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Seats and forms of power : how important is the power of the media over today's society and how far can it go ?

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Par   •  13 Décembre 2017  •  Fiche  •  793 Mots (4 Pages)  •  1 097 Vues

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Seats and forms of power

The traditional three powers are legislative, executive and judicial powers. They are the basis of modern democratic systems as notably structured by Montesquieu in his famous power separation doctrin.

Progressively, new powers have influenced people. They are known as the fourth and the fifth power. The fourth power is the power of the media and the press. The fifth power is the power of the economic system or the power of the internet. In that topic, I am going to focus on the fourth power through the example of the royal family's press bullying after lady D’s death. That theme can lead me to a relevant question : How important is the power of the media over today’s society and how far can it go? To answer that question I am going to explain how has the press evolved over the past two decades, then I am going to analyze the consequences of that evolution. Finally I will give concrete examples of that evolution.

The press has known a spectacular evolution during these past decades. Indeed in the 20th century the tabloids appeared. The tabloids emerged by a will of the fields of press to earn more and more money by increasing their readership. To achieve that, the journalists tried to sensationalize the news. That is to say that they tried to attract the british readers by issuing trendy and gossipy articles. This phenomenon is know as gotcha journalism. This is the journalism that deliberately focuses on public figures in embarrassing or scandalous situations. This created an enlargement on the demand of gossips and almost a dependance on scandalous informations. Social networks also had a large influence on this phenomenon because it reduces privacy and it increases the access to personal informations.

This new journalism of course was and is still a source of problems. First, to get the information they wanted, a lot of journalists infringed on the privacy of famous people. These people had to hire bodyguards and spokesman to give them a good image. However, this phenomenon also has a good side for them because it allows them to be constantly seen by the public and, if they have a better image, they can earn more money.Moreover, people are less interested in features so broadsheets have to include a gossip or less serious column to face up to tabloids in fast-growing. Also, some newspapers hired paparazzis and this job gained influence. These photographers sometimes make the famous people’s life really difficult. In fact, they are always following them, seeking for any piece of information that could possibly hit the headlines.But the most serious problem is that libel appeared to create more and more attractive headlines, following these incidents ,there have been complaints in prying into private lives and they can be sued for libel.

Many examples can illustrate this situation especially the case of princess Diana’s death. Indeed, after this event, the press realizing that it was a huge opportunity to sell papers, it exaggerated the facts saying that she was the people’s princess and, creating a sort of national grief. and insisting on the Queen’s behaviour/mistake. Not to make the situation better, the queen refused to pay tribute to Diana, because of the family context and prioritising the princes that just lost their mother. The press took advantage of this situation


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