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Galtung And Ruges News Values Model

It is an often asked question, how does a journalist prioritise the selection of news stories. An academic view to perceiving the process of how a news journalist prioritises the selection of contemporary news is Gaulten and Ruge’s study “The structure of foreign news”. This study can be found in the Journal of International Peace Research in 1965.

I think overall that, Galtung and Ruge’s news values model needs to be adapted slightly in order to capture the priorities of contemporary news journalism. For the next part of my essay I will discuss the original 1960s model and identify its concepts.

The pair conducted a study which looked at foreign newspapers and specifically at foreign news. According to Harcup and O’Neill (2001) “The central question at the heart of their paper was how do events (especially, foreign events in their case) become “news?”

They researched what foreign newspapers featured on other world news and found the stories were more likely to be featured in the newspaper if they contained the news values of negativity, threshold, proximity, frequency, unambiguity, consonance, unexpectedness, continuity, meaningfulness, composition and reference to elite nations and elite persons.

Generally speaking, news values of a story are based on what relevance and effect a story has on its audience, in other words its newsworthiness. The greater the relevance and effect on the audience, (the higher number of news values the story contains) makes the story more of a priority in the news journalism world. Palmer, cited in Harcup and O’Neill (2001) stated that Galtung and Ruge’s study was “the earliest attempt to provide a systematic definition of newsworthiness”.

The story could be based on absolutely anything, from focusing on an individual, to a running story or be totally unexpected etc. However, not all news stories are newsworthy. Stories that are seen as a priority in contemporary news journalism are usually those to do with politics, human interest and disasters etc. A story that is classed as newsworthy is often described as quick, negative and sustains drama etc. According to Mcnair (1999) “news values act as a cue for the audience alerting them to the importance of the issue”.

News values can often overlap with newsroom observation studies, for example, both try to capture the unwritten rules of journalism. News values of a story are not written down in a book. A trainee journalist cannot be taught about what news values apply to each story. According to Lippman (1922) “news values are an informal code”. The journalist has to learn to consider what news values a story has and its news worthiness to its audience.

So the reason behind why a certain story has been selected as a front page story for argument sake in a newspaper, is because the editor believes it has high news values and is very newsworthy to its audience, meaning people are going to read it because the story is relevant and/or affects them and, therefore, is a priority in the news journalism world. According to Lippman (1922) “reporters are said to have a good nose or a gut feeling for a good story”.

For the benefit of this essay I will define just a few of Galtung and Ruge’s news values. Firstly, negativity, which refers to the old cliché of ‘the only good news is bad news’. An example of a story that contains this news value is the recession and the continuing rise of the unemployed. Threshold, is another news value which is based on the size of the story for example how many people does it involve? E.g. The Jonathan Ross saga involved a number of people having their salaries cut. Proximity, is another news value this is based on whether the story is close to viewers economically or geographically. Unexpectedness of an event is a news value which is pretty much self explanatory an example of a story that contains this news value is 9/11.

Another news value is what is known as a Continuation story, which is an established sequence, an example being the Madeline McCann story, as this has been an ongoing story since her disappearance in 2007. Galtung and Ruge believe that the more news values a story has, the more of a priority it has in contemporary news journalism. An example of this would be the 2004 Tsunami which included the news values of negativity as many lost their homes and lives. Unexpectedness, as there was no warning to the natural disaster. Threshold, as the story involved a huge number of people. It was eventually a continuation story where it was reported on for weeks after the event happened.

For the benefit of this essay, I am going to compare the similarities and differences of what news stories were selected and seen as a priority to the news journalism world (as they were seen as the most newsworthy to their audience).

I chose to look at BBC Wales Today and ITV’S Wales Tonight. The programmes were aired on Monday 26h October at 6.00 p.m.

ITV Wales stories were (in a three to four word sum up of each story) a car bomb in Pakistan which has the news values of negativity and threshold as it affects a large number of people. The second story is about 3 pilots dying in a plane crash which has the news values of negativity, proximity (geographically) as the location of the crash was close to viewers and one of the victims lived in Cardiff. The story also held the news value of unexpectedness of the crash. Finally the third story which was about a campaign to lift the spirits of the Welsh people living in the valleys. This story had the news value of proximity, as it is the location of where a large number of people from the target audience live and threshold as it affects a large number of people.

