Theories of the Press

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Name: Sherisse Mohammed
Subject: Recurrent Issues in Communication Arts
Tutor: Peter Richards

Topic: Of the four (4) theories of the press, which one adequately represents the situation in Trinidad &Tobago?

In 1956, three professors of communication; Fred S. Siebert, Theodore Peterson and Wilbur Schramm, published their Four Theories of the Press which went a long way in establishing a classification in the minds of students and educators of journalism. The book was originally published to help give historical, philosophical and international perspective of the press. The four theories were namely the authoritarian theory, the libertarian theory, social responsibility theory and finally, the soviet totalitarian theory. …show more content…

There 's a duty to think before anything is published in media. The right to freedom of expression is not absolute; it 's conditional upon acceptance of this social duty or obligation. If a publication systematically panders to vulgarity, sensationalism, or degradation of the human race, it has forfeited its moral right to freedom of the press. Individuals are also not allowed to deliberately lie, falsely publish, slander, or defame other individuals because doing so forfeits their social bond with others. Lies which are honestly mistaken beliefs, however, should be tolerated. In this theory, it is believed that mischief must face its consequences.

Finally, the soviet communist theory was supported by the communist ideology Karl Marx and Frederiche Engels who proposed a system where power or governmental rule lay amongst just a few in societies who were judged to be the elite or high in social class. They went further to predict that there would be a revolution where the individuals of the lower class would overthrow those in power to form a classless society where everyone shared equal power and status. The media was therefore supposed to amplify or bring to light the concerns of the working class or less influential in society. They were not owned by the government but were to some extent controlled by it. The media was also not to be under

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