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Media Theory Revision Guide

All A level theorists covered alongside revision summaries and exam practise exercises.




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The Times

Contextual economic factors


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The Times is hugely effected by contextual influences of online readership. The terminal decline of newspaper readership as a result of online pressures coupled by the need for the publication to maintain a mass circulation are significant economic factors that the subsidiary has had to face full on.

To combat declining profits, the Times has engaged in a program of brand diversification. As an established and trusted ABC1 friendly brand, the Times has diversified into a range of subsidiary services that it promotes through its print and online products. The Times, for instance, runs an exclusive wine club and premium holiday service - both of which are heavily promoted through print based advertorials.

The need, too, to maintain mass readership is not new, and results, Curran and Seaton tell us in a range of well-worn news softening practises. 

The paper deradicalises news content so as not to offend potential advertisers. The inclusion, moreover, of lifestyle oriented supplements also allows the Times to reach out to lifestyle oriented advertisers. Certainly, we can see within theTimes lifestyle oriented supplements that premium foods, travel oriented advertising and other luxury goods feature heavily.

As a mass-market newspaper, the Times also generates mainstream engagement through the development of a softened editorial mix. Although this is a premium news title with a reputation for hard news, a considerable proportion of editorial mix is given over to entertainment based stories to generate mass market appeal.

Mass market news

News designed to engage mainstream readerships - presenting hard news as entertainment and often critiqued for trivialising news content. Also known as news depoliticisation.

Media terminology used

Risk aversion

When produce content deliberately lacks controversy. Newspapers, for example, might pursue a risk averse editorial mix to maximise advertising income or to cultivate a mainstream audience.

Mainstream audience

Describes a media audience who come from a wide variety of backgrounds or socioeconomic groups. Products made for mainstream audiences often lack controversy or foreground light entertainment.

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