In this essay I will be examining the process that is involved in the manufacturing of the news. There are lots of different key factors as well as practical, cultural and ideological factors. I will be explaining how these cause and effect what goes into the media and what doesn’t. White (1950) first used the term ‘gatekeeper’. The gatekeeper has a major influence on what goes into the media and what doesn’t.
The gatekeeper is the new maker who decides what events we see in the news; they act as a filter, by only allowing certain stories through whilst blocking stories in which they do not wish to see in the media. The owners of the news will look for what the audience like to see best on the TV and what they don’t like to see. Agenda setting is where certain people decide what goes into the news. This is so these people are able to shape and form peoples views and interests.
It is controlling what issues some to public attention in the news, it is linked to the hierarchy of access this is the higher positions in society which mean more input which means this has a bigger influence on the audience. News values are also another big part in deciding what goes into the new. A few examples of news values are importance (if it involves elite nations or people), clarity of events (how clear an event is), composition (the little, minor story the counterbalances the news), and frequency/immediacy (how long the story takes to appear in the news).
All of these different pieces of criteria plus more all have to be met for a story to be considered newsworthy. Ethnocentrism is also a news value, this is were the news focus’ on one particular culture, this culture is normally ‘whites’. Ethnocentrism could also be explained as British news stories appear more often in the British new than what foreign stories do. The causes of the news being manufactured, involving a high degree of bias and selectivity are practical factors, cultural factors and ideological factors.
Practical factors are any factors involving time and money. Examples of practical factors could be the financial year-end that could affect whether and how an event is covered, if there is no money left then an event may not be included, the time of a broadcast will affect the content, the time and space also has a big influence this is because each bulletin has to be of the same time, the news diary is a record of all forth-coming social, political and economic events to allow planning of what will be included.
Cultural factors is to do with how professionals think, this could be do to with ‘news values’, the process of ‘gate keeping’, and the priority stories. Ideological factors are theories which explain ‘the bias’, the three theorists are manipulative, hegemonic and pluralists. The manipulative theorists believe that there is a bias this is because they believe that all the news selection is all deliberate and this happens because of conscious manipulation.
Because of this the bias is in favour of the rich and the powerful and anybody that disagrees top this is a threat to their power. The hegemonic models also agree and they think that there is a bias, the journalists and editors both decide whether a story is newsworthy or not (this is because they all come form the same background and are usually all white, mid-30 males), although this bias is not an attempt to manipulate, this is where the manipulative model and the hegemonic model disagree.
The pluralist model totally disagree with the bias they believe that the news reflects views from society; they believe that the bias does not necessarily lean to one side of the argument. So all in all there are a lot of different factors that influence the news, some are more important than others, and some have more of an impact than others, but without all of these different processes of manufacturing we would not have the news.