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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