Complete 7 pages APA formatted article: Niklas Luhmanns theory of the Mass Media System. It reveals the twofold reality of the media between its own internal system and the reality it provides for the society externally.
According to Luhmann, the mass media is made up of recursive, self-referencing communication programs whose functions are not directed by external values of knowledge, truthfulness or objectivity, political directives or specific social interests. Instead, Luhmann agrees that the functioning of the mass media is directed by the internal code information/non-information which allows the system to choose its information/news from its own environment. The mass media then communicates this information depending on its own reflective criteria (Luhmann 36).
The basis for Luhmann’s theoretical construct was public suspicion of the mass media. According to Luhmann, we get to know about our society and the world in general through the mass media. This also includes our knowledge on nature. However, we are not in a position to trust this information because of the many things that we know about the mass media. This creates a contradiction which basically forms the unique modern and productive features of the mass media. First, the mass media can be compared with other social systems like science, law, business and politics which form operationally closed systems.
Secondly, the cognition of mass media is self-referencing and closed. This is a feature that is only found in systems. This means that they have not distinguished the reality which they communicate daily reports, news and advertising as expected from the image they present. Instead, they create it. Although the created reality arises selectively, it is socially relevant and maintains its validity as long us we understand how it is developed, produced and consumed.
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