Television has become increasingly important in today's society and it has become a tool for expressing an opinion or conveying a message to the public. It is also able to influence other fields in the social space through which it enables a series of interactions. It also determines the consequences of economic constraints in a society. We will try to examine some of these internal constraints (and their consequences) that rule the television industry, along with some examples which can explain the situation.
[...] There is also a trend to dramatisation and Manicheism in showing information as a show; as Bourdieu says, debates are "modeled on wrestling": the main issue lies mostly in the opposition between individuals, more than in the solutions they could propose for the real social or politic problems. As a result, the real problems are evacuated from "political" debates, which tend to resemble in fact to empty chats between people who only want to appear on television in order to get known from the potential electors The influence of television on all fields of cultural production Bourdieu's analysis of the journalistic field is conducted from the perspective of the changes that television has wrought not only on this field, but on all fields of cultural production. [...]
[...] But where Marx saw society as a whole conditioned by the relations of production - the "class struggle" - Bourdieu sees society as a “collection of sets compartmentalised and divided. This collection of sets is the result of a complex historical phenomenon called differentiation, which is used as a principle of distribution of power. These various sets are called fields. Thus, Bourdieu mentions the economic, literary, scientific and journalistic fields, for example. The origin of the various fields remains unclear; Bourdieu does not explain the emergence of fields in certain areas and not in others. [...]
[...] Since television is able to reach millions of people, 50-seconds appearance on television can have more impact than 50'000 demonstrators Thus, this social construction may mobilise or demobilise people by, for instance, making them think that people are concerned about one problem like nuclear power, rather than another like growing poverty. Without television channels, the "OJ Simpson case", surely would not have become an "ethnic tragedy" of a black man having killed his white wife and being pursued on a highway and on every channel by police cars "Invisible censorship" and "fast thinkers" This construction of a new media reality obeys an implicit rule of censorship: to be easily understandable by a large audience, which determines the advertising revenue, the message must be simple, clear and short. [...]
[...] The various fields are thus in competition one with another: each actor wants to valorise the relative value of his own kind of capital The social re-construction of reality through television One of the main points of Bourdieu's book is that television provides far less autonomy or freedom than it claims. Firstly, it is important to know that television, as a media, is engaged in a process of selection. Because it cannot show the whole world in a complete way, it has to make a selection from what is real and convert it into words and images. [...]
[...] The logic of this field tends to influence our whole view of the social world, since what we see on television is said to be real and objective. Nevertheless, Bourdieu's description of the journalistic field looks very mechanical. We can question the relative independence of actors in this field from the "dictatorship of ratings." Public and private TV channels do not have the same constraints concerning advertising revenue, which means that public channels may have a larger margin to work in a more "ethical" way, even if their dependence on ratings tends to occur more and more frequently, for instance when a program is cancelled because of lack of viewers. [...]
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