Do the media ‘construct’ social reality, or does it simply report on it?

Do the media ‘construct’ social reality, or does it simply report on it?

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It is often suggested by scholars that the world and in all its content is ambiguous, there is no universal meaning, nothing can be interpreted the same way. Opinions are constantly clashing and facts somehow constructed, or tempered during the processes of news production. News becomes the fictions of reality; it becomes a way of story telling, made to the taste of the viewer, depending on the society of course. The same stories carry different values depending where when and how the stories are broadcasted, I will be talking about this in this essay. There are two approaches to report a piece of news; the realist, purely factual no interpretations given and very clear in usage of language. This method differs to that of the constructionist, in which events or situations are carefully analysed, and I will be talking about the implication of media “constructed” social reality.

“Leaders who disillusion their followers live shorter politician lives than who learn to represent situations to their best political advantage”; (Bennett, 2007: p.111) here Bennett is almost suggesting that audience prefer to consume politically incorrectness over the truth, which could be troubling. It is true in terms of politics that politician are not always completely faithful to their promises

Scheufele sited Entman’s definition of framing as ‘a scatter of conceptualization’ (1999), Conceptualization is the process of “inventing or contriving an idea or explanation and formulating it mentally” or “an elaborated concept” “framing is an extension of agenda setting” it set up a specific idea for an audience to believe in, audience is somewhat fooled into accepting one side of the story, and usually, they are unable or find it difficult to accept...

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... Television in British Politics: Media, Money and mediated Democracy. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Glasser, T.L. (ed.) The Idea of Public Journalism. Chapter one. New York: Guilford Press.

Luhmann, N. (2000) The Reality of the Mass Media. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Richardson, J.E. (2007) Analysing Newspapers: an Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Journal articles:

Barnhurst, K.G. and Mutz, D. (1997) ‘American journalism and the decline in event-centred reporting’, Journal of Communication. 47 (4): 27-53

Scheufele, D.A. (1990) ‘Framing as a theory of media effects ’, Journal of communications. 49 (1): 103-122


AlJazeera English (2010) ‘China ban on dog meat draw angry outcry’ February 08 available at

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