Reading Response – Couldry

I think the author is making too much of the distinction between “ordinary people” and “media people”. It’s just easier to say “ordinary people” than to say “people who are not journalists, talk show hosts, politicians, or otherwise often seen on screen.” So you say, “ordinary”. Couldry talks of how the term ordinary implies that there are two different worlds, the ordinary world, and the media world. I don’t know if that’s what’s meant by someone using the term ordinary people, but certainly, I think those two distinct worlds exist. To me, the media world is a fantasy world of smoke and mirrors, It is intentionally not representative of the world.

Couldry talks about how media power is naturalized- how it is constructed. Couldry speaks of the language used about the media, the “spatial order of the media frame”, and assumptions about who is of value. He says those are the ways in which media power is naturalized. I couldn’t disagree more. The language used doesn’t give them power. Terms like ordinary people and media people don’t give them power. They have power because they hold the microphone. They have money and a wide audience. That is what gives them power. I don’t know what is socially constructed about having lots of avenues for distribution and marketing.

“Pathologisation is more than just fun; it is a powerful weapon for protecting the boundaries around media institutions’ symbolic power.” First of all, pathologisation is not a word. It’s just another ridiculous latinism used to sound fancy. Second, the power of media is not symbolic. They actually have a lot of money and a lot of influence because a lot of people watch their shows and read their news. That isn’t abstract. It isn’t a symbol. Influence is a very concrete power. It’s the kind of power that actually changes the world.