Thursday, 6 December 2007

Critical Anaylsis on the history of journalism 1

In the lecture with Jason Whittaker, we looked at the introduction to the theories of political economy, the 'Habermas's theory of the public sphere and the notions of the forth estate and also ways in which to demonstrate the development of journalism during the 18th and 19th centuries.

We looked at different theories such as; Liberal, Marxist, Realist/Pragmatic (this was essentially an anarchy of self-interest in pursuit of resources) and Constructivist.

The Liberal approach to this was that the state is seen as separate from the body of the monarch itself and that power resides in a form of public consent. So therefore has to wait for approval first. The Labour theory was of value, and their work added some sort of surplus to some of the things that gave us the right to make them into our property and everyone knows that one main thing in life is to protect private property.

The Marxist approach to this was that it was all economic based and the key was to the ideological superstructures. This was for most of us and our fundamental resource, which was labour. However, we are alienated from the products by capitalism which was leading to class struggle, but the end resulted in the alienation became a commodity fetishism. This was therefore one example of 'false consciousness' and can be seen as the use of ideology as a social repression as well.

After looking at Jurgen Habermas and the Public Sphere, we found out that the publish date of the Public Sphere was about 1984. The notion of 'Offentlichkeit' got it's origins from the Greek ideas of what was of citizenship centred on the 'polis' and 'agora'. This was a combination of a private trad and a publice discussion, which began again in the 17th century. This was prior to the appearance of a publice sphere, and the ideas of private life had to gain some sort of currency.

When the merge of the publice sphere came about, the spread of the trade actually required a more accurate approach for some information. Therefore it was spread by gossip, word of mouth, you could heard it everywhere you went, for example; coffee house, taverns etc. This all became more formalised within time. The press emergeed, and that is when they took advantage of this 'hunger for information'.

With the development of the publice sphere, I believe that the initial stage was to concentrate on commerce. Also journals, for example; 'The Spectator', which moved into taste and fashion. As their confidence increased, the middle classes became more and more involved in politics that ever before. The Early growth of the public sphere was actually quite informative, the first nws sheet was printed in the 1640's during the Civil War, then came the Restoration which developed in 1660 and the Glorious Revolution. The Licensing act came about arounf 1662, the stationer's company was thn established in 1684, and finially the Licensing act lapses in 1695. This was because of the attempts to control the press within Britain, which was run alongside a period of relative liberty.

Now looking into the Forth Estate, and the struggle in which to gain it. In 1776, Thomas Paine decided to publish 'Common Sense' and then following a few years after that, due to the response of the French Revolution, Paine decided to publish 'The Rights of Man'. Then they were trying to radicalise the press as an alternative to the official sources. The economic sanctions were in their glory, for example: the stamp duty rose 266% between 1789 and 1815.

The progress of the radical press, there was a political repression which had a short-term benefit, but was therefore 'counterproductive' in the long-term. In 1843 the Libel Act actually reduced the effect of seditious libel, therefore authorities only relied of taxation and bonds. The radical press still continued to grow. They were a victim of their own success and it increased within circulation when it brought additional costs. In 1886, W.T Stead and the Pall Mall Gazette then decided to emerge wih the 'sensationalist journalism'. Therefore because they made this attention-grabbing it worked.

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