Role of Media in Government Essay

What is the role of media in government? 2012 Kevin M. Nthurima American Government 10/26/2012 Table of Contents Introduction3 History of media in the United States4 Entertainment Media5 Political Media6 Social Media7 Informative (Internet) Media8 Traditional vs. New age Media9 Conclusion10 Bibliography12 Introduction The following research paper topic is the role of media in government mainly based on the United States government. It will comprise of all the reasons that media have become so popular around the world and look at the reasons why it is so important and the consequences of bad media.

There are many types of media from social media to newspapers, TV, internet news, radio; e. t. c. Media has become very successful and important around the world ever since its conception from radio signals to the new internet superhighway of information where individuals can now receive information or news seconds after it happens from anywhere in the world. The following paper does not only look at the different media types but looks at what impact each has on citizens of a sovereign Nation and also the government.

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Does it assist the government in getting and putting out ideas and opinions? Does it always tell the truth? Do they know there limit? These are the type of questions that should be answered by the end of the paper. Media is very vital and this should be the first fact that should be put out there. “The term news media refers to the groups that communicate information and news to people” (SparkNotes, 2012). With this description of media it is very easy to see that media encompasses very many different outlets of information. Most Americans get their information about government from the news media because it would be impossible to gather all the news themselves. Media outlets have responded to the increasing reliance of Americans on television and the Internet by making the news even more readily available to people. There are three main types of news media: print media, broadcast media, and the Internet. ” (SparkNotes, 2012). Join me as I investigate the impact media has on a Nation as a whole and also how it impacts and is used by the government. History of media in the United States

Media has been with us for more than a hundred years with the earliest form of media being the print variety such as newspapers and magazines. This had been there since the periods such as Renaissance in Europe where information was circulated as newsletters that had been handwritten and would be circulated among merchants. The first piece of publication in the United States about contemporary affairs began in the 18th century. The first American newspaper itself was published in Boston on September 25th 1690 ans was edited by Benjamin Harris and printed by Richard Pierce. It filled only three of four 6×10 inch pages of a folded sheet of paper. The journalist stated in his first (and only) issue that he would issue the newspaper “once a month, or, if any Glut of Occurrences happen, oftener. ” However, published without authority from the government, it was immediately suppressed, its publisher arrested, and all copies destroyed. ” (Productions, 2010) After these first few years of trial and error the first continually published American newspaper in 1704 was called the Boston Newsletter and gained backing and was subsidized by the government.

In 1791 the authorization of the bill of rights allowed for guaranteed freedom for the press. In the 1830’s papers started to take a more serious role in media by implementing more reportage stories so as to try and garner commercial and mass success and leadership . This was also assisted by the advancement of printing and papermaking technology that led to an exponential increase of newspapers and brought on the emergence of the “Penny press”. Costing a penny an issue, rather than the usual six cents, penny papers aggressively sought out local news, assigning reporters to the courts and to the coverage of “society. ” (Productions, 2010) In 1841 Horace Greeley established the New York Tribune. The first modern newspaper look alike appeared in the 1890’s with banner headlines and extensive use of illustrations. A big change happened in the 1920’s when radio became a news medium and would later on be the breakthrough in news delivery especially during the WWII. The Communications Act of 1934, the basic landmark agreement between commercial television and the people of the United has become the unifying thread of all telecommunications laws since then, establishing the following basic principles: The airways are public property; Commercial broadcasters are licensed to use the airways; The main condition for use will be whether the broadcaster served “the public interest, convenience, and necessity. ” (Productions, 2010). After this happened media stated to take a closer look and feel to what we see today, but television become the main media medium in America.

What roles did media play as history went on? Entertainment Media Media’s biggest platform for majority of the consumers today and for years after television became the most used medium was entertainment. People would be glued to TV sets to try and catch the latest news or gossip or shows that had been created to entertain the masses. More TV shows where being created some with hidden meaning and messages for the audience with entertaining factors to keep the viewer glued in. Cartoon shows became the way in teaching children what to do and help them learn what is considered right or wrong but still keeping the child wanting more.

