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Press Theories

The idea of “press theories” dates from Fred S. Siebert, Theodore Peterson, and Wilbur Schramm's 1956 book Four Theories of the Press, which advanced the thesis that media systems could be classified in terms of four philosophical orientations: the Authoritarian, Libertarian, Social Responsibility, and Soviet Communist press theories. Two of these, the Social Responsibility and Soviet Communist theories, are considered to be variations on the other, more basic ones; this framework thus divided media systems into two fundamental categories, understood in terms of the role of the media in relation to the state and the individual: in the Authoritarian model, the media served the state; in the Libertarian model, it served the individual.

Four Theories of the Press has widely been used to classify media ...

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