The British Press Essay Research Paper It — страница 4

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response the press, and particularly the tabloids became market led products run by pragmatists. At least, this is the theory – that the content of the press is audience led, but this is indeed a questionable theory – indeed how much call is there for a front page full-size photograph of Elton John with his face in Elizabeth Hurley’s chest (The Sun, Thursday 30 March 2000). Curran claims that media professionals are not in touch with what their audiences actually want, but have, and have put into practice strong views what their readerships need. Gans6 argues that the news and media organisations are one of the most powerful features of today’s society, Curran quotes him, “while big business corporations are ‘nominal managers’, news organisations and journalists are

the actual ones”. But although the elongated hierarchies of news organisations (The Mirror Group, IPC, Reuters etc.) have become very powerful, there are still strong elements of individual autonomy in the tabloid press. On particular stories, journalists are rarely given a specific line to take (with the exception of intrinsic lines – a Guardian reporter could not feasibly take a fascist line) and are rarely told to conceal any information on their story. Gans’ sweeping statements have their flaws – journalists are on a tighter rein than they actually imagine often; they may be sub edited or unpublished so it is evident that the hierarchical infrastructures of the media organisations are the controllers of what we read. Is this fair though? Should massive business

corporations be in charge of what the people of Britain read, or should there be correct implementations and measures to ensure that the public are presented with what they want to be? A strand of the media hypothesis ‘liberal optimism’ claims that the press is reflective of “the cultural values of a socially harmonious society” and the assumptions and premises in the press are framed by the common culture of society. What Curran call the liberal synthesis is that the “News media can be seen as being shaped by consumer demand, the professional concerns of media workers, pluralistic source networks, and the collective values of society”. This seems slightly optimistic as there are few procedures which show what the readership actually want. In conclusion, it’s clear

that tabloid newspaper do warrant criticism. But what is also clear is that the success of the tabloids is dependent on the entertainment value they provide to the public – and this is why they are so successful. The sensation and excitement people find in the tabloids and the gossip they include is a recipe for success in what seems like a society craving for more and more information. It seems that because in today’s highly advanced (technologically) society, we have as much information available as is imaginable, and so to remain profitable, papers (particularly tabloids) have to find different information to present. It seems like the tabloids have developed an enviable format however, because papers like the Guardian and The Times have taken on a far more ‘tabloid’

appearance than they ever had before, with colour and panels showing the highlights of the papers contents inside – Williams calls this “bright and breezy – easy on the eye”7. This is a growing model known as ‘tabloidisation’. The question still remains about how far the tabloids should go in the pursuit and presentation of this information, but it is clear that although there are many critics, there are more supporters.