18 which functions do the media serve in a democracy? Advanced Guides

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Media democracy [1]

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Media democracy is both a theory and a social movement. It is against concentration in the ownership of media, and it champions diversity of voices and perspectives within the news system.
Additionally, the approach argues that the media system itself should be democratic in its own construction, shying away from private ownership or intense regulations. Media democracy entails that media should be used to promote democracy and that media itself should be democratic

15.2 Functions and Theories of Mass Communication – Communication in the Real World [2]

– Discuss theories of mass communication, including hypodermic needle theory, media effects, and cultivation theory.. How does mass communication function differently than interpersonal communication? Do we have relationships with media like we have relationships with people? To answer these questions, we can look at some of the characteristics and functions of mass communication
The human voice can only travel so far, and buildings and objects limit the amount of people we can communicate with at any time. While one person can engage in public speaking and reach one hundred thousand or so people in one of the world’s largest stadiums, it would be impossible for one person to reach millions without technology.
In short, mass communication draws on fewer sensory channels than face-to-face communication. While smell, taste, and touch can add context to a conversation over a romantic dinner, our interaction with mass media messages rely almost exclusively on sight and sound

Social media use in politics [3]

Social media use in politics refers to the use of online social media platforms in political processes and activities. Political processes and activities include all activities that pertain to the governance of a country or area
The internet has created channels of communication that play a key role in circulating news, and social media has the power to change not just the message, but the dynamics of political corruption, values, and the dynamics of conflict in politics.[1] Through the use of social media in election processes, global conflict, and extreme politics, diplomacy around the world has become less private and susceptive to the public perception.[1][2]. Social media have been championed as allowing anyone with an Internet connection to become a content creator[3] and empowering their users.[4] The idea of “new media populism” encompasses how citizens can include disenfranchised citizens, and allow the public to have an engaged and active role in political discourse
Social media platforms and the internet have facilitated the dissemination of political information that counters mainstream media tactics that are often centralized and top-down, and include high barriers to entry.[6] Writer Howard Rheingold characterized the community created on social networking sites:. “The political significance of computer mediated communication lies in its capacity to challenge the existing political hierarchy’s monopoly on powerful communications media, and perhaps thus revitalize citizen-based democracy.”[6]

Library at University of Hull [4]

“There is no denying that [journalism] does not only inform people but also helps people shape opinions regarding various socio-political scenarios.”. Depending on the publication a newspaper article will be written about local, national or international current affairs/events.
Local papers will focus more on events in and around the community, for example they may cover community fates or markets. They will still be written in a professional and formal way but may have a more conversational tone.
They will also report on noteworthy international events, such as crises and wars, but also sporting and entertainment events like the Olympics. They advertise to a much wider audience than local papers and need to relate to most of the population.

Media and Democracy – Media Studies 101 [5]

One key tenet of a liberal democracy, the dominant form of government today, is the separation of powers into the various independent branches of government, usually in the form of the legislature that makes the laws, a judiciary that interprets and applies the law and an executive that carries out the administration and operations of governing. Societies in the past were relatively small and citizens were able to engage face-to-face or via handwritten messages in their deliberation and decision-making process
The earliest mass media was the newspaper, followed by the radio and television, and today, the Internet.. Because of its emerging function as a watchdog that monitors the running of the nation by exposing excesses and corruption, and holding those in power accountable, the media was regarded as the fourth estate, supplementing the three branches of government by providing checks and balances
A healthy functioning democracy is predicated on the electorate making informed choices and this in turn rests on the quality of information that they receive. The media, as an institution, has for a long time enjoyed the position as a trusted primary source of news and information

The Role of Media in Democracy: A Strategic Approach [6]

A free, objective, skilled media is an essential component of any democratic society. On the one hand, it provides the information which the polity require to make responsible, informed decisions
This paper, produced by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), proposes that the aim should be to transfer the media from direction or control by government or private interest to a situation of editorial freedom exercised in the public interest. The ultimate goal should be to engender diverse, plural and credible voices providing information and opinion to the electorate.
This last point is often overlooked, yet it is only through critical audiences that the press can strengthen democracy. – An analysis of the problems facing the media sector is necessary so that the appropriate programme is developed

The Media: Functions of the Media [7]

The media has immense power within the American democracy because just about all Americans get their news from the media rather than from other people or other sources. Media coverage shapes how Americans perceive the world and what they consider to be important
In the American political system, the media perform a number of functions important to the democratic process. The media reports the news, serves as an intermediary between the government and the people, helps determine which issues should be discussed, and keeps people actively involved in society and politics.
As noted above, the vast majority of people must trust the media to provide them with information. Democracy requires that citizens be informed because they must be able to make educated voting choices.