The first BBC Wales Today story was about unpaid benefit, whereby people with disabilities are owed money by the Government. The story has the news values of negativity and threshold as it affects a large number of people. The story was a continuation story as this story has been running for a while. The second story was the valleys campaign to lift spirits, which had the same news values as previously mentioned. Finally the third story was the Teacher of the year award, which is about a secondary school head teacher in Worcestershire winning the award. The news values for this item are proximity, as it is close to where the target audience lives, and unexpectedness of who was the winner of the award.

An interesting point to make is that the only story featured on both news programmes was the one about the valleys campaign even though the angle and where the story was placed in the news programme differed. It was placed third in ITV’S running order and second in BBC Wales Today. This means that BBC Wales Today believes that the story is more news worthy to its audience and, therefore, more of a priority in news journalism to be shown in that particular order. Another factor to consider is why certain stories were chosen for ITV and not selected for BBC Wales? Why were certain stories seen as a priority in contemporary journalism and others were not?

A highly criticised point made by Tunsall (1971) shows how the model definitely needs to be updated, as detailed and better photographs are used more frequently in contemporary news journalism, this may be due to a number of reasons such as the advance of technology. Also, there seems to be a growing number of citizen journalism, where non trained journalists take it upon themselves to take pictures, for example, send them to editors of newspapers and then make money out of them. I would definitely modify the model as I believe news values of a story can also be visual imperatives, as in a picture or video footage.

We may consider that without such visual imperatives some news stories may not have been so newsworthy, for example, 9/11. The story had some amazing pictures taken of the event; of the Twin Towers actually collapsing (The pictures were taken by a citizen journalist which showed how quick, unexpected and shocking the event was).

However, we have to consider without this footage would the story have been so big? Inevitably the story would have been front page news globally without the footage as it would have been a priority story in news journalism but the footage has a definite impact on the story. According to Tunsall as cited in Harcup and O’Neill (2001) they state that “Galtung and Ruge looked only at content that was explicitly concerned with the selected crises; and their list of factors made no reference to how visual elements, such as dramatic photographs, could affect the content of written material”.

Having visual imperatives makes the story have higher news values than if there was no pictures etc. at all and it was just a written article about the event. I think photographs for such a news story are necessary as it helps capture the priorities of contemporary news journalism.

A criticism of Galtung and Ruge’s model is, how do journalists define their news values? This may be made clearer by Harcup and O’Neill’s (2001) example. Using one of Galtung and Ruge’s news values called threshold. They state “Isn’t this still open to subjective interpretation? Which is bigger, twenty deaths in ten road accidents or five deaths in one rail crash?” So it seems that maybe the model is unclear and that it should be updated to be clearer about their definitions of news values, in order to be able to capture the priorities of contemporary news journalism.

Furthermore, Harcup and O’Neill (2001) argue that “A number of Galtung and Ruge’s factors appear to be problematic to identify while others may be identifiable but less in any intrinsic properties of a potential news story and more in the process of how a story has been constructed or written up”. In other words they argue that Galtung and Ruge’s model is more to do with how a story has been told by the journalist.

However, an alternative perspective to Galtung and Ruge’s propaganda news values model is the Herman and Chomsky’s propaganda model (1988) in Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. The pair (who are professors of communication), examine and analyse evidence of US news output and why it works in this way in capturing the priorities of contemporary journalism. This theory proposes a five filter theory which I will now go on to discuss. The five filters are size ownership, advertising, sources, flack and anti- communism.

Basically the Herman and Chomsky theory (from a hand out given in lectures), is based on the organisation of news institutions, as they see the news journalism world, as being set in the market system. The five filters work through independent action and self-censorship instead of direct control. According to Herman (1996) “They work as “filters” through which information must pass, and that individually and often in additive fashion they help shape media choices”.

