According to former MP William Hague, Britain 'has a great and vibrant tradition of a free and pluralist press and media, rich in its diversity and opinions.'(Hague; 2000). It is true that in the past decades, the British newspaper market has always been referred to as being effervescent and a model of what the press should be like, if it is to match the idea of pluralism, or the view that society is complex and formed of competing groups of interest, though none of which have constant predominance or influence on the others. This view, adapted to the press industry, would induce that the British newspaper market is autonomous and independent from the state. However, it should be contrasted, as it ignores certain relationships that can exist between the media and centers of influence as well as interest groups in the British society. This is why we need to study in what aspects can the British newspaper market be seen as pluralist, regarding its structure in the industry, the process in which it is produced and its effect on the audience. In a second argument, however, we will contrast this view of the press market and the pluralist assumption that British newspapers are free from influence in a capitalist society such as Britain, according to the radical or Marxist approach of the British newspaper industry, in order to determine how the extent to which it corresponds to the model of a free press is limited, in terms of its structure as a market, the line of attack it embeds in the production of its papers and the effects such a prejudiced market can have on the economical, social and political aspects of the press and the society as a whole.
[...] What seems to have been a recent development, however, is that pressure upon the press went from strict control by the superstructure to tolerated bias carried out by the technostructure, or the corporations which own the British newspapers, resulting in a highly influential press for the readership and a regression in the far-reaching process of a truly pluralist newspaper market. Bibliography Brown, M ‘Telegraph editor first: My politics are my own business', Media Guardian, Monday 6 October, p.3. Curran, J Media and Power, London: Routledge, pp Curran, J. [...]
[...] (Paton Walsh; 2003:8) Thus, compared to other countries, the fact that the British Press evolves in a society that is seen as democratic in a pluralist approach can be considered a guarantee of a free and creative production of news, which is also responsive to audience demands, as it tries to be in symbiosis with what its readership wants to read. Moreover, increased competition for advertisers forces the editors to respond positively to this demand in order not to risk losing a readership which is seen in a pluralist view as responsive to what it reads and as having a choice of what it wishes to read, which has been verified in a previous argument, as we have seen that the range of news sources available is, in fact, considerable. [...]
[...] As a result, it becomes dependent upon certain views, as R.Greensalde (2003a:pg.un) points out that ‘wild swings of tone and content irritate readers.' What is more, it seems that since the content is decided from above, what the audience is reading is what it was meant to be reading, thus questioning whether the audience is genuinely free to choose its sources of information. G. Sheridan (Gardner, ed.; 1979:122) asserts that ‘What ‘press freedom' means to a Thomson or a Murdoch is the freedom to appoint the person of his choice, to decide autocratically what shall and shall not reach the eyes of millions of readers', thus questioning the idea of propaganda. [...]
[...] Thus, political parties rely heavily on the press to communicate their ideas, which is why a newspaper cannot be totally free from political bias. As an example, J.Curran (2002:230) recalls a statement from one of the closest lieutenant of Murdoch's team, Andrew Neil: ‘Rupert expects his papers to stand broadly for what he believes: a combination of right-wing republicanism from America mixed with undiluted Thatcherism from Britain' (Neil; 1996:164). Hence, it is no secret that the British press is under political influence, but pluralist analysis tends to deny that it has any links with those entitled to power in society. [...]
[...] Media, politics and culture, a socialist view, London: Macmillan, pp Sparks, C.1999. The Press', in The Media in Britain, ed. J.Stokes and A. Reading, London: Macmillan, pp Stephenson, H. and Bromley, M Sex, Lies and Democracy: the press and the public, New York: Longman, p.23. Tiffen, R News and Power, Sidney: Allen & Unwin. Whale, J The politics of the media, London: Fontana. Technocrats, according to J.K Galbraith's definition, are a group of highly skilled technicians or corporate managers who influence the decisions made by the ideological component of society, [...]
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