Part One: Terms you should know:
State Censorship- Reform- minded states and cities that attempt to ban or censor movies, books, T.V., etc. on their own.
MPPA- The Motion Picture Producers and Distributers of America. An industry led organization created in 1922. This was created in an attempt for the film industry to self- censor itself.
Hays Code- Published in 1930 it set out the general principles for acceptable content in films.
Libel- Defamation of one’s character through fake statements in written or broadcast terms
No Prior Restraint- The principle that a law isn’t broken until an illegal act has been committed.
Obscenity- A piece of media that is prurient in nature; be completely devoid of scientific, political, educational or social value; violates the local community standards. We also discuss several other topics like How to be a predator?
Slander- False statements in writing If you want to learn more check out What is the meaning of the free-rider problem?
News- A set of stories constructed by journalists about the events of the day
Interpretive Journalism- Journalists have a responsibility to interpret events to fact check statements to help readers make sense of what’s going on. If you want to learn more check out How many groups are associated with issue advocacy?
Advocacy Journalism- Journalists have a responsibility to uncover injustice and speak up for those whose rights are challenged, the less privileged in society, etc.
Age of Individualism- In order to express oneself, you have to be able to conceive of a self- an individual entity that lives and thinks for itself.
Magazine- Comes from the French term “magasin” which means “storehouse”. They were much like newspapers at the time but published less frequently
Specialized magazine- these are magazines devoted to fairly small, narrowly targeted categories of readers.
General interest magazine- these are magazines that aim for a wide national audience and try to have something for everyone
Part Two: Facts you should know: If you want to learn more check out What is dna double helix?
(Important key words colored)
In 1925 Hollywood studio formed the MPPDA- an industry led organization- in order to take some of the heat from the government and religious watchdogs off.
In 1934 pressure groups (mostly affiliated with the catholic church) forced the MPPDA to put some teeth into their self- regulation efforts. The DCA required all filmmakers to submit their films for approval before being released.
The Code era lasted for about three decades.
The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) rating system was created in 1968 If you want to learn more check out How do good and poor imagers compare in terms of their susceptibility to creating a false memory?
- It was revised in the 1970s and 80s
The first amendment protects the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of representative democracy?
Types of unprotected expression:
- Incitement- expression of an imminent intent to violence - False statements of facts- especially libel and slander of obscenity - Child pornography
- Some types of offensive speech
- Speech owned by others (trademarked/ copyrighted)
In 1644 John Milton wrote “areopagetica” this was his argument for unlicensed journalists because the british crown at that time made all journalists have to get licenses.
In 1735 John Peter Zenger a printer in colonial NYC was sued for libel by the colony’s governor. He won the case by arguing that truth is a defense against libel.
In order for a public figure to sue against libel and win they must prove that the accusation had damaged their career, was the product of “actual malaise”, or completely neglected the truth- the writer knew it was false or had ignored the truth.
According to the Supreme Court in order for something to be obscene, it must meet all three requirements:
- Be prurient in nature (things relating to sex)
- Be completely devoid of scientific, political, educational, or social value (a lot of room for interpretation)
- Violates the local community standards.
The first instance of film censorship in the US took place in the state of Maine, and involved boxing films
Hulk Hogan sued Gawker Media for invasion of privacy after it posted parts of a sex tape he was in.
In 1784 the first daily newspaper began.
The spread of printing, books, and literacy also provoked enormous social, cultural, political and economic changes.
In the 11th Century there was a rise in Universities which slowly led to the rise of people who were literate- which increased the demand in books.
The Hays Code and the Hutchins Commission were both efforts within their industries to try and self- regulate themselves before the government stepped in.
Typical approaches to controlling the press in the 1600s and 1700s - Licensing of printed works (submitting the before approval before publication)
- Outlawing the clandestine printing
- Banning of prohibited books
- Restriction of books imported from elsewhere.
Coffeehouses became an egalitarian new intellectual space in places like 1700s London- places where people could read, discuss, argue and philosophize.
In 1800s the mass producing of paper began.
Initially, magazines were very politicized; they served as vehicles for politicians and political thinkers to air their views.
The Postal Act of 1879 kept the cost of postage for magazines low, ensuring that magazine publishers could do good business via mail.
Magazine publishers are able to sell their magazine for less than what it cost to produce because of subscribers and selling advertising space.
The decline of the general interest magazine happened because advertisers went elsewhere (late sixties, early seventies.)
Part Three: People you should know:
Buzz B. Burkley- A director/ choreographer that created risky and erotic musical movies.
John Milton- Wrote Areopagetica- an argument for unlicensed journalists in 1644.
- “Give me the liberty to know, to utter and to argue free accord to conscience, above all liberties”
- an argument about censorship and the licensing of printing press
John Peter Zinger- A printer in colonial NYC, was sued for libel by the colony’s governor in 1735.
- Zenger won the case by arguing that truth is a defense against libel. But their argument won’t be settled until after the US won its independence
William Blackstone- He wrote that “freedom of the press is defined as the right to be free from prior restraints” in England in the 1760s - He wrote that a person shouldn’t be punished for speaking out or writing the truth with good motives and justifiable ends. Truth alone is enough.
Johannes Gutenburg- developed the movable type printing press in Germany (1440)
Martin Luther- An obscure German Priest who attacked the Church’s practice of selling ‘indulgences”, which he called “a pious defrauding of the faith. - In 1517- he writes the “95 Theses”, and nails them to the door of the castle church in the town of Wittenberg
Rene Descartes- A philosopher who wrote books of his own - “I think, therefor I am”
Part Four: The four models of media systems:
The Authoritarian Model:
- Criticism of government and dissent aren’t tolerated much, if at all - Government actively censors expression, using licenses, the threat of prison and intimidation
- The role of the media is to support the government, promote social/ economic stability, and glorify the leader.
- To be found in the 1600s- 1700s in Europe (especially England), some developing nations in the 20th century up until now.
The State Model:
- The government owns, funds and controls the media
- The media is supposed to serve the goals of the state; again, stability and growth are paramount
- Very limited amounts of criticism may be allowed (for instance, a story about a corrupt local official) but nothing that really changes the system.
- To be found in: Totalitarian countries throughout the 20th century (the USSR and its satellites), and others like China, Myanmar and Cuba today.
The Social Responsibility model:
- Holds that the press should be privately owned, operate independent of the government, and functions as a “fourth estate”.
- Argues that mass media has great influence. So the media business needs to take seriously its responsibility to society and supply the high quality information on issues important to everyone, across all classes. - Holds that objectivity is vital
- To be found in: The United States today, to some degree- as well as other modern democratic nations.
The libertarian Model:
- Holds that no restriction should be placed on mass media or individual speech.
- Believes that absolute freedom of expression is the best way to find out the truth and to fight injustice “truth will out”
- In this model, even people with terrible and hateful ideas have a right to express themselves; there’s a faith in the idea that once exposed to the light, bad or harmful ideas will wither away in the face of reason.
Don’t forget to look over the notes and bring in a pencil! Good luck all!!