Role Of Media Essay

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Media and Society1 Professor Kaarle Nordenstreng Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Tampere Our starting point are the three basic levels of any consideration of society: 1) the State and related governmental institutions, 2) the Market and related property and commercial phenomena, and 3) the Civil Society made up of people and citizens apart from the two preceding spheres. This articulation of society can be illustrated as follows: State Market Media Civil Society The figure is borrowed from the Norwegian social scientist and peace research pioneer Johan Galtung (1999), who places the mass media floating between the three pillars (he calls the Market pillar “Capital”). In the history of European countries the media have found their place first close to both the State and the Capital, emerging from late-feudal patronage and boosted by mercantile capitalism. With the rise of modern democracy and party structure, the press became part and parcel of the Civil Society, while broadcasting remained closely tied to the State. The second half of the 20th century has brought the media – both print and electronic – increasingly towards Capital-driven markets. Yet Galtung’s triangle does not suggest that market forces completely absorb globalizing society in a contemporary (post)modern world, where the civil society with its so-called new movements provides burgeoning strength. Thus the media take a challenging place in a field of conflicts. Excerpted mainly from the following two publications: Cees Hamelink and Kaarle Nordenstreng: ‘Towards Democratic Media Governance’. In Els De Bens (editor), Media Between Culture and Commerce. Changing Media – Changing Europe Series, Volume 4. Bristol, UK: Intellect, 2007, 225-240. Kaarle Nordenstreng: ‘Media and Society: In Search

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