News is expensive! and people expect it for free! News broadcasters and papers have, like the music industry before them, lost control of their distribution!
Here is our last case study. Social Media regulation, but in this case there is no regulatory body! Except the social media platforms themselves!
The problem stems from one significant difference between social media and our previous case studies. Social media companies are global organisations. So, whilst it’s relatively easy to regulate adverts and news within the borders of a country, global regulation is highly problematic.
The other essential issue which prevents social media companies from being regulated is, are they a publisher or are they a platform?
Essential watching: A quiz from Mrs Cobb to follow – See Task 10 below:
It is impossible to regulate these American companies who have the protection offered by Section 230 of the American Communications and Decency Act 1996, which states platforms cannot be prosecuted for content posted by their users.
what has been the impact of this? Fake news? Hate speech? Racism? A divided society and weakened democracies?
Here’s Mr Gregson explaining the content of this post
So why is freedom of speech considered to be such an important human right?
Well, to answer that we have to go back to The Enlightenment and the birth of America…
You need to remember that the early American settlers were refugees, who were fleeing from religious persecution and tyrannical monarchies. They were looking for a very different system of government, that was:
‘Government By The People, For The People and Of the People.’
So they started to codify these beliefs in a Bill of Rights, which was then amended a number of times. These amendments were designed to state, in law, the fundamental freedoms of the American people.
The very first amendment was to protect freedom of speech and freedom of expression, because after all, if you are a tyrannical church or monarch, the best way to oppress your subjects is to ban different point of view and kill those who hold them.
So the first amendment states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
So, freedom of the press, in it’s purest form, is about protecting the freedom of the citizen, it’s about the right to hold the powerful to account and is essential in any enlightened democracy!
The question we need to ask in Media regulation is:
Should there be limits to that freedom if that freedom cause harm to the individual?
Because, whilst it’s all very well to hold politicians to account so that we can vote, with full knowledge of the facts, should my freedom of expression extend to saying what I like, about who I like? After all, we do all love celebrity gossip and the popular tabloid press makes money because it gives us what we love…
Here is a cartoon from Private Eye which draws attention to our collective hypocrisy in the aftermath of the death of Princess Diana in a high speed car crash in Paris, when she and her new boyfriend were trying to get away from the paparazzi (press photographers) chasing them on motorbikes.
Then there was The News of The World, Milly Dowler and the Leveson Inquiry
Watch this video, from the BBC, which explains the story of how journalists from News of The World hacked the phone of a missing girl, Milly Dowler, and in doing so broke the law and invaded the privacy of Milly’s grieving parents.
This sort of law breaking was a new low in press ethical standards and there was an outcry for more regulation of the press and the actions of journalists, who would do anything to get a story.
So the government launched an inquiry, a debate, in front of a judge (Lord Leveson), who needed to advise the government on a new law to regulate the press.
So, where does this leave us? The assertion that freedom of the press to uncover stories should have limits? Well many editors and journalists go back to that principle at the top of this post, that a free press is essential for enlightened democracy:
Here is the last video. Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, who refused to sign up to IPSO, explaining what this now means for freedom of the press in the UK, which he asserts has now been eroded and the dangers of that for our democracy and the ability of journalists to hold the powerful to account.
“In Britain, we have a free press; it’s not a pretty press, but it’s free!”
Task 7: Monday/Tuesday: Make notes on the above – 1.30 hr
Task 8: Wednesday/Thursday/FRIDAY: Padlet presentation of Case studies – see classroom – 1.30 hr
This week you will be researching some more of these stories where the press has overstepped the ethical line and bought harm to individuals. Think Caroline Flack. However, we should also look out for stories where journalists were heroes, and bought corruption to light and held the powerful to account. Think Prince Andrew.
Here are the resources for your timed textual analysis essay. These have also been sent to you via Google Classroom, where you should submit the essay and notes.
Textual Analysis Question
You will be shown an extract from Nashville a total of four times. During the first screening, you should not make notes; during the second, third and fourth screenings there will be an opportunity to make notes and there will be gaps in between for further note-taking.
Your notes should be made on a piece of paper, photographed and submitted alongside your essay or typed up into the template sent you earlier this week.
Extract: Nashville (Pilot, 2012, dir. Cutler)
Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs meaning through the following:
Jean-François Lyotard is our third theorist. He had some pretty radical things to say about post modern society.
He made the remarkable assertion that: All ideas of ‘the truth’ are just competing claims (or discourses) and what we believe to be ‘the truth’ at any point is merely the ‘winning’ discourse.
So essentially, he is saying there is no such thing as any absolute universal truth (or meta narratives) on any subject .
To Lyotard a ‘meta-narrative’ means, a view of the world and what is considered natural, right or inherently true.
Illustrations from Films
Here is a great image which looks at the recurring ideas underpinning of Hollywood films, which have seem to suggest a simplified / mythical view of life and how things should resolve and which perhaps also communicate ideas which are widely held as being ‘true’, or in other words ‘meta-narratives’.
Lyotard on Narratives
Now, watch this video with Russel Brand talking to Jeremy Paxman about the phone call scandal which got him fired from the BBC & now the story was exaggerated by The Daily Mail, edited by Paul Dacre.
Also what does Brand suggest about the meta narrative of celebrity?
Just think about the tragic news of the Love Island celebrity last year – the grand narrative of celebrity – tragically exploded.
What does Brand mean by the idea of ‘cultural narrative’?
To develop Lyotard’s ideas. He said these meta narratives (sometimes called ‘grand narratives’) are large-scale theories and philosophies of the world, such as the progress of history, the knowability of everything by science, and the possibility of absolute freedom. Lyotard argues that we (society) have ceased to believe that ‘narratives’ of this kind are adequate and are true for all of us.
The result of this rejection of single universal ideas being true for all of us is reflected by and explored in media texts that are rebellious and subversive towards widely held views and ideas, as well to figures in positions of authority and a distrust of what they claim is right or true.
Think also about the various different shows that feature different types of families, groups or individuals.
By the time the exams come around, you will have been set and submitted an essay for every type of question that ‘could’ come up in the exam.
Whilst, the actual questions in the exam, might be worded slightly differently, the aim is that you should have a complete set of essay responses for the exams which will act as an essential revision resource.
However, if you do not have a complete set, then you will not have given yourself the best chance to practise writing a response to one of the questions that could come up. To maximise your chances therefore, you should make every effort to have at least one draft for all of the essays set and those who are determined to do well, will redraft them in response to the feedback from your teacher.
Once redrafted, you can then resubmit them so that your teacher can give you some final feedback/improved grade.
Many of the essays will be handwritten in class in timed conditions, so typing them up and submitting them online for electronic copies mean you can store them in your Media folders for easy and quick retrieval.
It makes every sense to keep on top of these essays and take the chance to improve on them. Just see the examples below. Just from looking at the colours it is easy to see which student gave themselves the best chance of success. The A Grade student redrafted and resubmitted until the page was ‘GREEN’. The C Grade student did not redraft and did not resubmit and often did not complete the essays at all. They were really disadvantaged in the centre assessed grades (exam).
RED – MISSING, GRADE D OR BELOW
ORANGE – GRADE C SO SHOULD REDRAFT AND RESUBMIT
GREEN – GRADE B OR ABOVE – CAN BE REDRAFTED BUT NO NEED TO RESUBMIT
WHITE – STILL TO DO OR PENDING
Good luck. Only you can make this happen.
It’s all happening in Classroom!
The assignment will be set in classroom and you will have an individual copy made for you by your teacher. You should fill this in during discussion with your teacher over the next few week. They will also have your candidate numbers.