I am going to discuss the five filters, the first being size/ownership which is becoming progressively more concentrated. The pair believes there are a smaller number of proprietors concerned and it seems the big fish at the top eat the little fish. They believe that the market (which is owned by a limited number of wealthy people), is entirely focused in the direction of profit and that there are certain barriers to entry in to the ownership market. They argue that restrictive practices are sometimes activated and that the news media has a built-in bias because of its common interests with other major corporations.

The second filter is advertising; Chomsky and Herman claim that the news media is in the business of selling audiences to advertisers (especially affluent audiences). Corporate advertisers therefore work as an unofficial licensing authority. A large part of profit made by newspaper companies is from advertising revenue.

According to Herman (1996) “Newspapers are funded largely by advertisers who are also profit-seeking entities, and who want their ads to appear in a supportive selling environment”.

The third filter is primary sources, which the pair claim that journalists are obliged to view official sources (political, corporate, military) as essentially more reliable than others. Alternative sources of news and opinions are therefore marginalized or ignored.

The next filter is flak. This can be negative responses from above to news reporting (phone calls, letters, threats, etc.) all of which constitute ‘flak’. It receives respectful attention (and is not denounced or ignored for what it is). ‘Flak’ upsets advertisers so news media strive to avoid doing anything to aggravate it in other words they will not publish anything that will offend the advertiser.

Finally the last filter I am going to describe is anti-communism (also referred to as the ‘anti-ideology’ filter). It believes the US news media has an inherent bias against communism, in particular, but also against any form of socialism and it therefore tends to support the US in regards to right-wing regimes abroad.

Many journalists argue there are many critiques of this model such as it doesn’t match journalists’ own intuitions. They believe that the fifth filter is too restricted (in time and space). They argue that it is a ‘conspiracy theory’ and it ignores objectivity as a main fear of the journalist. According to Klaehn (2002) Chomsky and Herman’s theory is an “overly deterministic view of media behaviour”.

I think some of the filters apply in the UK for capturing news journalism, for example, size and ownership, as Chomsky and Herman argue that the news media is increasingly concentrated into fewer businesses. My research (although it only talks about the news medium of newspapers), concurs that ownership is restricted. According to The House of Lords (2008) “In the United Kingdom, the national newspaper industry is run by eight companies-one of which has over 35% of the national newspaper market”. I think that second filter advertising if the most influential of all the filters, because without revenue from advertising, the revenue made from the sale of newspapers would not be enough to support the company financially and most likely shareholders of the company would view this as a huge problem as there would be no newspaper.

This fact can be supported by the Chomsky and Herman theory mentioned in the first filter, who state “The market is entirely focused in the direction of profit” and they argue that “restrictive practises are sometimes activated”.

For argument sake, if the Royal bank of Scotland were a major advertiser in the Daily Mail, and this newspaper ran a negative piece about how the Royal Bank of Scotland bonus payouts to senior executives were outrageously high, the newspaper risks future advertising revenue from the offence caused. So this shows how certain information is not always captured by newspapers in contemporary news journalism.

To conclude, although I believe that this original 1960s model is suitable in some respects, it does need modifying as it is outdated. A remarkable point to make is that the model does not include anything about celebrities and this would definitely be a modification I would make. Britain’s contemporary news journalism now often features celebrity stories in their newspapers. It is often argued that British society has become extremely fascinated with the celebrity life and has developed into a celebrity culture where we want to find out what the celebrities have been up to, who’s wearing what, who has just had a baby and who is splitting up etc. It has become very much apparent that celebrity stories have become part of today’s news, although a point to think about is whether it is a major priority to contemporary news journalism to feature these types of stories in our news sources.

Harcup and O’Neill’s (2001) study states that when Galtung and Ruge’s news model mentions the news value, Reference to Elite People they stated that they were “not necessarily the elite people that Galtung and Ruge had in mind. The UK press seems obsessed with celebrities such as TV soap stars, sports stars, film stars and, of course, royalty. In contrast, the “elite people” identified by Galtung and Ruge’s model were the politically powerful, people in positions of authority”.

