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Title: The press and transformation in the Anglophone Caribbean - Constraints and action: A case study.
Authors: Martin, Paul E (Paul Erland)
Award date: 1991
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis is an exploratory inquiry into the press and transformation in the Caribbean, with particular reference to the Anglophone Caribbean. It highlights the major commercial corporate owned newspaper press in the mass-mediation of significant political and social change processes. It arose from the broad assumption that the press would tend delegitimate processes of, and efforts at significant political and social change. As a starting point, two case countries embracing change processes which were felt to be far-reaching - compared to the mere switching of parties in general elections, and so on - in the context of late twentieth century or post-independence Anglophone Caribbean formed the basis on which the analysis was conducted. Jamaica under the People's National Party regime of 1970s-1980, and revolutionary Grenada with particular focus on the 1979 insurrection were selected. In examining the case countries, the hope was not only to draw conclusions about the press in relation to those two cases cited but more broadly to see them as a path to an understanding of the Anglophone Caribbean as a whole. Basing the study on a holistic approach and a largely macro-analytic framework, the press was taken through its historical and sociological buttresses in keeping with the view that examination of the mediation process requires a perspective on these (buttresses). The study relied overwhelmingly on primary data to examine corporate concentration in newspaper publishing in the area of the Caribbean on which it focuses, to draw from such concentration and other broad factors (e.g., newspaper economics, and the prevailing economic and political climate) affecting production, the nature of the cluster of constraints and interests which were likely to impinge on the social production of news and information. It further embraced interviews, mainly of core journalistic producers of news and information in the Caribbean and executives who themselves bring various factors to bear on the process to isolate some of the factors which help to structure the production process. A content analysis of two brief but crucial periods gave an idea of the sorts of views which arose from this nexus of processes and actors. The findings broadly, but not unproblematically, pointed to the press as being ranged against significant transformation, by tending to reproduce views/positions in tune with the existing order of society and delegitimate the change process. This tendency seems to have arisen, and arise, from a complex of factors unearthed by other aspects of the study, including importantly; the concentration of ownership and control within interests antagonistic to change; external factors which impose particular constraints; the structuring of the news and information production process within organizational/editorial policy frameworks, journalistic codes and practices; as well as some degree of intervention particularly by policy makers.
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: Ph.D.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of Media and Communication
Leicester Theses

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