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Media in Society - Articles Surfing

Last night I saw a debate on television about what role the media is to play in our society. I found one speaker to be somewhat appalling. This person argued against the involvement of media in our societal discussion on issues that matter. Well sir, you are dead wrong...

Now if you happen to be on the right you'd be saying, "Well there is an obvious liberal bias in most of the media we receive and hear." I agree with you to a certain extent. Media in its purest form was designed as a tool people can use to provide a forum or platform for the issues we publicly debate. This would be an admirable role in a perfect society, but what it does not take into consideration is the human element. Our ability to modify the perceptions of others through the media in order to achieve political gain has hit the liberal bias peak. The inevitable backlash on the media monopoly I sense is coming to an end. The market of information is efficient and fair only when there are alternatives for people to chose. Can we blame Democrats who using the tools at hand to the fullest extent? Of course not.

It was inevitable.

Democratic candidates and leaders obtained the urban vote where media centers are controlled in most part by the majority of left-leaning civilians who work and live among its domain. Yes. This was the fate, seduction, and role media was to play on behalf of the Democratic Party for many decades.

However, imbalances eventually lead to balance. The old truths and myths of a liberal media are rapidly declining. Sure there has been a recent surge in popularity among the left media, but it is only because the country was fed up with a Republican held congress and presidency that failed to serve the interests of the public. In the long-term, I expect an equal following to build and continue amongst the supporters of the right media to provide the balance and difference in opinion that our country needs. It pushes elected officials to compromise and allow people to digest information from both sides in order to make effective electoral decisions based on their beliefs.

Now, take a step back and look try to imagine the big picture. Most would agree that media needs balance, but why? Let's view this angle from the perspective of polarization and nationalism. In my estimation, media needs to ask tough questions, report on unethical behavior, and to provide an independent voice that serves as a check and balance to government. However, if media were to play the role of polarization and bias too well, then our nation would drift apart and stoke a fire of bitterness toward each other. Sure we have our differences, but in reality we share much more in common with each other. So, how can we work together with those that we have a hatred for? For example, how long must we see the election map showing red states and blue states when we are in fact a sea of purple swayed by moderate group of independent voters? Political parties must have a way to differentiate themselves, but occasionally the media does push the envelope, resulting in uncomfortable ramifications.

On the other hand, media also must be a spirit free of government control. If media casts its opinion with the government without any checks, it is likely that an unhealthy state of nationalism may take hold and shortly thereafter promote imperialistic tendencies. I can only imagine a state made op of a single-minded society where group think suffocates the ability of people to think freely. Would those of an opposing view be subjected to secrecy and casted away from society? Would new ideas be lost forever? Would an opposing political party have a voice or even cease to exist? It is certainly possible.

Think of a scenario where the media was used to promote the activities of government in a negative way. I believe this is the descriptive label for propaganda. A tool used to control and persuade the masses for better or worse. World War II is a perfect example. The good and honest people of Germany were lead to believe that their ideas and opinions should be forced on the rest of the world because the propaganda machine said they were a superior race. The civilian population for the most part bought into these lies. This is the absolute opposite end of the spectrum in the role that media has to play in society and we must be careful to learn the lessons that history has to teach us.

Media does have a role to play, but I would suggest that it strive to create balance and avoid extreme nationalistic and polarized political outlooks.

What of the present and future of media? Some say the internet is the next layer catalyst for fair and balanced opinions, news, and research. I couldn't agree more. It is the wild card that few saw coming in the early 1990s and has proved to be a tidal wave of new found power that gives back to the people. Bloggers all over the United States and the world are spreading ideas and providing a balance of opinion far greater than anyone could have imagined. The blog world is the champion of the individual and protector of free speech. It will not eliminate old media, but instead provide an added channel or source of information and empower the individual like never before.

Submitted by:

Stephen Oakes



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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