The media has continued and gr…
The media has continued and grown to be an important part of society as it influences our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. According to Burton (2002:2) “The main power of the media lies in the fact that it can shape what we know about the world and can be a main source of ideas and opinions”.
Marxist theory in media brings attention to political interests and showcases inequalities in media representation. “In this theory it is believed that all means of production, determines the nature of society” (Fourie, 2007). The economic base of society is seen as determining everything else in the superstructure, including social, political and intellectual consciousness (Marxist Media Theory 1). This clearly states that the media shapes the lower-class society as people in higher powers perspectives are disseminated. People in power have the privilege of running the media. Media disseminates the ideas of the ruling class and rids of any alternatives that there may be.
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“The class which has the means of material production at its disposal has control at the same time over the means of mental, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it” (Marx and Engels 22).
This is true as the media assists or manipulates those who fail to think for themselves. Economism, is the main feature in explaining the media’s role according to Marx. This is also referred to as the base/superstructure model. In economism, “the economic base of society is seen as determining everything else in the superstructure, including social, political, and intellectual consciousness” (Marxist Media Theory 1). This maintains that the media is used as the base of society. Society is referred to as the superstructure. Clearly, media shapes society even today.
The Marxism approach stresses the power of media to control people in society based on the ‘base-superstructure’ model in Marxist thought (Marsh ; Amp: Melville 2008:27) this basically states that the distribution of ideas and production are controlled by the powerful class and the media is considered as a part of the economic system, which links closely to the political system. “The Political economy suggests that the primary product of the media is really audience” Mcquail (2010: 96) which simply states that the medias main intention is to shape the actions or behavior of the public in certain ways that benefits who is in control of what is portrayed by the media. 4.1 ExampleIn South Africa, television advertisements against the ANC are not broadcasted, if they are, they are banned. A few years ago, the DA had an advertisement that emphasized how the ANC lacks and fails society in terms of service delivery, the advertisement was only aired a few times and never seen again. This demonstrates to us that the media protects those in power. The SABC is government owned so, the information brought to the publics attention, is the information that the government wants us to know of.
The lower class, is the most unfortunate as they do not have access to other means of retrieving information. One may argue that since the end of apartheid, media is5 Political Economy and ideologyIn media studies, an underlying political economy proposition is that the economic and political control of the media determines the content and thus the ideological power of media () 5.1 What is ideology?Ideology is concerned with the study of ideas and how people in societies think. When people fall under certain ideologies such as communists they are immediately being robbed of their individuality. 5.2 Media as an amplifierMedia institutions are forced into the power structure therefore are working to benefit dominant institutions in society.5.
2.1 Examplesa) In South Africa, the coverage in the media of voting can be seen as an ideological practice that sustains the idea of a democracy. The media is used to portray and cover this in order to create a sense of choice in the minds of whoever is set to receive the disseminated information (viewers). b) During an election year, there is information about the event that is delivered by the media and people are presented with the idea that they should vote for a particular party in order to achieve political and economic freedom and quality service delivery. 5.3 Propaganda and controlPropoganda?According to Castells (2009:264) Propaganda and control are the most direct form of media politics. We can easily notice that in media there is fabrication and diffusion of messages that distort facts and misinformation to advance government interest and there is also censorship for messages deemed to undermine these interests, which takes us back to the example on the DA advertisement.
The advert was removed as it depicted an undesirable image of the ANC. The ANC aims to remain the most favored party6. Capitalist mode of productionIt takes money to run a medium and to serve a society without anything in return does not exist.