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The question of the role of the media arises again and again in the annual mirror scandal, but always eludes a satisfactory answer. To find such – and nothing else – we had in mind when Mr. Berlusconi opened the issue in the spring a new dimension. This was because it was heavy over the meeting and yet brought certain fatalism on the network of media and politics to light. The relationship between media and power as well as the impact of the media on lifestyles and social structures were accordingly at the center of our discussion. The somewhat vague outcomes and the many new questions this time were less about lack of consensus (as at the last meeting) than general helplessness about speculative issues. Look at the special news for the best details.

It sometimes seemed to me that some of us were very interested in the workings of a guillotine, which they then put their heads in – thinking out the possibility of ripping off the guillotine seemed completely unacceptable.

The functions of the mass media are undisputed:

  • Information
  • Participation in opinion formation
  • Control and criticism.

These functions are weighted differently depending on the transmitter or press organ both relative to one another and in relation to the entertainment. Overall, however, no function should be neglected in a functioning democracy. This is where the questions begin: how can these functions be thwarted without resorting to the crude means of censorship, and when does entertainment threaten to stifle them? So the question is not whether the existing media do justice to the above functions and whether the functions are reasonable (we assume that), but what developments are conceivable so that the media can no longer do justice to them.

Mass media (press, radio, television)

The interaction between the program or profile of different media and the public is not consistent and depends on the processing speed of the audience. In this sense, most of the press can be seen as “slow”, television / radio as “fast” media. If a newspaper / magazine with a certain profile has found a readership, it is somewhat tied to the profile developed. The fact that newspapers / magazines have to be paid immediately leads to a more attentive and conscious connection with them. Certain regular readers of newspapers / magazines are then interesting as target groups for advertising. However, the advertisement is the main source of income of the press (except for the known exceptions), so that you cannot unsettle this target group or regular readership by frequent profile changes bounce. Changes are therefore rather slow, and this stability favors the perception of the three functions.

The Next Stage

Since one pays for television / radio (almost) nothing, zapped at the slightest hint of boredom. The need to captivate the audience and respond quickly to viewer losses is therefore greater, especially as the financing is done exclusively through advertising. In this way, the infotainment format has prevailed in the full programs, in which viewers are procured for advertising blocks. However, it is not yet clear whether the advertising on television has the assumed effect at all, since of course it can (and will) become a victim of zapping. In addition, quite a few people use the television like a radio by simply running it as background sprinkling. The fight for the minutes of advertising, however, continues unabated. The fierce competition leads to a diversification in the form of TV commercials on private television.