A very good example of this could have been seen through the Sesame Street show that airs on PBS, which has been the biggest educational and entertaining show for children in America and other parts of the world as well for quite a few years. By entertaining people but still relaying a message helped media get to a larger audience than any other means because it attracted people of all races, age and religion to watch and subconsciously get the information that the creators of those shows wanted. Today entertainment is used even in the delivery of news with satirical news programs growing in number such as the Colbert Report or Jay Leno show.

This type of news take a lighter side by looking at comments or mistakes make in the news stories of the day and phrasing them in a way that makes the audience laugh but think more intently about the issues. This is election year in the U. S and from the shows above the viewers get to watch and understand what is going on from a lighter side that removes all forms of ignorance because it is phrased in a way everyone can understand if they want to unlike normal news which is usually serious and to the point with not too many clarifications or contradictions.

The new types of satirical news have helped bring in new viewers into the political climate without making them feel left out. This can be seen by the number of youth who would rather sit for satirical news every day of the week than even listen to five minutes of real news. This has brought to the limelight the idea that not all voters usually keep in touch with news unless it is satirical and allows for more youth to start understanding and become relatable with issues concerning politics and their participation in electing a good president because of ability and not ignorant choice or persuasion by others. Political Media

In the political platform media is one of the biggest factors that any politician has to deal with in order to achieve the position in government that they want. With the media able to produce written stories in newspapers on candidates in the political environment or show a day in the life of an important person in the political sector on TV or conduct and interview on radio, it has become the biggest platform to get messages across. It is the main way for government or individuals to reach a large number of citizens at a shorter amount of time and at the specific time they want to in order to get a message across.

Examples of how media has allowed for news to reach the masses and for the citizens of the US to keep in touch with the happenings at the exact time sit was happening was first seen during the Vietnam war. The Vietnam War showed how when information is immediate the reactions are more intense than when it is old or delayed news. Media allowed for many American citizens to see and agree as a group that the war was a bad idea and was not required. “TV coverage of the Vietnam War took on new significance.

The media reporting in Vietnam directly challenged the government, drawing attention to the “credibility gap” — official lies and half-truths about the war. ” (Productions, 2010). The above caption shows that citizens due to being in touch with the happenings of the Vietnam War knew what was happening and could make decisions based on facts such as many soldiers were dying in a needless war. This caused uproar in America and showed the first signs of how media benefits the society as a whole whether the message is what one wants to hear or not.

The understanding of this is what has made media the biggest and best platform for spreading news or information to others anywhere in the world and thus has picked up as the platform most used by political aspirants and government to communicate with the people. Without media we would be having situations in which political aspirants or the government would have to relocate to an area each time they want to say something to the people of the nation or that certain area.

Also the idea of knowing what is happening in the nation at any time of the day or night and the people of the country being able to access information on whenever it was or is needed helped media become the main platform. Some stories that without media may have never been seen or published where shown and this create a sense of openness between voters and the elected. “During Nixon’s presidency, two events brought the press a new prominence: the Pentagon Papers and Watergate. At the same time, television news was expanding. 0 MINUTES became the nation’s most popular program. From this point forward, media began expanding rapidly. By 1990, more than half of American homes had cable systems, nationally oriented newspapers expanded their national reach, and with the introduction of technological change in the newsroom (including the Internet), a new emphasis on computer-assisted reporting and a new blending of media forms emerged, with one reporter preparing the same story in print, on-line, and on camera for a newspaper’s cable station. ” (Productions, 2010). Social Media

Social media is the biggest platform of media right now with the larger population of the world with everyone or most people in the world connected or knowing about social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media has taken off so fast that many of the creators and proprietors of the main social pages are now billionaires in just a decade of its conception. Many individuals, businesses and governments sometimes find it easier to communicate through this platform because of the easiness in getting to the desired clientele.

For example a presidential candidate can estimate the number of voters who may find him or her appealing by creating a page for their exploits and checking to see how many people like it or them. This has made it easier and cheaper to quantify the amount of popularity on has over the others. Through this page the individual or organization can also relay their messages to the larger social media world and see how many other people find them or their words appealing.

