World’s Press Systems in Mass Media

At least four different press systems exist whose types envolved form, and are in large measure dependent upon. the philosophies of governments now controlling the destinies of various world powers. There is another press system, Islamic press system, complete and comprehensive press system. but not exist in any part of the world, in real shape.

The press in each country varies from that of other nations States in some measure because of the difference in cultural and political growth patterns, but in general, the various press systems, or types of journalistic control, may be classified as, Authoritarian, Free Press (libertarian). Communist Press System and SRT The detail of each are as follows.

Authoritarian Press Site

This ‘patent’ system existed for about 200 years in England. Then in the 17th century, the system began 10 collapses because of the success of the competing private press.

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Absolute control by the government of every branch of journalism similarly characterizes the press of other types of dictator states. In fascist totalitarian states symbolized by Hitler’s Germany and various quasi-fascist states today, the press is regarded as a semi-official arm of the all-powerful state opinion. In this sense, it is not an agency of private initiative, but of the government.

The fascist press has been characterized by a strict organization which extends from the individual journalist through a hierarchy of official agencies to the leader, or dictator, at the top The journalist has to meet certain qualifications as to race, creed and competency. Generally, he has to be enrolled in a government registry which issues him a licensee or permits 10 practice journalism. Further and of special import, he is always a member of the district association, which is a unit of the national body. This national association is a branch of the press chamber in the ministry, which is Germany was called the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. The minister is responsible only to the leader regardless of the title used.

Today the authoritarian system of the press is still in operation in many parts of the world. In communist countries, in nations under dictatorial control, and in some third world countries, a free press is little more than theory without practice.

1. Free Press System

A free press is simply the recognized and protected right together and disseminate news according to the fact, and views according to conviction, provide neither libel nor scurrility is involved. Liberty to print all the news that is fit to print is its chief characteristics.

The libertarian system is the absolute opposite of the Authoritarian and developed slowly in the 16th century. John Milton, Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill and Erskine were its founders. According to Milton, people should have unlimited access to the ideas and thoughts of other men. Erskine argued that people seek to enlighten others.

John Stuart Mill says: People had the right to think and eat as they please if they did not infringe on the rights of others.

According to Jefferson: The press was the instrument to inform the people and therefore, had to be free of control. Under a free press system, few controls can be applied by the government to cure abuses. In England and the United States, the high level of professional self-censorship is aided frequently by public opinion and professional critics of the press.

The concept of freedom of the press has evolved 10 mean an absence of definite restrictions. A government license or permit to publish a newspaper was employed in early England 10 suppress opposition to the government Only friendly newspapers were licensed. Today attempts to enforce a government license upon the press in England or the United States would be and has been recognized and fought as an infringement upon the liberty of the press. “Previous censorship”, by which is meant the requirement that matter intended for publication be submitted to a government censor for approval before being published, was once enforced in England. Such censorship in England or America is totally an unconstitutional restriction upon the freedom of the press except in time of war.

According to this system. press freedom means, that no court or administrative order may be placed against a newspaper to prevent publication of information or opinions even though such publication would be libelous or seditious. Today it also means freedom from arbitrary and excessive taxation aimed to control or injure the press.

Freedom of the press means the freedom to criticize the government, its officials in their conduct of government and all other persons and organization whose activities affect the public welfare.

2. Communist Press System

This system is one of absolute government control, theoretically in the interest of the proletariat, which in Soviet Russia means solely in the interests of the communist system.

According to widely propagandized communist doctrine. the Russian press is worker-owned and controlled. Private ownership of newspapers does not exist. In its place is a system of co-operative ownership. Wilbur Schramm explains that mass communication in the soviet communist theory is an instrument of the state. The two large Soviet newspapers, Pravda and Izvestiya, are the best examples.

Broadcasting under the Soviet communist theory liker is designed not so much to serve the public but for Programming is again an instrument of the state and the medium is important to it because of the large numbers of people that broadcasting can reach.

Today, the Russian press is for all practical purposes the carefully guarded property of the Soviet Politburo. Thus, through the control of the government and the communist party, both effectively led by Khrushchev the press of Russia is thoroughly regimented to report news and opinions without important deviation from whatever may be the current Kremlin policy interpretation. Thus, most news and all opinions are colored and slanted.

The basic characteristic of the communist press is that it is devoted to the mass indoctrination of the population This Indoctrination is called education. To an extent, it is the dissemination of knowledge and techniques, but more often the instruction is not education but communistic indoctrination carried on in a steady, ordered, and repetitive fashion on a gigantic all-inclusive scale.

The communist press system differs in control but little from the fascist system. All of the controls employed by Nazi Germany under Hitler and Fascist Italy under Mussolini are in force in Soviet Russia and her satellite states today The one difference is that Russia applies previous censorship to what is intended for publication whereas the fascists developed an efficient method of post censorship.

The communist press dedicated to mass education in the communist philosophy has no place for sensationalism, triviality, or venality. On the other hand, it follows a policy of propaganda and falsehood concerning all opposition creeds and parties. And to say that the Russian press is filled with distortions of affairs in capitalistic countries is a gross understatement.

Comparison with Free System and Communist System

The first essential difference between the authoritarian and the free press system is that the fascist journalist is compelled by the government to serve the public welfare according to the principles of his government, while the American journalist is free to serve the public according to democratic and constitutional principles without compulsion except that of his conscience, his profession, and his public. The American journalist is free to commit antisocial acts like coloring, suppression, sensationalism and even propagandizing in the new without punishment except that which may come from his subscribers. The fascist journalist is prevented from committing certain antisocial acts, like sensationalism, trial by newspaper and triviality. But the fascist journalist is compelled to publish news that is colored and propagandized and to suppose information in the interest of the controlling philosophy of government acts which free press advocates would define as antisocial because they alter the truth The second essential difference is that a fascist press is compelled frequently to mutilate the news, whereas the American press is given the choice of conducting itself uprightly or not.

Another fundamental difference lies in the degree of trust in the press. Fascism distrusts the press. Therefore, the press is deprived of responsibility.

Enforced loyalty to a dominate party is required by both the fascist and the communist press system. In a practical sense, there is no difference. However, the Soviet press is spoken of as a workers press, designed to serve the welfare of masses, while the fascist press is referred to as a state press, intended to serve the fascist state first, and to serve the masses of the people second And yet, the fascist system permits private ownership, stringently regulated, whereas the communist press is entirely publicly owned either by worker association, divisions of the communist party, or by the government as such.

3. Semi free System or SRT

In the atmosphere of the industrial revolution and a multimedia society there developed a theory of a free but responsible press li held that a press has the right to criticize government and institutions but also has certain basic responsibilities to maintain the stability of society.

The semi-free exemplified, among many other places in South America, Turkey, and Greece, affords only sporadically the benefits of freedom of the press in good times, press liberty may be unrestricted. But in times of crises, when the people need vial information, the government may deny it to them by abolishing or effectively curtailing press freedom. The considerable value, of course, lies in the fact that the people know what liberty of the press means. Resistance to its suspension or abolition will almost certainly evolve especially where democracy becomes better rooted or public opinion more effective.

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