News has a huge impact on the present society. There are various types of news which get place in the breaking news. Some of the popular categories are from the winning of grand sport events like Olympus, ASIAN games, Grand Slam, Euro Cup etc, natural disasters like Tsunami, Hurricane, earthquake etc, terrorist activities and other news with high human interest. These tragedies have a negative impact on the society. In today’s scenario when the world has become a global village, new or information about any event or tragedy at one place get spread worldwide very fast due to the network of media associations.
The aim of this study is to establish a relationship between the kind of news and its position in breaking news. It is based on hypothesis that • Media contributes in development of social construction of reality. • Breaking news items have high potential of impacting society. • Link can be established between breaking news and sensation created by analysing media content of the period followed by these events. The study is based on primary research, discourse analysis and interviews with the media professionals and viewers.
The primary research will be done by conducting interviews based on structured questionnaire. Discourse analysis will be based on content analysis of leading newspapers/news channels following each of the tragedies. III. Research Background Crelinsten (1989, 167-198), Slone (2000, 450-520), Weimann and Winn (1994, 51-89) explained in their works the emotional effect of the media stories. According to them media stories are highly sensational and selective. This is apparent from the news appearing on various media sources.
The stories about pain, killings and inhuman activities sell more than other constructive stories. The appetite of society for the bad stories has been largely commercialized by several media groups. (Altheide 1997, 647-668; Shoemaker 1996, 32-47), the news media have certainly learned to take advantages of the publics’ appetite for bad news (Altheide 1997, 647-668; Shoemaker 1996, 32-47). This assists the masses to perceive the world as more dangerous than it really is.
The media is seen as profit maximisers willing to profit that from selling any kind of news irrespective of the affect it will have on the society. The media sector was also accused for being irresponsible by various thinkers as they are able to profit from terrorism. Weimann and Winn (1994, 51-89) claimed that terrorists seek media attention. In the recent past the trend has been supporting this view. In 1972 when Arab terrorists attacked the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972, the media stories were unfavourable to the terrorist.
This annoyed them and their spokespersons were frustrated that the media attention they get focused too heavily on violence rather than on politics (Irvin 1992, 62-85). Many scholars doubt that the media attention benefits the terrorists. Irvin (1992, 62-85) gave another view regarding media coverage; the effects of media coverage for terrorist activities have three different audiences: the constituency of the terrorists, the population they attack, and the international community. The expectations of the terrorist groups differ from the audience to audience.
Terrorists may expect favourable media coverage only if the population they are fighting for have their own media. A radical Marxist perspective would suggest that it is those who hold positions of power in society have established the dominant ideology; these distort our view of the world. To clarify the Marxist concept of ideology, Louis Althusser describes ideology as ‘a distorted definition of reality’ because, “…individuals are always-ready interpolated by ideology as subjects, which necessarily leads to the last proposition: individuals are always-already subjects.
” (1971). Further, Althusser (1971) argues on the acceptance of the dominant ideology that it is easy to be a part of society accepting the dominant ideology rather than being different from the mass. The maintenance of hegemony is not simply about political and social control but the extent to which the media give “preferential access” to the definitions of those in authority (McQuail 2002, 97). Stuart Hall argues that the access given by the media to those in authority to express their view, ensures that the media reiterate the dominant ideology (1996, 427).
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