With newspapers including more information about scandal and celebrities, there are concerns about the so called ‘dumbing down of news’ and possible growth of a term called tabloidization. This is where political news is being replaced by celebrity news. So is this really what society wants to read about? Has contemporary journalism come to this?

Media: Government Transparency And Accountability

Media Assignment Help The media plays significant roles in acting as a medium in transferring the information between the government and the public. The information that the public received have ability to influence the perception and the decision making of the public. The media and the government have dependent relationship. Each of them has an influence on each other. However, the media, especially newspaper and television, are outlets that are likely to be influenced, by either the government or private interests. The intervention on the media may prevent the freedom of expression provided by the democracy. These interventions can be counted as corruption. Corruption is one way to reflect government transparency and accountability.

Introduction It is obviously seen that nowadays the media plays a very important role in the development of the country. The development of the society, culture, economics, education, or politics are depending on the media since the media act as a major instrument in transferring the information between different people in the society. The media can have a strong influence to the people. What are written in the newspaper, what are shown on the television, or what are spoken through the radio can change the perception of the people.

During the time when Thailand was under the absolute monarchy system, media was a significant part that helped moving Thai society toward modernization. However, after Thailand changed to the democratic system, the freedom of expression of the media was emphasized. Democracy can prosper only in societies where information and ideas can flow freely.

The most accessible media in Thai society are newspaper and radio. However, the sources of media that are easy to capture by the government are the newspaper as well as the television. We will then focus on these two outlets in our study.

The print media, the earliest kind of media in Thai society, are limited to only small number of people in the early period. However, as time passed, the situation was changing. There were papers with criticisms about the ruling class and government officials, as well as papers that were provided with some entertainment features. The role of the press then changed from serving the ruling class, government officials and foreigners to providing information for common Thai people. The newspaper industry grew along with Thailand’s economic growth. However, Thailand’s economic crisis in 1997 was a time when newspaper industry was affected by the economic downturn.

When we look at the newspaper business in Thailand today, it is obviously seen that the newspaper business has constantly become more competitive. For the daily newspaper of Thai-language, the market shares are gained mostly by Thai Rath, accounted for 34per cent, and Daily News 19per cent. The two leading newspapers, Thai Rath and Daily News, are conservative in their political disposition. For the Business Daily Newspaper, Krungthep Thurakit is the dominant player, contributing for 85per cent of the maket share, while Puchadkarn and Post Today are taken for the other 15 per cen. For the English Daily papers, Bangkok Post and the Nation are the two players, taking about 55 per cent and 45 per cent of the market share respectively.

Still, there are political influences in the newspaper business. The government has ability to influence the news contents or to make adjustments that created the desirable situations for them. The politicians can directly give bribery or they can give something not in the form of money but in kind of gifts or other kind of influences.

For example, according to ‘Who Owns the Asian Media: Thailand Media Report’ By Ubonrat Siriyuvasak, during Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s second term in 2005, the Bangkok Post’s front-page report on an alleged crack on the runway of the new Suvarnabhumi airport. The time of the report was the time when the government was under the investigation by the Opposition Party about the corruption of the constructing of the new airport. After the published of this report, the news editor, Chadin Thepwan was forced to resign by the Bangkok Post.

This case showed that even though the government was not directly managed the newspaper or the news contents; it could do something to influence the business to be according to its way.

For the most-consumed media in Thailand, the television, 86 per cent of the Thai population watching TV on a daily basis. Previously, there are six television stations in Thailand which broadcast freely on air and nation-wide. Three of the channels: Channels 5, 9, and 11, were operated by State operators, while the other three: Channels 3, 7 and iTV are operated by private concessionaires. iTV or Independent Television, was launched in 1996 as the first television station that was not owned by the State. It seemed to provide independent and critical programs for the people as well as act as a voice of democracy. However, iTV is becoming more and more profit-oriented and after the economic crisis in 1997, the company faced massive debts and finally, Shin Corporation of Thaksin Shinawatra took over iTV in 2000 before the Thai Rak Thai Party won the election in January 2001.

