Explain the role of spin and ideology?

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amarang9's profile pic

amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The only thing I would add is that, as I first learned these terms, ideology is a set philosophy of ideas (which sometimes change over time, but tend to adhere to specific fundamentals). Spinning is the intentional or unintentional propagation or proclamation of a particular ideology.

Media coverage of crime is so ubiquitous and so much in the public eye (with 24 hour news channels and online news). Crime is one of the main subjects of sociology, psychology, morals, etc. So, media coverage of crime utilizes a platform/stage that is widely accessible to the public; then they can apply their set of beliefs to one of the central problems of society: crime. So, any network, journalist, or media outlet that has an ideological bias will of course take the opportunity to spin their ideological interpretation on a crime in order to show how their ideological belief system makes the most sense. 

Different media outlets will spin to varying degrees. But in general, there is at least a small degree of spin in most cases since it is difficult, if not impossible, to be completely objective.  

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The notion of "spin" is specifically designed to ensure that public perception is geared towards one set of predispositions over another.  Structures of power and institutions have a tendency to use spin in order to allow their conceptions or ideas to be readily accepted by the public.  Spin and ideology meet at the convergence when individuals need to have the latter accepted by the public.  At this point, individuals use spin to ensure that ideological goals are protected and advanced to the public.  Spin has positive and negative benefits and the media plays a vital role in ensuring such a state of affairs.  Ideology might be the motivating factor behind elements of spin.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

By your tags and by all the other questions you've asked, I'm assuming you are referring to the role of spin and ideology in the media's treatment of crime.

Ideology can play a role in the media reports on crime.  Media outlets that are conservative will tend to emphasize the idea that criminals are at fault for the crimes they commit.  These media outlets will try to find cases that show the need for tougher laws and enforcement.  By contrast, more liberal outlets will emphasize the need for programs that prevent crime.

In both cases, various cases can be spun by the media to reflect their biases.  They can take the same case and highlight different aspects of it and try to explain how those aspects support their point of view.

readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Ideology in social theory is when those in power create a meta-narrative or an overarching narrative of why the status quo is meant to be or should be maintained. Obviously those in power want the status quo to remain, since they are in power. If ideology is successful, then those who do not have power will believe in the status quo and even perpetuate it. If ideology is unsuccessful, then those without power will begin to question why things are the way they are. If these questions persist, then there can be change. Spin is similar to ideology in that those in power are able to make something fit into the ideology, which may not ordinarily fit. Check out a few things I wrote on this.

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