- Slides: 34
Normative Theories of Mass Communication
Normative Theory • It is a type of theory that describes an ideal way of the media should be structured and operated within the society
What is Normative Theory ? • • This theory explains how ideal media ought to operate with specific system of social values. Theories of the press and its role in a society would fit in this category. It is a synthesis of ideas developed over the past four centuries.
Four Theories of the Press Siebert, Peterson & Schramn (1956) proposed that the press system is divided into four categories: n 1. Authoritarian Theory n 2. Libertarian Theory n 3. Social Responsibility Theory n 4. Soviet-Totalitarian Theory n
Normative Theories n n The Four theories of the press are the Normative theories i. e. These theories were based on observations and not from hypotheses testing. The authors (Siebert, Peterson & Schramm, 1956) divided the world’s press into four categories as mentioned above.
1. Authoritarian Theory A. DEVELOPMENT: n 16 th & 17 th century England. Widely adopted and still in practice in many places. n B. PHILOSOPHY: n Philosophy of absolute monarch, his government or both. n
1. Authoritarian Theory C. MAIN PURPOSE: n To support and advance the policies of the government in power and to serve the state. n D. WHO HAS THE RIIGHT TO USE THE MEDIA: n Whoever get the royal patent or similar permission. n
1. Authoritarian Theory E. HOW ARE THE MEDIA CONTROLLED? n Government patents , guilds, licensing, sometimes censorship. n F. WHAT IS PROHBITED? n Criticism of the political machinery and officials in power. n
1. Authoritarian Theory G. OWNERSHIP: n Private or public n H. ESSENTIAL DIFERENCE FROM OTHERS: n Instrument for effecting government policy , through not necessary government owned. n
2. Libertarian Theory A. DEVELOPMENT: n Adopted by England after 1688 and in the U. S. Influential elsewhere. n B. PHILOSOPHY: n Writing of Milton, Locke, Mill and general philosophy or rationalism and natural rights. n
2. Libertarian Theory C. MAIN PURPOSE: n To inform, entertain, sell – but chiefly to help discover truth and to check on the government. n D. WHO HAS THE RIIGHT TO USE THE MEDIA: n Anyone with economic means to do so n
2. Libertarian Theory E. HOW ARE THE MEDIA CONTROLLED? n By ‘self right process of truth’ in ‘free market place of ideas’ and by courts. n F. WHAT IS PROHBITED? n Defamation, obscenity, indecency, wartime sedition n
2. Libertarian Theory G. OWNERSHIP: n Chiefly private n H. ESSENTIAL DIFERENCE FROM OTHERS: n Instrument for checking on government and meeting other needs of society n
Strength & Weakness of Libertarianism STRENGTH: n Value media freedom. n Values individuals. n Preclude (prevent from happening) government control of media n
Strength & Weakness of Libertarianism n n n WEAKNESS It is overly optimistic about media willingness to meet responsibilities. It is overly optimistic about individuals’ ethics and rationality. Ignores the need for reasonable control of media. Ignores the dilemmas posed by conflicting freedoms (e. g free press vs personal privacy)
3. Social Responsibility A. DEVELOPMENT: n In the U. S. in the 20 th century n B. PHILOSOPHY n Writing of R. M Hutchins on freedom of Press, and practitioners , media codes n Commission on Press Freedom in 1947 n
3. Social Responsibility C. MAIN PURPOSE: n To inform, entertain, sell but chiefly to raise conflict to the plane of discussion. n D. WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO USE THE MEDIA: n Everyone who has something to say n
3. Social Responsibility E. HOW ARE THE MEDIA CONTROLLED? n Community opinion, consumers action, professional ethics. n F. WHAT IS PROHBITED? n Serious intervention of recognized private rights and vital social interests n
3. Social Responsibility n n G. OWNERSHIP: Private unless government has to take over to ensure public service. H. ESSENTIAL DIFERENCE FROM OTHERS: Media must assume obligation of social responsibility and if they do not, someone must see that they do
Strength & Weakness of the Social Responsibility STRENGTH n Values media responsibility n Value audience responsibility n Limit media intrusion in media operation n Allows reasonable government control of media n
Strength & Weakness of the Social Responsibility Values diversity and pluralism n Aids the ‘powerless’ n Appeals to the best instincts of media practitioners and audience n
Strength & Weakness of the Social Responsibility n n n WEAKNESSES It is overly optimistic about media willingness to meet responsibility. It is overly optimistic about individual responsibility. Underestimate the power of profit motivation & competition. Legitimizes status quo
4. Soviet Totalitarian Theory n n A. DEVELOPMENT: In Soviet Union, although some of the same things were done by Nazis & Italians. B. PHILOSOPHY: Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist thought, with mixture of Hagel and the 19 century Russian thinking.
4. Soviet Totalitarian Theory n n C. MAIN PURPOSE: To continue to the success and continuance of the Soviet Socialist System especially that led to the dictatorship of the party. D. WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO USE THE MEDIA: Loyal and orthodox party members
4. Soviet Totalitarian Theory E. HOW ARE THE MEDIA CONTROLLED? n Surveillance and economic or political action of government n F. WHAT IS PROHBITED? n Criticism of the party objectives as distinguish from tactics n
4. Soviet Totalitarian Theory G. OWNERSHIP: n Public n H. ESSENTIAL DIFERENCE FROM OTHERS: n State owned and closely controlled media existing solely as arms of eh state. n
5. Democratic–Participant Media Theory n n A. DEVELOPMENT: Democratic–Participant theory reflects public disillusionment with both of its predecessors: Libertarian and Social Responsibility theories, because of their failure to deliver social benefits expected of them.
5. Democratic–Participant Media Theory n n B. PHILOSOPHY: It reflects public “reaction against the commercialisation and monopolisation of privately owned media and against the centralism and bureaucratisation of public broadcasting institutions
5. Democratic–Participant Media Theory n n C. MAIN PURPOSE: In the place of monopolisation, it calls for pluralism; in place of centralism it advocates decentralisation and localism. It insists that media conglomerates be replaced or at least juxtaposed with smallscale media enterprises.
5. Democratic–Participant Media Theory n n C. MAIN PURPOSE: It calls for “horizontal” in place of “topdown” communication, a concern for feedback in social-political communication and an acknowledgement of the feedback so as to realise the “completed communication circuit” It assumes equality between sender and receiver
6. Development Media Theory n n n A. DEVELOPMENT: This theory seeks to explain the normative behaviour of the press in countries that are conventionally classified together as “developing countries” or “third world countries”. It, too, is not easy to locate in any particular institution or country, because it encompasses a great variety of fluctuating economic and political conditions
6. Development Media Theory n n Major Tenets: Media must accept and carry out positive development tasks in line with nationally established policy. Freedom of the media should be open to economic priorities and development needs of the society. Media should give priority in their content to the national culture and language(s).
6. Development Media Theory n n n Major Tenets: Media should give priority in news and information to links with other developing countries, which are close geographically, culturally or politically. Journalists and other media workers have responsibilities as well a freedom in their information gathering and dissemination tasks.
6. Development Media Theory n n Major Tenets: In the interest of development ends, the state has a right to intervene in, or restrict, media operation; and devices of censorship, subsidy and direct control can be justified.