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To what extent is the British newspaper market is a pluralist market?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The newspaper market in the perspective of a pluralist democracy.
    1. Results the evolution of the British newspaper market.
    2. Dependence on advertising revenue.
    3. A free and creative production of news.
  3. The general Marxist view of capitalism.
    1. Resultant increase of concentrated ownership and corporations.
    2. The production of goods in a capitalist system.
    3. The content of news as controlled from above.
  4. Questioning the alleged diversity of the British press and its effect on the audience.
    1. One of the main effects of a politically biased press.
    2. Keeping other groups in place by serving the interests of certain groups.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

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. [...]


[...] In a pluralist view of the British newspaper market, the press is said to have very little effect on social, economical and political aspects of the society, as liberal analysts assert that, In contrast to previous epochs characterized by a party-controlled press, or media moguls [ ] who sought to exercise personal and unaccountable power, the new generation of media managers are more inclined to be market-oriented pragmatists. (Emery 1972, Hoyer et al 1975, Whale 1977, Koss 1984, in Curran 2002:130) Indeed, we can assume that these corporations are more commercially driven and seeking profit than they are motivated by ideological challenges and propaganda. [...]

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