation.
Propaganda: Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political
cause or point of view.
At its most basic, propaganda is biased or misleading information circulated via some form of
mass media with the intent of promoting a political agenda or viewpoint.
Propaganda is deliberately not objective and is usually part of a larger psychological campaign
to influence people toward a specific opinion
Black propaganda contrasts with grey propaganda which does not identify its source,
and white propaganda which does not disguise its origins at all. It is typically used to vilify,
embarrass, or misrepresent the enemy. ... Black propaganda purports to emanate from a source
other than the true source.
A common characteristic of propaganda is volume (in the sense of a large amount).
Individually propaganda functions as self-deception. .In fact, advertising and public relations can be thought of as propaganda that promotes a
commercial product or shapes the perception of an organization, person or brand
In his book book Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (1965), the French philosopher
and sociologist Jacques Ellul describes some of the characteristics of modern propaganda.
1.It Prevents dialogue.
―To be effective, propaganda cannot be concerned with detail... Propaganda ceases where simple
dialogue begins... it does not tolerate discussion; by its very nature, it excludes contradiction and
discussion.‖
2. It focuses on the mass
―For propaganda to address itself to the individual, in his isolation, apart from the crowd, is
impossible. The individual is of no interest to the propagandist; as an isolated unit he presents
too much resistance to external action... The most favorable moment to seize a man and
influence him is when he is alone in the mass: it is at this point that propaganda can be most
effective.‖
3. It is “total”
―Propaganda must be total. The propagandist must utilize all of the technical means at his
disposal – the press, radio, TV, movies, posters, meetings, door-to-door canvassing. Modern
propaganda must utilize all of these media. There is no propaganda as long as one makes use, in
sporadic fashion and at random, of a newspaper article here, a poster or a radio program there,
organizes a few meetings and lectures, writes a few slogans on walls; that is not propaganda.‖
4. It takes over education
―Education and training are inevitably taken over, as the Napoleonic Empire demonstrated for
the first time. No contrast can be tolerated between teaching and propaganda, between the critical
spirit formed by higher education and the exclusion of independent thought. One must utilize the
education of the young to condition them to what comes later.‖
5. It takes over literature and history
―Propaganda will take over literature (present and past) and history, which must be rewritten
according to propaganda‘s needs.‖
6. It must be subtle at first
―Direct propaganda, aimed at modifying opinions and attitudes, must be preceded by propaganda
that is sociological in character, slow, general, seeking to create a climate, an atmosphere of
favorable preliminary attitudes... The ground must be sociologically prepared before one can
proceed to direct prompting.‖
7. It must be nonstop
―[Propaganda] must fill the citizen‘s whole day and all his days... Propaganda tends to make the
individual live in a separate world; he must not have outside points of reference... successful
propaganda will occupy every moment of the individual‘s life: through posters and loudspeakers
when he is out walking, through radio and newspapers at home, through meetings and movies in
the evening. The individual must not be allowed to recover, to collect himself, to remain
untouched by propaganda during any relatively long period... It is based on slow, constant
impregnation.‖
8. It aims at irrational action
―The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no
longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a
process of action. It is no longer to lead to a choice, but to loosen the reflexes. It is no longer to
transform an opinion, but to arouse an active and mythical belief.‖
Statement in content (p.142, Media for Participatory Democracy by P.Kharel)
Mouthpieces and manipulation (p.148, Media for Participatory Democracy by P.Kharel)

Unit VI New Media and Political Process
Role of new media in political process: how the new media have changed political activities
and media coverage of politics; Credibility and ethics.
Social media enable individuals to share knowledge, experiences, opinions, and ideas among
each other. With regard to political sector, social media can be an enabler for participation and
democracy among citizens. As the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaigns have shown, social
media platforms such as social network sites (SNSs), microblogging services or weblogs can also
be successfully used by political actors to disseminate information to voters as well as to contact
and discuss with them.
Legacy media consisting of established mass media institutions that predate the Internet, such as
newspapers, radio shows, and television news programs, coexist with new media that are the
outgrowth of technological innovation. While legacy media maintain relatively stable formats,
the litany of new media, which includes websites, blogs, video-sharing platforms, digital apps,
and social media, are continually expanding in innovative ways. Mass media designed to deliver
general interest news to broad audiences have been joined by niche sources that narrowcast to
discrete users. New media can relay information directly to individuals without the intervention
of editorial or institutional gatekeepers, which are intrinsic to legacy forms. Thus, new media have introduced an increased level of instability and unpredictability into the political
communication process.
The medium of the web (Parry, 2011, p.350): there are five key characteristics that make the web
exceptionally powerful as a medium:
Multiformat : Audio, video, and text are delivered simultaneously, which makes for rich content.
Storable: Everything ever created as a web page can be stored indefinitely; the ultimate archive.
Searchable: Because web pages can be tagged, the required text or images can be looked for; the
ultimate card index.
Collaborative: The web can act like a giant conference call so people feel involved. It creates
teams and communities.
On demand: All the content sits on a server somewhere ready to be viewed or downloaded as the
user decides. There are no schedulers or editors. The medium does not have linear constraints.

Unit VII Modern Trends and Media Issues
Different forms of promotional political cultures; Social movements and interest groups;
Image cultivation and handling of journalists: bonding journalists and relationship between
PR practitioners and journalists; preparing material for the press and managing press
conferences.
Managing press conferences [special events]
[PRs 20th century American phenomena]
[The objective of public relations is the development of favorable public opinion of a social, economic, or
political institution.]
Image: Perception, Real & Constructed
An image is synthetic. It is planned: created especially to serve a purpose, to make a certain kind
of impression." (A person's image is) "a visible public personality as distinguished from an
inward private character.
PR and reasoned persuasion (characteristics): known source, clear intent, reasoned argument,
factual accuracy, and positive but limited emotional appeal. It is dialogic, respectful of its
audiences, open to challenge, ready to amend and willing to reply (Theaker, 2009,p.98).
"By our very use of the term we imply that something can be done to it; the image can always be
more or less successfully synthesized, doctored, repaired, refurbished, and improved, quite apart
from [though not entirely independent of] the spontaneous original of which the image is the
public portrait."
McNair (2003,p.136) notes that in the concept of political communication 'media management
comprises activities designed to maintain a positive-media relationship, acknowledging the needs
which each has of the other, while exploiting the institutional charactistics of both sets of actor
for maximum advantage'. However, at the same time the relationship between politicians and teh
media can obviously involve a struggle between two different sets of interests and agendas
(Theaker, 2009, p.36).

Reference:
Hough 3rd, George A. (1991). News Writing, 4th ed. Delhi: Goyl saab.
Theaker, Alison (2009). The public relations handbook. London: Routledge.
Parry, Roger (2011). The ascent of media from gilgamesh to google via Gutenberg. Londaon: provided by Dr. Kundan Aryal
Understanding Media for Democratization (Rest Unit) Reviewed by K.D on 17:44 Rating: 5 Unit II Media for Dialogue   Media and democratic process Debate, Assent and Dissent Public journalism, Multi-layered process; Empowe...

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