Four Press Theories, Authoritarian Theory, Libertarian Theory...

Four Press Theories

It's almost impossible to write anything, not reminding at least a hint of truths that mortally offend the government.

Stendhal. Walking around Rome

Models of the relationship between government and the press became the basis of four press theories, generalized by American authors. The historical experience of the relationship between the press and the authorities is quoted by the authors to the "common denominator": singling out the philosophical and sociological theoretical foundations of each of the models, they single out in them the main goal, social actors entitled to use the media, press control levers, social zones that the government prohibits criticism, types of property, distinctive characteristics.

Authoritarian Theory

The theory was developed in England in the 16th and 17th centuries, where it was widely spread. The basis is the philosophy of the absolute power of the monarch or his government. The main goal is to support and implement the policies of the current government and serve the state. The right to use the media is available to anyone who receives a royal patent or a similar authorization. Government press patents, guilds, licensing, and sometimes censorship act as levers for controlling the press. At the same time, the government forbids criticizing the political machine and the officials who serve it. Ownership of the press institutions, as a rule, private or public. Distinctive characteristic - the press is an instrument for implementing government policy, there is a state monopoly on the ownership and management of the media. State bodies control the entire media system.

Libertarian theory

It was adopted by England and in the US in the late XVII century. and is still very widespread. As a philosophical and sociological theoretical basis, the works of D. Milton, D. Locke, D. S. Mill and the general philosophy of rationalism and natural rights can be named. The main goal, according to the authors, is to inform, entertain and sell, placing advertising, but mostly - to help find truth and control the government. Everyone who has the means to have the right to own the press. The press control levers are a social discussion on the "free market of ideas" and protection of points of view in the courts. Slander, obscenity, indecent command, anti-government propaganda in wartime are prohibited. Property is mostly private. Distinctive characteristic - the press is an instrument of control over the government and satisfies the information needs of society.

Theory of Social Responsibility

According to the authors, this theory corresponds to the practice of the functioning of the press in the USA in the 20th century. Philosophical and sociological grounds go back to the practice of the Freedom of the Press Commission of the late 18th century, as well as to the ethical codes of the media adopted at the same time. In theory and practice, the main goal is to inform, entertain and sell by placing advertising, but basically to translate the conflict to the level of discussion. Everyone who has something to say has the right to use the media. The levers of control over the press - public opinion, consumer actions, professional ethics. Serious interference in the sphere of individual rights and vital public interests is prohibited. Primarily private property or state property, when the government provides public interests. A distinctive feature is that the media should become socially responsible, otherwise they will be forced to be so.

Soviet totalitarian theory

This theory was developed in the Soviet Union, although some elements of it were practiced in many totalitarian countries. Philosophical-sociological theoretical grounds are used in the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist doctrine, along with certain provisions of the philosophy of G. V. F. Hegel and United States philosophy of the XIX century. The main goal is to contribute to the success and maintenance of the Soviet socialist system, in particular the dictatorship of the ruling party. The loyal and trusted members of the party act as social subjects entitled to use the media. Control over the press is to oversee it. It is forbidden to criticize the tasks of the party, but this does not apply to party practice; The media belong to the state, they are strictly controlled and are its tool.

Almost all researchers agree with the modification of the typology of the above authors, when the diversity of national models (in historical retrospect and in today's reality) boils down to such possibilities: an authoritarian, libertarian, totalitarian model, a model of social responsibility and a model of social development ( developmental ). Typology of the press is built on the characteristics that are essential for the practice of the functioning of the press in different countries: the characteristics of property; control over the QMS; features of the audience; rights of information bodies and their capabilities ( media rights and uses). Indeed, they are mutually exclusive and quite significantly differentiate the types proposed, although, as always, the devil is in the details.

The movement of social communities in recent times increasingly demonstrates the destruction of the monopoly of power, including one of its essential components - the monopoly on information. First of all, this is the transition to a developed democracy: the transformation is aimed at "providing access to opinions that previously did not sound in the public market of ideas. The question is how and for whom this market is open, what sources of power and money and for what purposes are new or additional suppliers in the market of ideas. "

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