Since the Thai Rak Thai and Thaksin’s Shin Corporation were related, during the election campaign, the news agenda and the contents were controlled by the new executive team. Journalists who went against such interference were fired. As a result, the pro-Thai Rak Thai news campaign was one factor that led the party to win in the election. A survey by the ABAC poll showed that television news coverage was overwhelmingly biased towards Thaksin and his Thai Rak Thai government

However, iTV, who was not able to pay back high debts after the crisis, was forced to stop broadcasting, now has continued broadcasting again under the Thai PBS name. Moreover, Channel 9 has been changed to MODERN 9 under the Mass Communication Organization of Thailand (MCOT) regulation; Channel 11 to NBT and are under the Public Relations Department.

Since media are the powerful sources of information, many sectors, including both the private and the government, are trying to gain control of the media in order to manage the information sent to the public. Because the media has the ability to influence people as well as government, the government who depends on media by using media to get into the people, is the one who wish to take control, as we have seen in the previous examples.

Every day, the media reports political news, telling the current government movements and government actions that show people how the government is working to help develop the country and solve the problems. The credibility and the image of the government are then depended on the information and the pictures that the media send out to the people. The government, therefore, wants to limit the information and take control of the media so that only the good things are presented to the public. As a result, many media are under the government intervention.

From the measurement of transparency international; the global coalition against corruption website, it shows that the corruption perceptions index (CPI) of Thailand, according to the survey in 2009, is about 3.4 and is ranked on 84th from 180 countries around the world. Since the government intervention in media is associated with the corruption, Thailand who claims to be governed by democracy may not be able to say we are governed by complete democracy.

Thailand has been involved with the problem of corruption for long time ago, in the past people may not know terminology and its importance since the corruption might be embedded with Thai culture so that people get used to it or it was known in other names. The problem of corruption also relates to the administrative system of the country. From Sukhothai―the first era of Thailand―up to the present, Thailand has been ruling by various forms of administrative systems depending on the influences or situations at the time so that the forms of administrative system are different in each era.

We would like to talk about the administrative system in each era in order to make them as the basis for explaining corruption and how it came from.

In Sukhothai era, the beginning era of Thailand, the administrative system was in the form of ‘Father-Son’ or ‘Paternalistic’. King played a role as father while public played role as his children or family ruled in hierarchical pattern. It created good relationship among parties.

After Sukhothai era exhausted its power, Ayutthaya era was replaced. The administrative was changed from ‘Paternalistic’ to the ‘Divine Rights’ system. This system was distinguishingly characterized as states come into existence by God’s will, God chooses the rulers of the states, and the rulers are responsible only to God. Divine Rights system was derived from Hindu influence, this system is unlike Father-Son system as it separated the rulers and public leading to different classes and privileges; the public were under the control of the rulers. This form of administration gave King the absolute power causing the distance between King and public.

After very long period of powerful, Ayutthaya era was eventually fall. Thonburi era had been replaced, since King Taksin aimed to collect power to build the new kingdom, the administrative system was not different from Ayutthaya era. After Thonburi era, the current era, Rattanakosin era, has flourished instead.

For Rattanakosin era, we would like to divide the era into early and lately Rattanakosin because in the period of King Rama V, there was dramatically change in Thailand’s administrative system; the abolishment of slavery, the education support, and the idea of reformation in administrative system to democracy. However, the idea of reformation to democracy was not shown up in the period of King Rama V, the idea has been established in Thailand and public began to participate in the administration. So,the administrative system in the early Rattanakosin before period of King Rama V still be the same as in Ayutthaya era.

In the lately Rattanakosin era and after King Rama VII period, Thailand is governed by democracy up to the present.

The Constitution of Thailand have been giving the freedom of expression to individual and the press since Thai’s ruling system was changed from absolute monarchy to democracy for almost 78 years, however, there have always been criticisms about the degree of freedom of expression of Individual and the press in Thai society since it came to associate with the government. The media still has freedom, but now its freedom is decreasing as the government tries to put its hands in.

