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Media, Democracy and the Internet - Essay Example

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Media, Democracy and the Internet

Here the power to rule is vested in the people, which is exercised through elected agents. Abraham Lincoln, calls democracy as a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
Media also shares a similar role in a democratic state. If democracy gives the power, media helps to strengthen it through unrestricted dissemination of information. It gives 'information, knowledge, forums of communication and debate necessary to govern their own lives effectively.'(McChesney 2000) Thus media emerges a true watch dog, constantly monitoring the democratic system for its flaws and giving the necessary feedbacks to 'people in power and people who want to be in power.' (McChesney 2000)
Media can fulfill these tasks only it served the democratic system and the people who hold its key with unbiased and uncensored information accessible for every one. Only then it can build a 'self governing society of political equals' (McChesney 2000) strengthening the pillars of democracy and there by building its own credibility.
Mass media has been regarded as the champion of public cause and history is replete with examples how it has fought along with the people in changing the public policy in both democratic and authoritarian regimes. With the emergence of the global media, the surveillancei function of the mass media has become more intensive and the watch dog was given a new responsibility to watch the whole world for the possible violations of democratic ideals and human rights. It started with a total support for Corazon Aquino's campaigns in the late seventies in Philippines and still going strong with reports to garner public support against Iran's dubious nuclear programme.
Although the global television has changed the perspective of the mass media taking it from the 'locale' to 'global', media still focuses the domestic front, influencing the public policies through agenda setting. Here the media has further responsibilities like providing the citizen the means to understand the substance of policies at any particular time. Secondly they should perform an amplifying function by giving publicity to the actions and views of important individuals. Thirdly they should provide the common fund of information necessary for the formation of public opinion and the conduct of the political process. Further the mass media should attempt to provide standards by which political actions can be judged, the common frame of reference which must unite rulers and the ruled in a democratic political structure. The media therefore could help considerably in public participation in national and regional policies.

Internet as a form of political protest
The internet pioneered the ICT and spearheaded a revolution just like the invention of the printing press. If printing empowered people with knowledge, the internet gave them digital liberation. 'In the information age, the critical organizational form is networking. The most critical distinction in this organizational logic is to be or not to be -- in the network. Be in the network, and you can share and, over time, increase your chances. Be out of the network, or become switched off, and your chances vanish since everything that counts is organized around a world wide web of interacting networks.' (Manuel Castells 1998) The freedom to interact directly and instantaneously, end to copyright ...Show more

Summary

The media and democracy have always shared a symbiotic relationship that a true democracy always pampered the growth of a responsible media and a responsible media has always been a watch dog of the democratic ideals. The coming of the new media has only accentuated its role in nation building and educating the society…
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Media, Democracy and the Internet essay example
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