The Press and Political Revolution

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 1993

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This essay deals with both politcal movements and the role of the news media Well done

The newspaper is a powerful medium. It is powerful because it has the ability to influence the way that people view the world, as well as their opinion of what they see. In peaceful times (or in times of oppression, for sometimes they can appear to be happening at the same moment) the press is usually one of the instruments used by the state in order to maintain the status quo. However, during times of political unrest it is often the press who becomes the major antagonist in the fight against the government.

Why is this so? Why does the press get so deeply involved in, not just the reporting of, but the instigating and propagating of political change? In order to properly answer this question there are several other key ideas and questions which must first be examined.

To understand the nature of the press' involvement in political change, one must initially understand the nature of political change in its own right. In this vein, the first section of the paper is dedicated to this investigation. An examination of the motives behind revolution will be given in order to provide a framework for the second part of the paper, which will look at the involvement of the press during revolutionary times in more specific terms. The French revolution of 1789 will be used as a backdrop for this inquiry.

There are many different types of political movements, and accordingly there are many different reasons for these movements to occur. Value-oriented and norm-oriented movements deal with matters of social and political concern, but do so in the setting of the already existing political and social structures. Revolutionary movements seek to make fundamental changes to...