The New Media’s Role in Politics [8]

The new media environment is dynamic and continues to develop in novel, sometimes unanticipated, ways that have serious consequences for democratic governance and politics. New media have radically altered the way that government institutions operate, the way that political leaders communicate, the manner in which elections are contested, and citizen engagement
New political media are forms of communication that facilitate the production, dissemination, and exchange of political content on platforms and within networks that accommodate interaction and collaboration. They have evolved rapidly over the past three decades, and continue to develop in novel, sometimes unanticipated ways
They have radically altered the ways in which government institutions operate and political leaders communicate. They have transformed the political media system, and redefined the role of journalists

In what ways does media play an important role in a democracy? General Knowledge [9]

In what ways does media play an important role in a democracy? General Knowledge. Media plays an important role in democracy, as it provides news and discusses events taking place around the country and all over the world

Role of Media in Democracy [10]

Media constitutes as the fourth pillar of democracy. The role of the media is vital in generating a democratic culture that extends beyond the political system and becomes engrained in the public consciousness over time
They identify problems in our society and serve as a medium for deliberation. They also serve as watchdogs that we rely on for uncovering errors and wrongdoings by those who have power
The role of media in a democracy is as crucial as that of the politicians and should never be underestimated.. This rationale is based on the notion that democracy – which recognises that people have the right to elect a government of their choosing – cannot exist in any meaningful way without the right to freedom of expression

Why Is Freedom Of The Press Important in a Democracy? [11]

Freedom of the press states that expression and communication through published media – like in print and video – is a right. Freedom of the press is codified in multiple documents that set international standards
For years, freedom of the press has been an essential part of democracy. In a democracy, people have the right to choose their government either directly or by electing representatives
Truth, accountability, and informed voting: reasons why freedom of the press matters. A healthy democracy has guiding principles like citizen rule, fair and free elections, the protection of individual rights, and cooperation

Mass Media and its Impact on the Quality of the Democracy of the United States [12]

Amartya Sen (2009) argues that there is connection between democratic participation, political freedom, and the structure of the mass media. He observes further, that in order to reap the full benefits of democracy, it is crucial to have a free press that allows for the free flow of information and exchange of ideas (Sen, 2009; Zink, 2015; Haryanto, 2017).
In every democracy, there is the need for effective communication and public engagement. This makes the ole of free, independent and viable mass media inevitable

The Media Game in the US: A Threat to Democracy? [13]

The term “media” usually covers a wide variety of mass-communication means – including, but not limited to, ‘television, radio, and the press collectively’. It also encompasses significant developments in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) including the rise of social media platforms
It is the Fourth Estate that plays a role in ensuring checks and balances within democratic systems.. Therefore, it is important to explore the role played by the Media in achieving this objective – particularly in the American political sphere, where the ideals of democracy, liberty, and free speech reign supreme
Indeed, 90% of the Media consumed by more than 300 million Americans is controlled, guided, and provided by 6 companies only. This article will first explain the fundamental roles of the Media and will then delve into the ‘Media Game’ to explore the thin lines linking the state, corporations, and mainstream media.

Free press: definition and role in democracy I liberties.eu [14]

What we read, hear and share everyday, whether reading through the daily newspaper in the morning or having a conversation with our friends, forms a central part of our democracy. Getting good information about the society we live in, and then having free and open discussions about how things are and how they should change, is the sort of dialogue that nurtures a strong democracy
We often use the term “free press” and “independent journalism,” a subject we previously explored, more or less interchangeably.. When the many put our resources together, we defeat the few who think they hold all the power
– Got new powers to cut off EU funding to autocrats. – Written new EU rules to protect journalists & campaigners from bogus lawsuits

How Can the Press Best Serve a Democratic Society? [15]

Luce, the publisher of Time Inc., first proposed engaging a panel of scholars on the state of the American press in December of 1942. He suggested the idea to his friend Robert Maynard Hutchins, a legal and educational philosopher who, just over a decade earlier, at the age of thirty, had become the president of the University of Chicago
Distrust of the media had become pervasive, and Luce believed that the public needed to better understand the purpose and function of the press. At first, Hutchins demurred, contending that the project would be too difficult to organize
On December 15, 1943, a group of academics and policymakers gathered for the first time at the University Club, in New York. Luce’s initial idea had been to enlist the University of Chicago’s philosophy department, but Hutchins went in a different direction, selecting luminaries from a range of disciplines

