Wednesday, 24 June 2009

EPA notes - Mass media

(oh... hateful mass media XD.) (I have to use font 10, Arial to fit the note in 2 page ~_~) Mass media transmit information to general publics; e.g. radio and the Internet. Through the mass media, we can receive local and international news. There’re four functions of mass media: 1) Transmitting information – we can receive variety information from mass media. 2) It also provides channels for the public to express their opinions, including letters to newspaper and phone-in program. 3) It also educates the public though educational programmer or publications. 4) It also provides entertainment; examples include serialized drama for television channels and musical programmes for radio channels. Importance 1) Monitoring society and government – highlighting social problems and monitor the government. e.g. concerning on unemployment problem and government policies. 2) Source of different viewpoints – They report social issues on different angles and viewpoints. People can gain more through understanding of the situation. This helps promote idea exchange, and government may informed of public opinions. 3) Outlet for express dissatisfaction constructively and helps maintain social stability. 4) They provide global news and information and promote international communication and understanding. In order to fulfill those functions of mass media, they exercise the freedom of press and publication; and shouldering their responsibilities as well. Freedom of press – journalist can report the news freely. Freedom of publication – people may express themselves through publication. They can freely report in different angles and channel different viewpoints. They should also act in the interest of the public and highlight social problems, and giver factual, accurate, objective and fair reports. Mass media can be further classified into print media (newspaper, magazines, and books) and electronic media (radio, TV, the Internet). There’re lots of print media in Hong Kong, varies from technical matters to entertainment. Domestic free television programme services: Television Broadcasts Limited and Asia Television Limited→the only 2 licenses, and the publicly founded Radio Television of Hong Kong produces television programmes to let TVB or ATV to broadcast. Domestic pay television programme services: Hong Kong Cable Television Limited and Hong Kong Broadband Network→the only 2 licenses, offering 24-hours news and movie broadcast. Non-domestic television programme services: Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting→only license. Radio: Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company Limited (Commercial Radio) and Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited (Metro Broadcast) are two commercial radio stations, providing 24-hour news and entertaining programmes. Films: Hong Kong is a major film-producing center, it produce nearly 100 films a year. Print and broadcast media will also upload their publications, radio, programmes or broadcasting onto the Internet and open to public through this Internet platform. Improper use of mass media and its impact 1) False and inaccurate reports – exaggerated reports, e.g. showy headlines and sensational descriptions. It may also contain conjecture, inaccuracy and lies. This will mislead public and even damage the reputation or interest of people involved 2) Intrusion of privacy – they chase on public figures and made news on them to achieve high rate. This infringes on public figures’ privacy and causes disturbances to their lives. 3) Emphasising improper values, e.g. sexual, violent or gang-related, giving negative influence on children and teenagers, corrupt general social morals and indirectly cause social problem. 4) News mixed with entertainment information –over-emphasise of entertainment information, lowering quality of news report and public won’t take the news seriously, and understand it in a sincere and objective way. Measures taken of government -Legislation on defamation (person who is being defamed may sue the mass media for defamation or damages), contempt of court (before the judgment of court, the mass media mustn’t made any judgment on the case) and the Indecent and obscene articles (mass media are subject to the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, who publishes obscene articles can be jailed). -Regulatory bodies: Broadcasting Authority regulates and sets guidelines for broadcasting services. Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority examines samples from TV and radio to see if codes of practice are violated and penalises them. Handle public complaints and censor films that intended for public exhibition aw well. Obscene Articles Tribunal determines whether an article is obscene or indecent. Self discipline of mass media -Set up (independent) monitoring organization to do internal monitoring and handle public complaints and conduct investigations. -establish guidelines.—journalist take public interest as basis of their work, and uphold the principle of truth, objectivity and fairness. -Upgrade the quality of profession – provide more training on their staff. Individual roles: - Assess the credibility of the report – whether its views are credible. - Don’t trust authoritative source blindly – it may not necessarily be fair, impartial or correct. - Distinguish between facts and opinions. - Don’t grasp information from headlines and lead paragraphs to avoid misleading yourself.

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