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Role of Media in Democracy

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					                                        Chapter1- Role of Media in a Democracy


Outfoxed: Rupert Murdock’s War on Journalism

What does Rupert Murdock own?

New Corporation:                          US Revenues: June 30, 2005                 $23.859 billion**
                                          US Revenues: June 30, 2006                 $26 billion

                                          Total Assets: 2006                         $58 billion

Taken: from News Corp web site: News Corp had total assets as of September 30, 2006 of approximately US$58 billion and total
annual revenues of approximately US$26 billion. News Corporation is a diversified entertainment company with operations in eight industry
segments: filmed entertainment; television; cable network programming; direct broadcast satellite television; magazines and inserts;
newspapers; book publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental
Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and the Pacific Basin.


70% of the company's sales come from its US businesses.

CEO and Chairman:              Murdoch was born in Australia

                               Became a naturalized US citizen so he could own American television stations

In 1986- Fox Broadcasting Company was launched                                       over 96% of U.S. households.

Employees 47,000 employees


                                   Popular shows and media owned by News Corp.

      Television Programming                               Studio (1979)                            Others
American Idol                                       Star Wars                              TV Guide
Fox College Sports                                  Titanic                                New York Post
OC                                                  Speed                                  My Space (05) $550 m
24                                                  X-Men
Family Guy                                          Cannonball Run
Cops                                                Die Hard
King of the Hill                                    Home Alone

**This does not include News Corporation's share of the revenue of businesses in which it owns a
minority stake, which include two of its most important assets, DirecTV and BSkyB.


The goal of a corporation is to _____________________________.

How can Media Corporation make money?


News shows aren’t as popular now so how can they make money?



          What might happen to local news?
1. What does the film say about Rupert Murdock’s view on Journalism? What techniques does his
company use that are unconventional?


       1. Ad lib Comments

       2. New stories and features come from the top office—
              through the use of Fox Memos


       3. News is opinion- because opinion can’t be proved false “Some People Say”




       Uses Slogans

       The film sees a problem with the use of this slogan –“Fair and Balanced”. Why?

               Unbalanced use of experts.

               Time of Republican and Democratic politicians




       Fox News, We Report, You Decide




2. The Importance of Journalism in a democracy

“Media is the nervous system of a democracy. If it’s not functioning well, the democracy can’t
function.” Jeff Cohen, Former MSNBV/Fox News Contributor --taken from Outfoxed film

       Definition of Democracy
       The political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected
       representatives
       A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to
       represent them


How does Fox network undermine a democracy?
How do they show that a strong government will help solve our fears?




Fairness Doctrine

The Federal Communications Commission rule required broadcast stations to both air and engage in
controversial-issue programs that affected their communities and , when offering such programming, to
provide competing points of view. Ended in mid 1987




3. List examples from the film where News Corp didn’t follow these guidelines. (taken from Page
490 in textbook)

                         Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

1. Seek Truth and Report It

   Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on
    sources’ reliability




   Make sure headlines, news release and promotional material, photos…… do not misrepresent. They
    should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context.




   Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and
    not misrepresent fact or context.
2. Minimize Harm
 Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special
    sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.




3. Act Independently

   Avoid conflict of interest, real or perceived.




   Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.




4. Be Accountable

   Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.




4. Why is the Fox news being targeted and how is it different than ABC, CBS or NBC?

According to Gene Kimel, Dir. Of Public Policy and Advocacy Consumer Union, Rupert Murdoch holds a
“strong, conservative point-of- view that [his] properties often reflect, its different than ABC, CBS, or NBC.
Sure, they reflect point-of-view but not nearly as strong or consistently strong from one ideological
perspective.”


What do you think? What is the motivation of Robert Greenwald to make this film?
Themes in the Film
      1. Corporate ownership- Mega Conglomerates
              a. A few people have control over what we see, and hear.



        2. Role of Journalism in a Democracy
               a. Fairness doctrine




5. Does this film promote Libertarianism philosophy or a Social Responsibility theory?




6. Now that you have seen this film, how has your views changed or been reinforced regarding
Libertarianism or Social Responsibility Theories. Explain.




7. List the steps the film suggest to take action against this corporation?

				
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