The impact of the mass media on the quality of democracy within a state remains a much overlooked area of study [16]

Media organisations are generally assumed to play an important role in democracies, but how effective are they in performing this function within specific states? Lisa Müller outlines results from an analysis of 47 countries, based on a framework which rates two separate aspects of media performance: the extent to which they perform a ‘watchdog’ role by providing information, and the degree to which they act as a representative forum for the views of citizens. She finds that no country in the analysis scores very highly on both of these dimensions, but that the variations between states match differences in the quality of their democracy.
Television, newspapers, the radio and the internet are the main sources of information for citizens all around the globe. But what does this mean for the functioning of political systems and processes? Few would doubt that mass media in authoritarian regimes – which are typically controlled tightly by the state – serve to maintain the existing power structure
There is also broad agreement that mass media contribute to democratisation processes, as seen for example in Eastern Europe during and after the Soviet Union’s collapse.. By contrast, there is a great deal of controversy when it comes to the issue of whether free mass media serve or harm democracy once it has been established

What Functions Does The Media Serve In Democratic Politics? [17]

Media has given political parties the tools to reach large numbers of people and can inform them on key issues ranging from policies to elections. In theory media should be seen as an enabler for democracy having better-educated voters would lead to a more legitimate government.
3 basic roles: provide a forum of debate inform citizens of good and bad news and play a watchdog role. Media holds a watchdog or surveillance position in democracy.
… It is found that news use leads to political persuasion therefore the more that people use social media platforms for news sources the more their political opinions will be affected.. The media reports the news serves as an intermediary between the government and the people helps determine which issues should be discussed and keeps people actively involved in society and politics.

Media Freedom: A Downward Spiral [18]

– Media freedom has been deteriorating around the world over the past decade.. – In some of the most influential democracies in the world, populist leaders have overseen concerted attempts to throttle the independence of the media sector.
– Experience has shown, however, that press freedom can rebound from even lengthy stints of repression when given the opportunity. The basic desire for democratic liberties, including access to honest and fact-based journalism, can never be extinguished.
Elected leaders in many democracies, who should be press freedom’s staunchest defenders, have made explicit attempts to silence critical media voices and strengthen outlets that serve up favorable coverage. The trend is linked to a global decline in democracy itself: The erosion of press freedom is both a symptom of and a contributor to the breakdown of other democratic institutions and principles, a fact that makes it especially alarming.

which functions do the media serve in a democracy?
18 which functions do the media serve in a democracy? Advanced Guides


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_democracy#:~:text=It%20provides%20information%20to%20individuals,shedding%20light%20to%20public%20opinion.
  2. https://open.lib.umn.edu/communication/chapter/15-2-functions-and-theories-of-mass-communication/#:~:text=Key%20Takeaways-,The%20mass%20media%20serves%20information%2C%20interpretation%2C%20instructive%2C%20bonding%2C,%2C%20expand%2C%20and%20reinterpret%20information.
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media_use_in_politics#:~:text=Social%20media%2C%20or%20more%20specifically,affect%20citizens’%20levels%20of%20trust.
  4. https://libguides.hull.ac.uk/public-comm/newspaper-article#:~:text=News%20articles%20are%20written%20to,about%20the%20world%20around%20them.
  5. https://opentextbc.ca/mediastudies101/chapter/media-and-democracy/
  6. https://gsdrc.org/document-library/the-role-of-media-in-democracy-a-strategic-approach/
  7. https://www.sparknotes.com/us-government-and-politics/american-government/the-media/section2/
  8. https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/articles/the-new-media-s-role-in-politics/
  9. https://byjus.com/question-answer/in-what-ways-does-media-play-an-important-role-in-a-democracy/
  10. https://legaldesire.com/role-of-media-in-democracy/
  11. https://www.humanrightscareers.com/issues/why-is-freedom-of-the-press-important-in-a-democracy/
  12. https://www.grin.com/document/1129505
  13. https://www.ivint.org/media-game-in-us-threat-to-democracy/
  14. https://www.liberties.eu/en/stories/free-press/43809
  15. https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-future-of-democracy/how-can-the-press-best-serve-democracy
  16. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/eurocrisispress/2014/12/10/the-impact-of-the-mass-media-on-the-quality-of-democracy-within-a-state-remains-a-much-overlooked-area-of-study/
  17. https://www.microblife.in/what-functions-does-the-media-serve-in-democratic-politics-2/
  18. https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-and-media/2019/media-freedom-downward-spiral
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