The paper “ Limitation of Professional Objective Journalism, Mechanism of Control of the Underpin Media Production” is an intriguing example of an assignment on journalism & communication. What is professional objective journalism? Professional Objective journalism means practicing journalism with absolute disinterestedness, fairness, factuality, and non-partisanship. Sociologist Michael Schudson argues in Discovering the News (1978), “ The belief in objectivity is a faith in 'facts, distrust in 'values, ' and a commitment to their segregation. " It also refers to the existing principles of news gathering and reporting that give emphasis to eyewitness reports of events, substantiation of facts with several sources and "balance. " Besides, it refers to the Journalist’ s institutional task to act as a fourth estate, an individual body that subsists apart from large interest groups and government. L1.2.
What are some of the limitations of professional objective journalism? Some critics argue that Professional objective journalism in a way does disfavor to the people because it fails to try to find the actual truth. This is because such objectivity is almost impossible to apply in practice. For example, newspapers inescapably acquire a point of view in choosing what reports to cover, which to feature a cover story, and what sources to quote.
Media critics Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky (1988) have illustrated a propaganda model that shows how in practice such a concept of objectivity ends up big time supporting the viewpoint of powerful corporations and government. It is difficult to curb preconceived notions always. Week 2L2.1 Where does meaning come from? Meaning is the capacity to “ make sense” of the world and of ourselves. The human capacity for language sharing and comprehension involves the ability to make meaning. We are brought up in the social systems of language and symbols. Meaning is thus constructed by human beings.
Our first source of meaning is our family as it is through the family that we come in contact with institutions that make meaning. The key institutions that produce meanings are the education system and the media. These institutions are meaning-making machines. Society is a pool of meanings as media and other institutions operate within it and our learning is based on the meanings obtained from society. Professional communicators such as journalists, public relations professionals, advertising, filmmakers, musicians, politicians, etc. are employed to make meaning in the contemporary system.
The relationship between meaning and the mass media is that often, meaning is manipulated by those who control the media and they are the power elites. L2.2. How is meaning rooted in power relationships? Power relationships between people are central variables to be mapped by anyone trying to understand why a particular set of meanings circulates at a certain time and place. It is precisely the unique texture of each time and place that provides the key insights into the nature of any ‘ meaning’ . However, as power shift takes place so the dynamics of meaning production change too.
That is why mapping the mechanics of meaning-production is necessarily a highly contextual exercise in terms of time, place and shifting power relationships. Social and economic elites conspire to misuse the power of media to misguide the masses with a “ false consciousness” . Week 5L5. 1. Discuss some of the “ mechanisms of control” that underpin media production.