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By Alan Durant

'Meaning within the Media' addresses the problem of the way we should always reply to competing claims approximately that means recommend in confrontations among humans or businesses in hugely charged conditions corresponding to sour public controversies and costly criminal disputes.

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Additional resources for Meaning in the media : discourse, controversy and debate

Sample text

Media effects are consequences not only of communicator behaviour but of what a discourse conventionally says or implies, even if this doesn’t always fit neatly with what appears to have been intended. What makes something an ‘effect’ complaint rather than an issue of meaning is the possibility that, if you view the meaning of the complained-of discourse differently, then arguably different effects follow. At the same time, a close link between these two dimensions of a communicative event can be found in the fact that evidence for the effect being caused by the discourse is to be found in what it is claimed the utterance or text conveys.

In cases of insider share dealing or the leaking of commercial intelligence, for instance information about racing car design or budget plans). Other instances take the form of complaints about scheduling and editorial decisions: ‘too much airtime was given to the views of extremists’; a disaster movie ‘should not have been screened immediately after news about a real train crash’; a TV programme ‘should only have been broadcast after the evening watershed’. Broadcasting controversies of this type typically concern alleged misjudgement (or failures of professional integrity) by media editors who bear responsibility for disseminating media content.

The issue now arises what the precise From personal disagreement to meaning troublespot 21 grounds of such a complaint should be and how those grounds are to be formally stated. If courts become involved, costs will be incurred (of legal advice, and on preparation). Defence statements and counter-claims must be expected, incurring further costs over which secondary arguments will develop. Issues of possible damages, in view of the seriousness of the threat to its producers if the film were to be withdrawn, may be at stake if Anita’s organisation loses.

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