Read the following passages carefully and answer the questions given at the end of each passage:
The mass media have been recognized as politically significant since the advent of mass literacy and the popular press in the late nineteenth century. However, it is widely accepted that, through a combination of social and technological changes, the media have become increasingly more powerful political actors and, in some respects, more deeply enmeshed in the political process. Three developments are particularly noteworthy. First, the impact of the so-called ‘primary’ agents of political socialization, such as the family and social class, has declined. Whereas once people acquired, in late childhood and adolescence in particular, a framework of political sympathies and leanings that adult experience tended to modify or deepen, but seldom radically transformed, this has been weakened in modern society by values. Abiding political allegiances and habitual voting patterns have thus given way to a more instrumental approach to politics, in which people make political choices according to a calculations of personal self-interest based on the issues and policy positions on offer. This, in turn, widens the scope for the media’s political influence, as they are the principal mechanism through which information about issues and policies, and therefore political choices, is presented to the public.
Second, the development of mass television audience from the 1950s onwards, and more recently the proliferation of channels and media output associated with the ‘new’ media, has massively increased the mass media’s penetration into people’s everyday lives. This means that the public now relies on the mass media more heavily than ever before: for instance, television is a much more important source of news and current affairs information than political meetings; many more people watch televised sport than participate in it; and even shopping in increasingly being carried out through shopping channels and the internet.
Third, the media have become more powerful economic actors. Not only have major media corporations become more powerful global players, but also a series of mergers has tended to incorporate the formerly discrete domains of publishing, television, film, music, computers and telecommunications into a single massive ‘infotainment’ industry. Media businesses such as Microsoft, AOL-Time Warner, Disney and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation have accumulated so much economic and market power that no government can afford to ignore them. Few commentators doubt the media’s ability to shape political attitudes and values or, at least, to structure political and electoral choice by influencing public perceptions about the nature and importance of issues and problems, thereby. However, there is considerable debate about the political significance of this influence. A series of rival theories offer contrasting views of the media’s political impact.
The pluralist model of the mass media portrays the media as an ideological marketplace in which wide range of political views are debated and discussed. While not rejecting the idea that the media can affect political views and sympathies, this nevertheless suggests that their impact is essentially neutral in that they reflect the balance of forces within the society at large. The pluralist view nevertheless portrays the media in strongly positive terms. In ensuring the ‘informed citizenry’, the mass media both enhance the quality of democracy and guarantee that government power is checked. This ‘watchdog’ role was classically demonstrated in the 1974 Washington Post investigation into the Watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of Richard Nixon as US President. Some, moreover, argue that the advent of the ‘new’ media, and particularly the Internet, has strengthened pluralism and political competition by giving protest groups a relatively cheap and highly effective means of disseminating information and organizing campaigns.
The dominant ideology model portrays media as a politically conservative force that is aligned to the interests of economic and social elites, and serves to promote compliance or passivity amongst the masses. The ownership ultimately determines the political and other views that the mass media disseminate, and ownerships are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small number of global media corporations.
The elite-values model shifts attention away from the ownership of media corporations to the mechanism through which media output is controlled. This view suggests that editors, journalists and broadcasters enjoy significant professional independence, and that even the most interventionist of media moguls is able only to set a broad political agenda but not the day-to-day editorial decision-making. The media’s political bias therefore reflects the values of groups that are disproportionally represented amongst its senior professionals.
The market model of the mass media differs from the other models in that it dispenses with the idea of media bias: it holds that newspaper and television reflect, rather than shape, the views of general public. This occurs because, regardless of the personal views of media owners and senior professionals, private media outlets are first and foremost businesses concerned with profit maximization and thus with extending market share. The media therefore give people ‘what they want’, and cannot afford to alienate existing or potential viewers and readers by presenting political viewpoints with which they may disagree
Which of the following is the most appropriate title for the passage?
Who, according to the author, are the primary agents of political socialization?
According to the author the mass media is a powerful political actor because:
Which of the following rival theories discussed in the passage portrays the media in a more positive light in term of its role in the society?
The first line (SI) of each question is fixed. Arrange the other four lines P, Q, R and S in a logical sequence.
S1: The beginning of the universe had, of course, been discussed for a long time.
P: One argument of such a beginning was the feeling that it was necessary to have a first cause to explain the existence of the universe.
Q: He pointed out that civilization is progressing, and we remember who performed this deed or developed that technique;
R: According to a number of early cosmologies in the Jewish/Christian/Muslim tradition, the universe started at a finite and not very distant time in the past.
S: Another argument was put forward by St. Augustine in his book, The City of God.
S1: I was so eager not to disappoint my parents that I ran errands for anyone.
P: On the way a boy on a bicycle crashed into me and my left shoulder hurt so much that my eyes watered.
Q: Only then did I cry
R: But I still went and bought the maize, took it to my neighbours and then went home.
S: One day my neighbours asked me to buy some maize for them from the bazaar
Identify the option which gives the correct meaning of the Idiom/Phrase given below:
To drive home
To have an axe to grind
In each of the following options, the same word has been used in different sentences in different ways. Choose the option where the word has been used incorrectly.