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Framing media mergers in France and the United States
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing media mergers in France and the United States 4 but also by organizational considerations. Some of these are intra-organizational. Because news outlets like other workplaces operate according to a hierarchy, a journalist or editor’s scope for creativity is predicated on his hierarchical position. Other considerations are extra-organizational and have to do with the mutually dependent relationship journalists have with their sources. Journalists, who increasingly find themselves part of the political “circus” instead of observers of it, mirror all these scholarly developments (Isikoff, 1999). The journalist’s contemporary image is certainly far removed from the one popularized by Holllywood in movies such as “All the Presidents’ Men” which described, among other things, the role two Washington Post journalists played in U.S. president Nixon’s fall. The unflinching crusaders meeting in shady car parks to expose the truth, whatever the political stakes, have somehow diminished in stature. Even Bob Woodward revels in the limelight regularly offered to him by CNN’s Larry King. The change in journalists’ stature led some analysts to believe that, more than being an approximate subjective description of political affairs, the news are as much a description of reality as fiction is. Moreover, news is fiction produced by news organizations to intentionally “manufacture consent” (Herman and Chomsky, 1988) to the ruling class. According to this analysis the media and government are in total collusion. However, some of the methods used by these analysts were more polemical than empirical. In a sense, these analysts were trying to fight ideological fire with ideological fire. The use of intentional sampling in the content analysis of specific stories in specific news outlets did not rule out the possibility that a more representative sample would have refuted the analysts’ original hypothesis. Additionally, the neo-Marxist point of view is problematic

Authors: Davidson, Roei.
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Framing media mergers in France and the United States
4
but also by organizational considerations. Some of these are intra-organizational. Because
news outlets like other workplaces operate according to a hierarchy, a journalist or
editor’s scope for creativity is predicated on his hierarchical position. Other
considerations are extra-organizational and have to do with the mutually dependent
relationship journalists have with their sources.
Journalists, who increasingly find themselves part of the political “circus” instead of
observers of it, mirror all these scholarly developments (Isikoff, 1999). The journalist’s
contemporary image is certainly far removed from the one popularized by Holllywood in
movies such as “All the Presidents’ Men” which described, among other things, the role
two Washington Post journalists played in U.S. president Nixon’s fall. The unflinching
crusaders meeting in shady car parks to expose the truth, whatever the political stakes,
have somehow diminished in stature. Even Bob Woodward revels in the limelight
regularly offered to him by CNN’s Larry King.
The change in journalists’ stature led some analysts to believe that, more than being an
approximate subjective description of political affairs, the news are as much a description
of reality as fiction is. Moreover, news is fiction produced by news organizations to
intentionally “manufacture consent” (Herman and Chomsky, 1988) to the ruling class.
According to this analysis the media and government are in total collusion. However,
some of the methods used by these analysts were more polemical than empirical. In a
sense, these analysts were trying to fight ideological fire with ideological fire. The use of
intentional sampling in the content analysis of specific stories in specific news outlets did
not rule out the possibility that a more representative sample would have refuted the
analysts’ original hypothesis. Additionally, the neo-Marxist point of view is problematic


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