Social Responsibility Theory

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2.1.1. The Social Responsibility theory is a variation on the Authoritarian and Libertarian theories. Its main concern is the reconciliation of the ideas about freedom and independence while still adhering to its responsibility towards society. Its proposal puts forward regulatory bodies such as ICASA (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa) and professional bodies such as SANEF (South African National Editors Forum) as possible solutions to the problem of freedom reconciliation with regards to social responsibility (Fourie, 2007:194). 2.1.2. The Libertarian theory is seen to be one of the “main or basic press theories” (Fourie, 2007:194), and states that people are capable of rational thought and thus are able to make a distinction…show more content…
Authoritarianism occurs when one media is contrasted with another, for example: in some countries, the television industry is subjected to greater scrutiny and censoring than the newspaper industry. The authoritarian theory doesn’t just have an important historical or descriptive aspect, nor is it just an unusual deviation from the previously established democratic norms, but rather is a theory that continues to justify the governmental suppression of the media and all its aspects (Fourie,…show more content…
The theory was developed with the purpose of explaining the different perspectives that readers take when viewing and deciphering the messages that are found in the media, such as newspaper articles and television programs. The theory believes that emphasis should be placed on the entire process of communication, from production to distribution and viewing of the media. Hall’s theory of preferred reading states that the dominant cultural ideologies, such as the portrayal of ‘normal’ heterosexual relationships to be the only type of relationships whilst ignoring the existence of other relationship types, are allowed to be the preferred type of media, but should not be imposed on the viewers of the media. The viewers of the media can take three possible perspectives on these ideologies, such as dominant reading, negotiated reading and oppositional reading. The most important aspect of the theory is that it allows for the different interpretations of texts, and doesn’t just focus on one set interpretation or viewpoint (Fourie, 2007:
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