Study Question Response: External Pressures on Media Professionals

Approximately 300+ words per question (about one page per each set of study questions plus one page of commentary) 1200–1500 words

Respond to questions using well-developed paragraphs.
Criteria: There is no need to cite sources unless you use a direct quote or refer to a specific claim or set of ideas.
Topic: Many news organizations have articulated professional ethical standards. However, economic and political interests may lead journalists and their employers to choose to override ethical considerations in order to promote personal or corporate interests. This assignment asks you to focus on specific dimensions of these pressures.
For each of the units in Part 3, choose one set of study questions (i.e., one reading) to respond to. You do not need to literally answer every question, but compose a thoughtful reflection on the topic using them as guidelines. Finally, write a concluding commentary summarizing what you have learned by explaining connecting themes and arguments.

Study Questions

On the last page of Chapter 5 in Morals and the Media, Russell presents three “Tough Calls.” Please answer these three questions for each “tough call” situation.

  1. According to Russell’s categories, what type of economic pressure is being exerted?
  2. What key issues are involved?
  3. Is there an obvious “right choice?” Why or why not?

Study Questions

  1. Sum up Bagdikian’s approach to analysis of media monopoly? What are some of the reviewer’s objections?
  2. McChesney provides a conservative critique of “the liberal media.” It is hard to deny that this critique serves the interest of an increasingly conservative mainstream media trying to retain an air of balance and objectivity. Why is the Internet not an alternative? Why does the reviewer not buy McChesney’s analysis of the Internet?
  3. What are the three common problems shared by the books under review?
  4. The critical assumption that neo-liberal or right wing forces have conquered the media overlooks much successful criticism of the conservative establishment. Can you give an example of movements or incidents of audience resistance to corporate media pressures on public opinion?

Study Questions

  1. What are the benefits to mass media organizations of the coverage of terrorism? Why do media and terrorism have a symbiotic relationship?
  2. What is the most frequent terrorist technique for influencing the mass media? What are the four main objectives?
  3. How do terrorist techniques correspond to the “pseudo-event” strategy described by Boorstin?
  4. Give an example of media irresponsibility that has directly threatened the efforts of the police in terrorism cases. What can the media do to frustrate the aims of terrorists, and what policy options do we have with regard to media response to terrorism?

Chapter 8

Study Questions

  1. According to Russell, in what three ways does the government overtly manipulate the media?
  2. What are some other examples of overt manipulation? Explain using at least one example, either from Russell or another source.
  3. Explain some of the ethical problems associated with the distribution of information through press releases and media events.
  4. Why, according to Russell, are broadcasters particularly vulnerable to government manipulation? What role does the CRTC play

Study Questions

  1. What two views of public relations are introduced? Is it all about persuasion?
  2. What are four reasons that PR professionals are viewed with suspicion as unethical?
  3. Explain the difference between enlightened self-interest and Community/Communitarian/Social Responsibility. Likewise, explain the difference between partisan values and mutual values.
  4. How does the term “public conscience” capture the obligation of public relations professionals to best serve society?

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