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Functions of the Media The role of a responsible journalist in a free society Material property of the Arkansas Department of Education Distance Learning Center. It may be reproduced and used for non-profit, educational use only after contacting the ADE DLC at http: //dlc. k 12. ar. us ER
Journalists have a responsibility to uphold when doing their job. There are many of these responsibilities (or functions).
Political Function The free press carries the obligation of providing their audience with information to base their political decisions.
Political Function • Cover in detail government activities • Fight attempts by the government to do their business in secrecy • Watch for scandal and wrongdoing • Check budgets & programs to see if tax money is spent wisely
Political Function Types of Stories *Government *Taxes *Scandals *Enron Investigation, Watergate, school board budget meetings
Economic Function Readers need information about products, goods and services. Business, industrial, agriculture news covers this, but so does advertising (which pays the bills).
Economic Function Can advertising cause people to buy something they don’t need or to vote for one candidate rather than another? • Consumers have psychological defenses with which they can resist & mold messages including political & product advertising. • Consumers are not children who are unable to understand the commercial or zombies who cannot resist.
Economic Function Types of Stories *Advertising *Business News *Agricultural News *Any ads, Microsoft, Wall Street, Stock Quotes
Sentry Function The press doesn’t just report what is happening today, but they look for trends for what will happen tomorrow. Environmental, medical and political issues are looked over for future trends.
Sentry Function Political unrest in the Middle East alerted citizens to problems before the war began. Problems in the environment caused the public to begin recycling and conservation programs.
Sentry Function Types of Stories *Human Injustice *Global Warning *Health *Hurricane stories, criminal rehabilitation, heath epidemic warning, Internet dangers
Record-Keeping Function Media should reflect accurate records of news. Readers need to know many of the basic data found in the newspapers: weddings, funerals, bankruptcy, sports scores, etc.
Record-Keeping Function Types of Stories *Election Results *Obituaries *Births *Bankruptcy listings, court case outcomes, sports schedules, student council election results
Entertainment Function The press is serious business, but the audience is made up of all ages and interests. Light elements should always be present (comics, feature stories & photos, crosswords, etc. )
Entertainment Function Types of Stories *Cartoons *Crosswords *Feature Stories *Student wins prize for prom dress made out of Duck tape, puzzles, recipes
Social Function In the past, news was passed around person to person. This created social situations where people talked about what was happening. Newspapers do that now. (Did you hear or read about…. . ? )
Social Function Types of Stories *Local news *News that will cause others to talk *Proms, new laws, new rules
Marketplace Function The press provides the arena which ideas are presented. If the audience is concerned enough, something will get done.
Marketplace Function Types of Stories *Illegal Downloading *Same Sex Marriages *Stricter Laws on Drunk Driving *Letters to the editors
Agenda-Setting Function Journalists don’t tell us what to think, but do tell us what to think about. In a drought, the media might focus on water conserving techniques and water usage will drop.
Agenda-Setting Function Types of Stories *Tsunami Warning Stories *War on Drugs *Flu Prevention