Democracy and Media Composition

THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN DEEPENING DEMOCRACY

SHEILA S i9000. CORONEL

BUSINESS SUMMARY Since the 17th 100 years, the function of the press as 4th Estate and as a discussion board for general public discussion and debate has become recognized. Today, despite the mass media's tendency for sleaze, sensationalism and superficiality, the idea of the press as watchdog, as protector of the general public interest, as a conduit between governors and the governed remains deeply ingrained. The truth, however , would be that the media in new and restored democracy do not always live up to the ideal. They are hobbled by exacting laws, monopolistic ownership, and frequently, the threat of incredible force. Express controls are not the only constraints. Serious credit reporting is challenging to sustain in competitive mass media markets that put reduced on the shallow and amazing. Moreover, the media are sometimes used because proxies in the battle between rival personal groups, at the same time sowing divisiveness rather than consensus, hate talk instead of sober debate, and suspicion rather than social trust. In these cases, the media lead to public cynicism and democratic decay. Even now, in many fledgling democracies, the media have already been able to insist their role in buttressing and deepening democracy. Investigative reporting, which in some instances has led to the ouster of presidents as well as the fall of corrupt government authorities, has made the media a highly effective and reputable watchdog and boosted their credibility among the list of public. Examinative reporting has also helped accustom officials to a inquisitive press and helped build a tradition of visibility and disclosure that has made democratically elected governments even more accountable. Training for journalists, manuals that equip reporters with research tools, and honours for researched reporting have helped create a corps of independent researched journalists in many new and restored democracies. Democracy requires the lively participation of citizens. Preferably, the multimedia should retain citizens engaged in the business of governance by informing, instructing and mobilising the public. In numerous new democracies, radio is among the most medium of choice, as it is less expensive and more accessible. FM and community a radio station have been powerful instruments to get promoting home town democracy by airing local issues,

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providing another solution source of data to standard channels, and reflecting cultural and linguistic diversity. The Internet, too, can easily play this kind of a role, for its interactivity, fairly low costs of access and freedom from condition control. The media also can help build peace and social general opinion, without which democracy can be threatened. The media can offer warring organizations mechanisms pertaining to mediation, manifestation and tone of voice so they can settle their differences peacefully. Regrettably, the media have at times fanned the flames of discord through sides, rewarding prejudices, muddling the facts and peddling half-truths. " Peacefulness journalism, ” which is becoming promoted by various NGOs, endeavours to promote reconciliation through careful reportage that gives voice to all attributes of a turmoil and resists explanation for violence in terms of innate enmities. Training and the establishment of mechanisms whereby journalists by opposite edges of conflict can interact with the other side, which include other media representing divergent views, include helped pass on peace journalism. The multimedia can play a positive role in democracy only if there exists an allowing environment that allows them to do this. They need the requisite expertise for the kind of indepth confirming that a new democracy requires. There also need to be components to ensure they can be held dependable to the community and that moral and specialist standards will be upheld. Multimedia independence can be guaranteed in the event media companies are monetarily viable, clear of intervention of media owners and the express, and run in a competitive environment. The media also needs to be attainable to because...

Cited: Joel Simon, " Banding Jointly, ” in Attacks on the Press in 1998, New York: Panel to Protect Press, 1992, l. 201. nineteen See http://www.seapabkk.org 20 See http://www.misanet.org

20

Atmakusumah Astraatmadja, " Indonesia: Press Freedom in a Fledgling Democracy, ” in Observing the Watchdog: Media Self-Regulation in Southeast Asia, Bangkok: Southeast Oriental Press Connections, 2003, p. 52-57.



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