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The Media - Advanced Reading

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The following article is an interesting and controversial topic that has gained importance in recent years. Read it and increase your vocabulary and at the end evaluate your comprehension by answering the True/False questions.

Lesson by Caroline Devane

The Owners of the "News"

The role of the media is essentially defined by the manipulation of information oriented towards the control of "public opinion", but their goals are not social as described in the mythology of "journalistic objectivity".

The famous ethical flags of journalism: fairness, objectivity and freedom of expression, are nothing more than myths concealing the billionaire media business that moves daily market information on a global scale. The process of manufacturing and distributing information is not motivated by the need to "inform" but by the capitalist need to sell news. To do this, the media, like any capitalist company, generates massive consumer needs in society and plots information strategies aimed at encouraging business growth, positioning themselves in order to successfully compete in the market.

First, information is a commodity to produce economic returns like any other commercial product offered in the capitalist market. In functional terms (and beyond the legend that is produced around it) the newspaper businesses are not guided by social purposes but for the pursuit of economic gain. Secondly, in the light of the strategic nature of the communication function to develop from the point of view of preservation of the "governance" system the media is a key tool for the control and manipulation of the economic, political and social processes.

The media does not practice "objective information" or editorial independence for two main practical reasons:

  1. They are companies that do not work with social objectives but rather with business objectives subject to the capitalist law of searching for profitability.
  2. Its structural dependence depends on the system that controls all the means of production, finance and international trade over the countries and worldwide

In the news business, like any business venture, the media only works for those who can pay for their "informative" services. This is why a relationship of mutual survival between the media, governments and major economic groups exists. These groups decide what is news and what is not and use this strategy to control political, economic and social trends.

Test your understanding by answering true or false to the following sentences.

  • 1. The article suggests that the media manipulates information in order to control what the people believe.

  • 2. Information is a billion dollar business that moves information on a global scale.

  • 3. According to the article, the main objective of the media is the distribution of information.

  • 4. In accordance with the article, the media conceives society as a market in which they can maximize profits by using information as a product for sale.

  • 5. According to the article, the media business aims to aid social development and not economic benefit.

  • 6. According to the article, the media business is independent of any economic system.

  • 7. According to the article, it is society that decides what is news and what is not.