The objective of this study is to combine theoretical, empirical and other evidences in order to understand the relationships and their interactions among the media, the government and the public in Thailand. Understanding all these things will explain how media affect the transparency and the accountability of the Thai government.

The role that the government plays in the media and the role that the media plays in the government are being interested increasingly by the society in these recent days. Therefore, as part of the Thai society, we would like to focus on performance of the media and government, particularly the effects from media on government accountability and transparency occurred within Thailand.

When government tries to control media, this can be considered as corruption, so, the corruption problems will be highlighted as they play role in indicating the transparency of the government. As corruption can be categorized into private-to-private corruption and public corruption, our concentration will be only on public corruption; according to the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University Law School, public corruption is defined as “a government official, whether elected, appointed or hired, may violate federal law when he/she asks, demands, solicits, accepts, or agrees to receive anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of their official duties”, and the further use of word corruption refers to this. Corruption can be one indicator to point out government transparency and accountability as well as a degree of democracy. The study will include; the corruption in election since the incumbents intervene on the media in order to present themselves in a positive ways, the intervention of the government on media in sense of taking ownership and capturing the media such as television and newspaper. We will mainly focus on television and newspaper as the representatives of all kinds of media. Looking at the ownership of the television station and the newspaper outlet, these can point out the degree of government intervention and media capture since media have influence on government.

Still, our study has some comparisons in some particular parts with other countries in order to make our analysis more clearly.

Literature Review Matias Warsta (2004) described the overall frameworks about corruption problem in Thailand, as well as the suggestions for solving the problems. This empirical literature argues that the problem of corruption has been in Thailand for a long time and also deeply rooted as a part of Thai culture. The corruption problem has a great impact on the economic growth of a country. Warsta (2004) pointed out the relationships among government, media, and public in the corruption problem. Government tries to use its power to control media to get its desirable outcome since media has ability to communicate as well as to influence the public which can affect their perceptions about the credibility and the image of government. There are many reasons for corruption shown in this literature. Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is referred as the measurement of perception of corruption ranked form 0 to 10 where 0 means a country seems totally corrupt and 10 means no corruption. As CPI 2009 shown, Thailand entitled to 84th rank on the list of 180 countries which is interpreted as equitably high. Free media is one of the characteristic of democracy which plays a significant role as the watchdog to ensure that things are performed in the democratic way. However, government and politicians tend to increasingly get into the media by buying shares of the media or granting the money to media. Thailand attempts to reduce the problem of corruption by using various methods, but this literature gave the suggestion that in the long run Thailand’s key to success to reduce this problem is to reduce the huge gap between the rich and the poor as this gap is the top of the corruption problem in Thailand.

Besley and Prat (2005) developed a baseline model suggesting that there is a possibility for the government to capture media and therefore influence political outcomes. The model states that the media plays role in providing information for the voters in the time election. The voters use the available information to make their voting decision. Besley and Prat (2005) show the relationship between media and political activities through the baseline model, which is a pure adverse selection model where the policy outcome is depended on the politician’s type; whether the politician is good, giving benefit to the voters, or bad, giving no benefit to the voters. The model is set up as a game, having two components, a bargaining game and an election game. The bargaining game between the media and the politician determines whether the media is an effective information provider or not, since the politicians have abilities to hide bad news by make an offer to the media outlets. Those who accept the offers suppress the signal about the bad politicians. When the media receives a transfer in exchange for silence, the media is captured. On the other hand, the media is independent. The model and its extensions give number of predictions on the relationship between features of the media industry, media capture as well as political outcomes.

John Zaller (1999) analyzes that the outcome of the media politics come from the goal-oriented and strategic behaviors. Zaller’s basic theoretical posture is that politicians, journalists, and citizens behave in ways that generally reflect individual goals and interests that in pursuing their various goals. He emphasizes the role of journalists, which the journalists have their own roles in acting as a voice of the politicians to communicate with voters. However, they can choose what to report. The journalists can add or reduce something before reporting in the news. The politicians also want the space about themselves in a good way in the news as well. This then create conflict between politicians and journalists for the control of the news. They are struggling to control news content within constraints set by the mass audience.

