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Locations and Forms of Power : Why the British press is referred to as the "fourth power" ?

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Par   •  24 Avril 2018  •  Dissertation  •  902 Mots (4 Pages)  •  860 Vues

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Locations and Forms of Power 


I'm going to deal with the notion of location and forms of power. I would like to illustrate this notion through the theme of the British Press 

The British are known to be a people of paper readers. Indeed, the choice of papers for different types of readers it enormous and the sheer number of newspapers of tabloids and broadsheets or quality papers being read every day is impressive. With about 9 million national papers being sold every day, we may consider the press to be " the fourth power" in addition to the executive, the legislative and judicial powers. Democracy relies on the 3 powers executive (government and police), legislative (parliament) and judicial (court). The press has become so influential and powerful that it has been dubbed the "fourth power"  

Problematique :  Why the British press is referred to as the "fourth power"  

First of all, I'm going to talk about the British Newspapers. Then, I will deal with the press versus the Internet. Finally, I will focus on the scandal of the News of the World. 

I/ British Newspapers  

A newspaper is a daily or weekly publication containing news, information and advertising, usually printed on low-cost paper. It may be general or of special interest.  

There are several types of newspapers:  

  • Quality papers mainly deal with home and overseas news as well as financial reports and travel news. They also cover sports and cultural events and offer book and film reviews. The category used to be called "broadsheet" until several papers adopted a tabloid format. Examples: The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Mail... 
  • The popular press: concentrates on scandals and sensational stories such as shocking murders or any secrets about celebrities and games. It is a tabloid format. Originally, a tabloid is a paper which is about half the size of a traditional paper. Examples: The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian... 

Tabloid, they write short stories using simple language and they have more pictures than other newspapers. "tabloid" refers to a type pf newspaper that typically measures 11×17 inches and is five columns across, narrower than a broadsheet newspaper. Since tabloids are smaller many city dwellers prefer tabloids because they are easy to carry and read on the subway or bus.  

Broadsheets, refers to the most common newspaper format, which if you're measuring the front page, is typically around 15 inches wide to 20 or more inches long the topic is the British press in the US. They cost more to buy and have a mower circulation. They style of writing differs from tabloids with longer sentences and paragraphs, and more articles offering in depth analysis. 

British is one of the world's most class- conscious societies. British people hate to talk about money, but one's social class is immediately apparent from their appearance and behaviour. 

II/ The Press versus the Internet  

Considering the impact of the Internet and changing habits of young people who prefer to have access to the news on their smartphones or tablets it may be assumed that this power has declined considerably. While it's true that the number of paper readers has decreased dramatically (by at least 25% over the last 5 years), the power of the press has not necessarily declined since many young, well educated people, who are called technophiles continue to read the press by accessing the news via their online subscriptions. 


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