Media channels and sources of media change every single day, if we were to count the array of differentiated methods of the way we receive and search for information from our birth to today we can see that it has undergone significant change.
In the past, traditional news media caused significant problems for democracy. In the old system of news, we had a group of responsible gatekeepers who could force feed us the news they thought we should know, we trusted them because they were familiar brands with a track record (Rosential, 2013). One particular gatekeeper that I have studied numerous times over the course of my degree, is FOX News. Here we can see a direct link between a traditional news source that caused problems for democracy, based upon Chomsky’s ‘propaganda model’.
The model identifies five filters which allow us to determine how such a large mass media industry can exercise such substantial control over there audience (Mullen, 2010, pg.676). These include:
Size, Ownership, Profit Orientation:
- Dominant media are large business, wealthy people, interlocked
- Maintain audience flow levels, sustain ratings and revenue
- Cultural-political programming
Sourcing Mass Media News:
- Reliance on experts, need steady reliable flow of info, concentrate recourses
- Negative response to statement or program, costly and uncomfortable, news management
- Mobilise the populace, political control mechanism
- Profound influence on mass media
However, what we can see in modern times is the power beginning to lie within the people, in which ‘what has disrupted us will now begin to save us’ (Rosential, 2013). We have evolved in terms of media channels and technological advancements, we have the ability to communicate more directly than ever before! The audience will determine the future of news, rather than news determining the future of the audience.
So, how does this relate to the five filters? Thankfully, the removal of filters has allowed consumers to source information and base it personally on our own behaviours. Being able to access news whenever we like, rather than traditionally consuming it in big gulps. The world is at our fingertips, we can search for what we want, when we want, as it has become conveniently fragmented to satisfy our own curiosities when they become apparent. Carr (2014) outlines specific modern news models that allow citizen journalism to take place, such as Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and Washington Post. As a young adult however, I have been exposed to many applications such as Twitter, AlJazeera and Instagram.
The future of journalism is now becoming more of use to the user, but what will be next?