The media plays a major role in accelerating economic development by meeting and solving the problems of the citizens. The media promotes development via the free flow of data, increasing the government accountability and transparency, improving the implementation of public strategies and increasing the political consciousness of citizens (Pal et al, 2011).
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In addition, the media plays a major role in promoting political development through announcements that help the citizens to understand and gain knowledge about their nation (Wilcox, 2007).
On the other hand, media may inhibit development through various means including creating false ideologies and propaganda, concentrating on advertisers, covering wrongdoings in the society and destabilizing development of women. This paper will argue that media promotes development but at the same time, it inhibits development in some ways.
Effects of Media on Development
Media detractors claim that the mass media managed by a few multinational corporations have turned to an antidemocratic force the status quo. Despite the media news updating on several issues, it mostly deliver information concerning gossips, sex, scandals and violence.
Most of the political news concentrates more on personalities than focusing on their ideologies and perceptions. Due to this upholding, the voters are left with political misinformation including worthless mottos making them to lose interest and become skeptical about politics. In this case, media inhibits political and social development (Fog, 2004).
Media plays a big role in portraying the important people in authorities who are do not perform their duties well. The media goes to an extent of giving live eyewitness accounts of similar proceedings. These proceedings make everyone in the country to be aware of the challenges facing the world.
In addition, this has made the policy makers to think before taking any actions that will make them to regret later and it has made the activists to speak the truth (Eash, 2011). This clearly implies that the media helps in implementation of major public services by keeping watch on the policy makers and other government officials in charge of public money.
Media aids in improving the responsiveness of the ruling system by making the government to be more accountable to the public. In turn, this helps to decrease the chances of ethnic, social and religious violence that may occur.
The media also play a role in overcoming the principal-agent problem that typifies the association between the citizens and the government. In the absence of a free media, the government will try to evade and hence there will be inadequate information. Therefore, free media accelerates political development and aids in improving the relationships between the governments and their citizens (Pal et al, 2011).
Fog (2004) argues that media inhibits meaningful development since most of the radios, TV and newspapers get their income from the advertisements. In order to achieve this, the media will seek to satisfy the wellbeing of their advertisers, which are not coincident with the interests of the readers, viewers and the listeners.
The well being of the media consumers are gratified since they are coincident with the interests of the advertisers. Therefore, the media inhibits development since it only meets the interests of their advertisers without considering the interests of the consumers. They do this in order to earn more income since they get their income from advertisements.
A free media diminishes the gap between the citizens and the government and enhance public strategies implementation. This means that the media masses are aware of the strategies enacted by the government and thus, they help to reduce the chances of ill-advised social tensions and turmoil.
Additionally, a free media promotes political participation and offers an opportunity where the citizens express their grievances, which works towards decreasing the levels of ethnic, social and religious violence (Pal et al, 2011).
A plural media environment and a range of media providers across a range of content subjects facilitate increased access to data and broader dispersal of knowledge within a nation. In addition, the media sustain informed decision-making, responsiveness, increased accountability and contribute to anti-corruption efforts (Locksley, 2011).
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Many theories and perspectives associates’ negative media coverage of women to dismal social and cultural attitudes towards the women rights in the society. The real causes of women’s misunderstanding in the media are the comments and the academic debates aiming outmoded civil rights legislations and socio-cultural norms and beliefs.
Considerable research reveals that politics and economics are the main barriers in attaining a real media contribution to women empowerment. In most cases, the media categorizes the content concerning women development as a soft content, which does not need coverage in the major prime shows (Muslimah Media Watch, 2011).
There are many complains that the media only reports the good things but does not report the wrongdoings. For instance, media has repressed the data concerning health standards of smoking due to pressure from advertisers.
Other critics claim that certain mass media like the women magazines promotes worthless alternative health products, thus helping the industry to deceive consumers and rob them money every year (Fog, 2004). This clearly reveals how media compromises public health and safety rather than promoting sustainable development.
The mass media does not only have wide authority in political campaigns but also it can exercise power over the government bureaucrats and relationships. The Government leadership and the media rely on each other since the media requires news to report and the president requires coverage.
Therefore, the media and the president work hard in order to make use of each other. Those public difficulties that receive the most wide media coverage are often the most vital ones to the public, thus giving the media a significant responsibility in the public agenda (Wilcox, 2007).
Another major way through which media accelerates development is through infrastructure development. Rivalry among infrastructure developers in the digital world usually offers the best results in terms of novelty, quality, choice and price.
This implies that infrastructure developers are able to eliminate the barriers of producing adequate content by enhancing the prospects of the infrastructure and podium story for development (Locksley, 2011).
There is no ultimate answer to the question of whether the media is an accelerator or an inhibitor of development. This is because there is a mix of positive and negative effects of media on political, social and economic development.
Positive effects, which promote development, include increased political responsibility, informing the public, infrastructure development and pressurizing the Government to act among others.
On the other hand, negative effects, which inhibit development, include lack of covering wrongdoings, creation and dissemination of false political ideologies, inhibiting women development as well as concentrating on the interests of advertisers and sponsors instead of interests of consumers.
Eash, D. (2011). Social Media’s Influence on Public Policies. Web.
Fog, A. (2004). The supposed and the real role of mass media in modern democracy. Web.
Locksley, G. (2011). The Media and Development: What is the Story? Web.
Muslimah Media Watch. (2011). The Media’s Role in Limiting Women’s Development. Web.
Pal, S. et al. (2011). Media Freedom: Socio-Political Stability and Economic Growth. Web.
Wilcox, T. (2007). Media influence on politics and government. Web.