Media Skills 2014: Week 2

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Media Skills 2014: Week 2


  • 1. Media Skills 2014! Week 2: Understanding Media Power ! Dr Kane Hopkins
  • 2. The purpose of media is to educate, inform and entertain.
  • 3. The Media Environment The news media are key players in the political process; used to help position a person, event, issue, organisation or industry within the context of public life (Johnston, 2007, p. 11) But the media dont simply reect reality events are selected and shaped through news processes Successful media relations/skills therefore relies on your ability to tap into the media radar and agenda
  • 4. Agenda setting argues that the media does not tell us what to think, but what to think about.
  • 5. The Power of Agenda-Setting Research shows the media have the ability to change public opinion and inuence behaviour But our reading on audiences has also shown us that receivers use media in their own ways The medias power therefore lies in their ability to set and frame the news agenda We judge as important what the media judge as important (McCombs & Shaw, 2003, p.390)
  • 6. Which media? What news organisation/s do you think are the most powerful in terms of setting the news agenda in New Zealand? Consider size of audience, inuence, prestige, and context
  • 7. Agenda-setting + Framing The media may not only tell us what to think about, they also may tell us how and what to think about it, and perhaps even what to do about it. McCoombs & Shaw, p.398 ! Therefore, how media frame news is another source of potential power
  • 8. Framing Once a topic is selected as news, the second level of agenda-setting occurs when the media emphasise certain aspects of the story, encouraging us to interpret the information in a particular way Entman (2000) says frames promote a particular problem denition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation (quoted in Tilley, 2005, p.149) Power of framing lies in what it draws attention to, and what is left out
  • 9. Media Power and Media Relations/Skills In an organisational context, media relations deals proactively (without media prompting) and reactively (following a media prompt) with the opportunities and risks of media power The aim is to secure media coverage that actually reaches your intended audience, for this has the potential power to impact on their views and actions (and news media coverage is generally regarded by audiences as more independent and trustworthy than paid advertising!)
  • 10. Implication of Framing for Media Skills When seeking media publicity, you want to frame your information in a way that best suits you/your organisation This means selecting and emphasising you or your organisations take or interpretation on the subject Do this through your choice of media release headline, introduction, spokespeople, order of information, etc. When choosing to respond to negative media coverage of you or your organisation, it may be more constructive to oer an alternative frame of interpretation, and/or use a dierent medium.
  • 11. Summary The media are powerful, but audiences are their own people, with the ability to resist media agenda-setting and framing The media are powerful, but as a media skills practitioner, knowing how that power works and what types of response are open to you can help you respond in a constructive way (e.g. counter-framing, using direct media such as Internet to avoid media editing and framing) Ethical best practice and critical theory also encourages you to reect on your/your organisations power