ARTICLE 19 (2005) described the background of Thailand in many aspects, the history of media in Thailand, the media situation. All these provide good fundamental understanding about the media in Thailand. The empirical literature suggested that for the media to protect their freedom of expression, it is necessary that the media should be permitted to operate independently without the control from the government. This necessity should be held when the media claimed to have freedom of expression to ensure that the media play role as the watchdog and also serve the public interests. This literature argued that, for people, to understand the media in Thailand, they have to go far beyond the understanding of their function as the communicator among participants in the society, they have to bear in mind that the media are the business associations who seek for the profits from their self-interest. The literature has categorized the media ownership into the state-owned media and the private media. There are statistical shown that television and radio are the most accessible media among Thai public. Freedom of expression is also supported by Ubonrat Siriyuvasak (2006). The empirical analysis criticizes the lack of freedom in the media business in the recent year. Ubonrat provides the statistical data about the ownerships of the media, including the state and private ownerships of the radio and television stations, as well as the ownership of the newspaper. This literature criticizes the aim to control the media by the government, especially in the time of Thaksin and his Thai Rak Thai government. Since during the Thaksin government, there were many changed took place including the change in media business, the paper then gives evidences of how the media outlet, especially, the newspaper and the television, were influenced by the government power. The question of who really own the media was emphasized by the author.

Chapter 3 Analysis Since Thailand is governed under the democratic system, with democracy, it allows the equality, rights, and freedom to people in the society; people can enjoy all these things as long as they do not violate the others in the society. The provision of rights and freedom are in many aspects; freedom of expression is one of those aspects that relates to our paper. People in the democratic society can freely express what they think.

In some societies, an opposing and unfriendliness relationship between media and government represents a vital and healthy element of fully functioning democratic system. However, the media and government depend on each others. Sometimes the media overlaps other functional areas of democracy and governance.

Since the government nowadays can do some media managements or even can capture the media, the goal of media development should be to move the media from one that is directed or even controlled by government or private interests, to one that is more open and has a degree of editorial independence that serves the public interest.

Many different kinds of mass media can create transparency. But the dominant medium of political communication and hence the dominant medium of political transparency is television. When we use television to understand politics, we see things in the way that television allows us to see. Television can create new forms of political reality that exist because they are seen on television.

Television tends to emphasise entertainment value. People tend to interest in the entertaining things. The more entertaining news is more likely to survive in the broadcast world. Therefore, most television programs, public events, politics, and even law, are made to grab the attention of the viewers by entertaining them. They will launch the programs and present the news in the way that they think can catch the viewers. In the political news, television coverage of politics tends to focus less on substantive policy issues than on the other interesting news such as the inside stories about strategy and achieving political advantage. People tend to be interested on the issue of who the winner is and how they achieve their victory. These kinds of news tend to dominate in the television.

Since the media, especially the television can portray the political issues in the ways it preferred, this affect the politicians as well as the government. Politicians and government understand that media become an important tool to influence the people and to retain their power. They therefore want to make sure that those things on the television are beneficial for their image and for the political situation.

There are number of ways that the politicians and the government can influence the political contents in the media. Being part of the media can made it easier for them to influence the political contents. The ownership of the media, especially the television stations, is often under the state ownership. The state ownership of the media increases the likelihood that the media are being captured.

Media ownerships are ranged from the private ownership to the state ownership. In theory, media ownership can be categorized into 2 groups: State-owned media, which often view information as a public commodity to be protected against a private sector monopoly in the public interest; and Private media, which, although they may distort information under the influence of political parties or commercial pressures, are at least not government controlled. There are laws and regulations that established to support for the independent of the media.

The new Broadcast Act requires that all radio and TV stations be subject to license. Thai television channels remain under the tight control of various government agencies.

Table 1: Owners and operators of Thai Television channels TV channel Owner Operator Channel 3


Bangkok Entertainment Co. Ltd.

Channel 5

Royal Thai Army

Royal Thai Army

Channel 7

Royal Thai Army

Bangkok Broadcasting

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