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To what extent does the internet represent a more democratic medium of information - Essay Example

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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: Introduction Democratic media details a concept of structuring media along democratic lines rather than purely commercial and/or ideological lines. In alignment with the concept of democracy itself, democratic media pursues transparency, inclusiveness, one-individual-one-vote, plus other key concepts of democracy as principles of operation…
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To what extent does the internet represent a more democratic medium of information
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To what extent does the internet represent a more democratic medium of information

The concept of democratic media is also in contrast to state-run operations in which the media embodies the value system of the state itself. As such, democratic media can be highlighted by its structure and roles. With regard to structure, democratic media is essentially organized and overseen by ordinary citizens or their grassroots organizations; in terms of functions, democratic media, as a matter of priority, pursue serving the informational, cultural, and other communication needs of members of the public from which the media constitute or represent (Gaur 2006, p.6). Majority of the world media, today, can be regarded as embroiled in a hyper-commercialized agitation. In most countries, fewer than ten transnational media conglomerates control much of the media with almost every aspect of media culture under commercial exploitation right from sports, education, and arts. For some, this trend of concentration of media power and the resultant commercialization of public discourse spells a disaster. An informed and active citizenry relies on the media in exercising its public service role and popular government need popular information, or ways of attaining it to be considered democratic (Bennett 2007, p.22). The case for media rests on two broad propositions: first, media play critical roles in social, political, economic, and cultural functions within contemporary democracies. In such societies, media can be regarded as the principal source of political information and admittance to public debate, and the platform to an informed, participating, self-governing citizenry (Gaur 2006, p.7). Democracy necessitates a media system that avails the masses with a wide range of opinion and analysis and debate on critical issues, mirrors the diversity of citizens, and fosters public accountability on the premise of powers-that-be and the powers-that-want-be (Bennett 2007, p.24). Second, media structuring, as exemplified by patters of ownership, subsidy, management, and regulations, are a critical determinant of media content. Given the non-competitive nature of media markets, the assertion that the media in contemporary society “gives people what they want” is unconvincing, to the exception of one media-the internet. Most media firms possess enough market power to dictate the content that can be perceived as most profitable to them (Cohen 2005, p.3). An easy route to this end (profitability) features increasing commercialism facilitated by a large number on ads, enhanced influence by advertisers over the non-advertising content, programming that yields to merchandising, and all forms of cross promotions with non-media forms. For any media to be considered democratic, it must wean itself the negativities associated with media ownership, regulation, management, and subsidy (Hoggart 2004, p.2). As such, the media system must eliminate the enormous power held by selected corporations and advertisers that dictate the media culture. The recent success witnessed by the commercial media can be attributed to a number of factors: commercial media operate at all geographical levels as highlighted by the Intra and inter-corporate connections exchange content. Commercial media all collectively and individually lobby to bring strategic influence to bear on ... Read More
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