Home > #12 > Blog 12 – 4 Theories of International Communication

Blog 12 – 4 Theories of International Communication

After watching the Colbert Report: Cairo Turns into Jersey Shore, it is obvious that Mr. Colbert finds comedy in providing news. This is to be expected because the show is on comedy central. Comparing it to the article about Anderson Cooper being attacked. The Huffington Post reported more details of the attack and provided statements from Cooper’s crew in Cairo, Egypt. On the Colbert Report, it made a reference that Cairo has turned into the Jersey Shore followed by a clip of a man getting punched in the head ten times. Mr. Colbert also use body language and his tone of voice throughout the video makes sure there is parts to laugh. He also jokes on the grassroots movement in Egypt followed by the comment of the lack of grass in Egypt. He then proceeds to showing a picture of pyramids and camels. Colbert adds a video from CNN that gives some credibility to the report he is covering of Mr. Cooper. I would consider the T.V. show as a nontraditional news source. People that listen to The Colbert Report are aware there is a comedic twist and that not all information is being described. Even though it is not a blog or discussion group I would still classify it as a nontraditional news source. One of the issues with the nontraditional news source is the “same commitment to fairness and balance of coverage that a professional news source would have.” However, as we have seen in the past years, more and more news sources are becoming bias. In the New York Times Article, “Public Opinions”, there are numerous complaints about the voices that are replacing reports. There are a lot more opinion articles that are being placed in the news section. Mr. Colbert plays a role in mobilizing the public. Some citizens don’t like to watch FOX News or CNN because of the political bias of the stations as well as its seriousness. The Colbert Report is a good way to get some top headline news as well as a laugh or two within a few minutes.

There are four theories of international mass communication: the authoritarian theory, the libertarian theory, the social responsibility theory, and the soviet theory. The first is authoritarian theory, which is the oldest system of mass communication. This is when Government exerts direct control over the mass media. This is preventing someone to undermine the government’s authority. The Colbert Report does not go to such extremes to challenge the existing political system. This type of theory is most used in places such as China. The second theory is the libertarian theory or also known as the free press theory. It is based on the notion that “the individual should be free to publish whatever he or she likes.” The Colbert Report and other shows such as The Daily Show have their fair share of criticizing the government but it is always in moderation. For example, on the Daily Show the Bush Administration was the focus for almost a quarter of all the segments. The third theory is the social responsibility theory. It is used here in the United States and based on the notion that “the media play a vital role in informing citizens in a democratic citizen in a democratic society and, as such, should be free from most government constraints in order to provide the best, most reliable and impartial information to the public.” The media must provide analysis, explanation, and interpretation. The Colbert report provides all of the following. It is not as traditional as some main news sources as FOX, however, it does have the capability to analyze, explain, and interpret to the audience. The final theory is the soviet theory which is based on a specific ideology. “Media should serve the interests of the working class and should be publicly owned, not privately owned. “ The Colbert Report there is freedom of speech but only to a certain extent. The government still does censor some material if it is deemed necessary.


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