It has also become the main platform for campaigning after rallies because it does not matter where the information (Status update) is written because it will still reach anyone anywhere in the world who is connected, and thus decreases the costs of campaigns as even the areas that may not have been reached can receive a video message from the individual whenever they want to or may be. This type of platform also allows either the government or political aspirant to reach the youth who may not really be tuned in to other types of media and get their message across. According to a May 2011 study conducted by digital agency SocialVibe, 94 percent of social media users of voting age engaged by a political message watched the entire message, and 39 percent of these people went on to share it with an average of 130 friends online” (Rodrigues, 2011). The information above shows that social media is the best platform for sharing information as even though one individual may not see the information being shared they can still receive it from their friends or family later making it even more far reaching than either television, radio or newspapers.

Informative (Internet) Media Informative media or internet media is the biggest and most efficient medium for media and consists of social media as well. If I as an individual needed to get or send information about government or personal information then I would probably use the internet platform, since I can decide to filter whatever it is I feel is not needed.

Since the process of entering information on the internet is left to the creator or someone paid by the creator it means that the information posted only needs to be screened by the writer and does not need any extra information that the writer feels is not relevant unlike television media where the organizations in charge are the deciders of what news or information is vital and what they will use. “The Internet is slowly transforming the news media because more Americans are relying on online sources of news instead of traditional print and broadcast media.

Americans surf the sites of more traditional media outlets, such as NBC and CNN, but also turn to unique online news sources such as weblogs. Websites can provide text, audio, and video information, all of the ways traditional media are transmitted. The web also allows for a more interactive approach by allowing people to personally tailor the news they receive via personalized web portals, newsgroups, podcasts, and RSS feeds. ” (SparkNotes, 2012). Internet has gone above and beyond to change the way media is portrayed as shown in the above quotation.

Since in today’s society more people spend a lot more time on the internet it has kind of taken over as the main medium for accessing news with one being able to watch news videos and headlines on YouTube, then gaining social interaction and opinions from a larger audience through the comments or sites such as Facebook and Twitter or just opening up the page of a traditional media outlet such as CBS and reading up on news happening every few seconds or that has already happened.

This has allowed more people to keep up with news as well as the government being able to maintain and spread news when they need to through their websites or facebook and twitter pages. Traditional vs. New age Media With the creation of new media such as the internet traditional media has started to suffer due to the accessibility speed received from new media rather than traditional media. With new age media information is always accessible regardless to time since it was written or published and also accuracy since there are very many people also relating the same stories to others. Bloggers are not only transforming traditional media sources but holding them more accountable too. When CBS news anchor Dan Rather challenged President George W. Bush’s National Guard service record on television in 2004, bloggers countered by questioning Rather’s sources. It soon became clear that Rather’s information was dubious at best, prompting CBS to issue a public apology. Many media insiders believe that this forced Rather into an early retirement. ” (SparkNotes, 2012). Conclusion In conclusion media is very vital in the relaying of important messages to the public and is a necessity in today’s world.

Without this platform to pass information on from one individual to others or one entity to others we might have been in different type of world right now. Ignorance would be bliss because there would be no way of combating or acknowledging certain thing without information at your finger tips. The role of media in government is the same as the role of media in a Nation; it is there to pass information of the goings on in the country and in government to the people who elected that government and is a sign of openness from the people who govern that what they are doing is right and to the benefit of the citizens as a whole.

This reduces chances or wrong decisions going unseen and helps the people to deal with situations as the arise through collective planning by putting forward their ideas to the different media platforms and having the rest of the world comment on what they think should or should not happen. It has not only brought citizens closer together but the whole world. Without traditional media there would not have been any progression into new age media, which means that all media is important as either the main platform used today or the platform that started the whole thing.

I would have to agree with most scholars sentiments that media is the fourth branch of government and is just as important as all the others. Bibliography Productions, J. (2010, January 1). PBS. 1NDIES. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from Public Affairs Television: http://www. pbs. org Rodrigues, V. (2011). Social Media Engagement Will Decide US Election in 2012. SocialVibe , 19. SparkNotes. (2012, September 29). SparkNotes. Retrieved October 25, 2012, from SparkNotes LLC: http://www. sparknotes. com Wikimedia Foundation. (2011, October 7). Retrieved October 10, 2011, from Wikipedia. org: http://www. wikipedia. org


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